As most people who know me will say, I am glass half full person, who will always find the best in every situation. I admit that the current issues looked daunting, particularly as the lockdown took effect, but my natural optimism has not taken long to reassert itself.
When there are elements which are outside one’s personal control, I believe that you can only work with what you can control and in our case as advisers it is how we can recover our businesses and improve our strategies in order to assist us to remain in business. I am delighted that so many adviser firms share the same philosophy in the way they have adapted their working practices, and their customer focus on the services they can offer which are most beneficial to customers at this time.
At HLP, technology adoption has been a core strategic goal for a number of years now. The delivery of a seamless process from initial data capture at a CRM level either face to face, telephone or on-line, to mortgage/protection sourcing, processing and finally completion followed by regular reviews is now almost complete with some of the most advanced technology now available to our members.
While writing this, at the lender level, the speed with which mortgage products are reappearing has surprised us all. Lenders and funders have worked hard to overcome issues surrounding physical valuation with the advances in the use of AVMs, but with the lockdown easing and valuers now able to make house calls (albeit while observing current social distancing rules) supply is increasing and I have no doubt that demand will also increase exponentially, as we are already witnessing in London.
However, there have been wider issues for all of us in the wider intermediary market. COVID-19 has forced us to re-evaluate the balance between new business acquisition and the value of our existing client banks. In a normal market, it is still too easy to forget to maintain a relationship with customers and the potential new business they represent in respect of protection solutions and other needs.
This crisis has demonstrated that advisers are in the best position to provide personal support to those who are struggling with their payment options in the face of the COVID crisis or need to refinance. There has never been a better time for advisers to reinforce their customer relationships.