Best practice contact management: Looking after the needs of existing clients

In this time of uncertainty, a fact we can be sure of is that 2021 presents a big opportunity for advisers in terms of product maturities. Yet with just a couple of months before the stamp duty holiday deadline, much of the mortgage industry is focused on the purchase market. It is hoped that many deals will complete before the end of March, meaning there’s a significant drive for new business. However, when over 700,000 fixed-rate mortgages are due to mature in 2021 with a value of around £242bn, ensuring you look after your existing clients could make great business sense. You’ve already helped current clients. They know you, trust you, and you’ve invested time and money into converting that person from a lead to a client - so why not build on it even further?

At Legal & General’s Mortgage Club, we understand that advising clients on their finances is busy work. As such, it can be hard to find time to keep up with your database, and let clients know how you can help. We’re sure you’re aware that lender competition for remortgage is as competitive as ever. Strategies include contacting borrowers up to six months prior to their maturity dates – not a new approach, but one that forms part of a bigger picture which suggests that the best advisers stay in regular contact with clients. When a lender gets in touch with an offer, we want that to trigger the client getting in touch with you – their trusted expert. With all this in mind, we’ve compiled three key pieces of advice, to help you make the most of 2021 opportunities and retain your customers.

1. Regular and relevant client communication

Regular content that’s high quality and personalised will help you stand out when it comes to communicating with your clients, reminding them of the great service you’ve provided in the past. You’ve no doubt noticed the spam info out there that claims to give free financial advice, when in reality it’s often linked to advertising or made unreadable with littered key words for search engine optimisation. Also in the mix, is communication from competitors. By ensuring your points are accessibly written with no jargon and relevant to your client’s needs, they’ll know communications from you are worthwhile and trustworthy. The communication could take the form of social media posts, an email newsletter, text message, phone call, or forwarding interesting articles or your own client case studies (anonymised or with permission!) directly to clients. You might even want to split your clients into groups and vary communication according to client preferences. Potential topics could include money saving tips, the importance of protection, how to pay off your mortgage early, how to renovate your home and using your mortgage to achieve this, myth busters, or understanding your mortgage terms – to name just a few. Taking the trouble to keep in touch, keeps you at the forefront of your existing customers’ minds – where you want to be, with increased prospects of securing repeat business.

2. Check in points and catch ups

Frequent check-ins with clients throughout the year are advisable for building a trusted relationship. An annual financial review is a good baseline, and this ought to be supplemented with regular appointments or communications to tie in with significant financial events. This will help clients to see that you’re the type of adviser who listens to their needs, and acts upon their best interests. As the trust with your client builds, this can lead to them sharing more with you about their financial goals or areas they need help with – enabling you to better meet their needs. A reason to check in now, is regarding Covid-19. Do you know how they have been impacted financially, and what their concerns are? The pandemic is an event that has likely affected every single person financially. Finding out about their situation now, could help inform your strategy when you approach about re-mortgaging later this year.

3) Using software to record and use invaluable data

Connecting our first two points, a CRM or software solution can help immeasurably to collate your client information, helping you use it intelligently to engage and retain your clients at renewal points. Not only could this data help you shape the content you send them, it can also help you to frame the questions you ask on your regular catch ups. For instance, when it comes to a client’s mortgage maturing, are any of their children approaching university age and could funding their studies be something they want to consider when re-mortgaging? Could it help the client if you send a guide to ‘starting university and managing financial implications’? Remember you don’t always have to write the content yourself. You could use content from other sources, including some of the lenders you work with – relevancy to the client in question is key. By recording and planning all key interactions with clients in your CRM from the time you first meet, you can identify potential financial challenges clients may face in future and help them accordingly.

Our industry is one built on relationships and trust. Guiding borrowers to take that next step along their mortgage journey is an essential part of the service advisers deliver. By showing existing customers that you will continue to deliver them valuable information, demonstrates that you’re treating them not as customers for new business, but customers for life.