What is your website for?

Richard Howes

Richard Howes

28 March 2024
It might seem strange somebody from a mortgage club talking about websites, after all, we are not a tech or marketing company. We know that most firms now have them, and as an adviser you know what they are for and are on top of this area of your business.

But I can’t help thinking; there is great work that can be done in this area by firms to increase their digital presence, capability and communication with new, existing and potential clients. Having visited well over 500 adviser websites over a number of months, there is a real commonality to many of them. Many use stock photography, many will highlight the locality of the firm, the fact they are independent and confirms that they will always look to get customers the best deal (hopefully, every adviser is there to get the best deal!). I can’t help thinking – ‘and….’?  
This leads me on to who is your website is really aimed at, and is it achieving what you want it to? Is it for new clients only, new and existing clients, anybody and everybody, you don’t really mind as long as it generates interest and clients? 

Obviously, having an online presence is essential for any business. Your website serves as a platform for potential and existing clients to find and learn about your services. It enhances your credibility and legitimacy as a mortgage adviser providing a platform to showcase your expertise, experience and qualifications, providing information around the options available. Importantly, it gives customers access to you anytime, anywhere. They should be able to learn about the proposition you offer, your contact information, and any other relevant details without needing to visit your office or make a phone call.

I am sure there may be people reading this who, in the words of Henry Ford when starting out, when asked what made him develop a car said: ‘If I had asked what people wanted, they would have said faster horses’! But, if this is your shop window is it dressed in the way that is going to attract the new, the curious and the existing?

Let’s take the last of those areas, the existing client. Given it’s a really topical area as Product Transfers are now in vogue and in advisers business’ and will and rightly should will remain so as part of a service. Does your website encourage your existing clients to come back to through it? Does it welcome them, recognise them, and incentivise them to contact you again? And if it doesn’t, should it?
I would argue it should, existing clients are the backbone of your business, they are where you are now, and you have done all the heavy lifting to get them to be a client so why allow someone else to look after them.

Enhancing client loyalty with an Existing Customer area
Have you considered building in an “Existing Customer” area on your website, which can be accessed with a personalised login on your website, perhaps set at the top of your homepage. This would likely sit alongside the ‘usual’ headings of: About Us, Meet the Team, Mortgages, Protection, News and Contact Us buttons. Once clients are registered, imagine their delight when they log on, and they are met with a banner proclaiming “Welcome Back, how can we help you today?”.

You could have a chat function which would allow customers to type in their question and it generates an automatic response from you along the lines of ‘We will respond within a certain timescale’ to make it easy for them to open up a conversation with you. In addition to this, they should be able to find out further information about the market, insights into other areas that might appeal such as Protection, General Insurance (GI), a link to a wealth management company you use, other services you offer etc. The portal will complement your website, offering secure and personal communications and document exchange if you wanted to go that far. 

In addition, you could store their mortgage and financial statements in their personal space, providing you can provide a completely secure and protected area. You may be thinking ‘I don’t see their mortgage statements’, but here is where again you can lead and impress by building one for them. It can show their current balance, their current payments, their interest rate, term remaining, estimated equity in their property, the change since purchase. Plus, details of their Protection and GI policies etc. Compare that to the statement they receive from their bank!
Perhaps you could also monetise it if you like - you could get your Estate Agent, Letting Agents, Solicitor, and Accountant connections to advertise on it? 

Either way, you are making your existing clients feel “special and wanted”, they are in your VIP area and thus you are circling the ‘wagons’ against any competitors who may be looking to get their business - dare I say it, like the bank they have their mortgage with!  

This is not about the digital replacing the physical, this is the digital complementing and acknowledging the physical, but making the most of it at the same time. It’s clear that a website is an essential tool for advisers, what’s interesting in today’s market is what is standing between an adviser and a customer is Google! Therefore constant updating and re-aligning of your website is vital if you are to compete and be relevant for the next generation coming through with housing needs.

Here at Paradigm, we have a wealth of information in this area along with ideas and techniques as described above that can complement and enhance your digital presence from building websites to developing existing ones with innovative ideas.

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Office address: 1310 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YB
Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP is registered in England and Wales. Company No: OC323403. Registered Office: Paradigm House, Brooke Court, Lower Meadow Road, Wilmslow, SK9 3ND
Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership.