163: The Key to Retaining More Clients on Your Book (And Building A Prosperous Mortgage Broking Practice)

The Key to Retaining More Clients on Your Book (And Building A Prosperous Mortgage Broking Practice) 

You need to have more clients in your practice to do more deals. Improving client retention is the easiest and most cost-efficient way to make this happen. 

Many brokers these days expend a lot of energy and money on new client acquisition. The idea behind this mentality is simple: You can grow your mortgage broking practice faster if you have more clients. 

However, some brokers deprioritise is how to retain their current clients. 

Why?

Partly because ‘new money’ is more appealing than existing money.  A new client expects a quick response.  An existing client might patiently wait for weeks or longer for the broker to come back to them. 

It’s not ideal, but sometimes, when you’ve got conflicting priorities and limited resources, you’ve got to pick your battles, right?

Equally, if you believe your book will experience run-off, there’s a constant focus on replenishing what’s being lost at the other end.

This mentality can get exhausting and limit your practice’s growth. 

Having a clearly defined client-retention strategy can minimise run-off and support your goal of growing your book & your trail income.

So, it pays to take a closer look at your churn rate and figure out how to reduce it. 

To find ways to get this done, I had a chat with Adam Grocke. Adam is the CEO of Sherlok, an online platform that helps businesses retain more clients. And in this article, I’ll share with you the insights he has when it comes to retaining more clients.

Let’s kick things off by addressing the elephant in the room. 

Why Do Mortgage Brokers Lose Clients?

Several years ago, Adam discovered that the larger his book became, the loans that had been on his book longer had a higher propensity to churn. 

He investigated the matter and he found two major reasons why this was happening.

Based on his personal experience, client care programs such as birthday cards, anniversary messages, etc, were no longer effective in retaining clients. They weren’t as potent as they used to be.  

And the primary catalyst for churn was that after several years, some clients become dissatisfied with a lack of ongoing service and felt they could get a better rate but wouldn’t necessarily return to the same broker.  

As they say, out of sight, out of mind.

So, they start researching their options, invariably ask a friend or family member for a recommendation to a broker, and once they refinance, the loan drops off the original broker’s book.And just like that, they’re gone. 

Retain Clients With Structure & Strategy 

For Adam, client retention starts with being proactive. This means retaining and growing your book (and asset value) by having a plan.

For full disclosure, Adam is the founder of Sherlok, which is a broker-specific software solution designed to help brokers proactively support clients in terms of repricing and retention.  I recently interviewed Adam as a guest out our podcast, which you can check out over here: https://thesuccessfuladviser.com/podcast/.

In the meantime, I’m going go to suggest some structural and strategic actions you can take to support your clients ongoing.

The benefit being that instead of being reactive, constantly putting out fires or doing ‘unplanned maintenance’, the idea being that you have a more collaborative & predictable relationship with clients ongoing.  

  1. Think forward: When delivering your advice or loan recommendations, let the client know that a function of the service is the ongoing access to you and your support
  2. Book the task.  If you’ve put them on a fixed rate, set a task 90 days before expiry to reach out to them.  Most CRM’s will have the feature available
  3. Reprice.  Some brokers will proactively reprice their clients and offer good news after they’ve delivered the result.  If you plan to do this, Sherlok is a fit-for-purpose tool
  4. Reach out.  Despite opinions to the contrary, most people welcome a proactive call designed to look after their well-being.  Not all calls will result in a refinance, and occasionally, might result in ‘running some numbers’, though compared to losing the client off the book, arguably, it’s a worthwhile component of delivering value that reminds them of why they choose to re-engage your help.  As your book matures, invariably, the role of repricing and even reaching out may be delegated to a client service manager or a firm with specialist phone skills.

We know that over the next 3 years, $500 billion worth of home loans will be expiring from the ultra-low fixed rates – which presents both a risk and an opportunity.

The more structure you introduce into your service deliver – from the initial consultation to the ongoing relationship, the easier it will be for clients to return to you, to remark about your service and invariable, earn more referrals.

It’s Time to Stop Losing Clients

Virtually all brokers invest effort into attracting new clients into their practice.  That’s because getting new clients brings an upfront and grows the trail.  

When combined with a clear, purposeful and effective retention strategy, you will invariably see your book grow and increase your asset value in the process. 

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