What Do Mortgage Consultants Do?
When it comes to buying property, the majority of people will need to take out a mortgage, and whether they are going to a bank, building society or mortgage broker, they are likely to deal with a mortgage consultant, or mortgage adviser, at some point during the process.
Mortgage consultants are expected to work with (and on behalf of) customers, in order to help them with their mortgage application. But what responsibilities and tasks fall within their job description?
Essentially, mortgage consultants exist to help people or businesses to find the right mortgage. It is a role which involves working with customers to identify the best option, based on their individual circumstances and financial resources. However, in addition, the job involves dealing with lenders, estate agents and valuers.
“My [working] day was normally split between speaking with clients, sourcing mortgages and doing analysis to see which was the most cost-effective or appropriate for the client, preparing application forms and speaking with lenders,” said James Cameron, a former mortgage consultant for St. James’s Place Partnership.
A mortgage adviser has to make sure clients understand the different types of mortgage available, and may need to explain about things like repayments, before helping them with the actual application process itself. In most cases, there will be sales targets to meet and related products to sell. Moreover, a key part of the role is staying up to date with the latest mortgage products and any changes to legislation.
The main factor in deciding how mortgage consultant jobs can differ from one another is the employer. For example, a consultant working for a bank will usually only sell that bank’s mortgage products, whereas a consultant working for a mortgage broker would most likely be able to offer clients a greater range of mortgages, from various companies. In both cases, the majority of work would be office based, usually working from 9am to 5pm.
Yet, many mortgage consultants operate on a self-employed basis and these are usually known as independent mortgage advisers. They may work in an office, from home, or travel to meet clients and would generally be able to offer products from the whole market, meaning all (or the vast majority) of mortgage providers are included.
Generally, self-employed mortgage consultants will already have considerable experience in the field. Working as an independent adviser requires a greater emphasis on personally sourcing clients and although it has the capacity to pay considerably more, it does not necessarily provide a consistent income and working hours can be longer.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential to work as a mortgage consultant. The role often requires the explanation of complicated financial information, which must be conveyed in a clear and simple way, while speech must be tailored effectively when switching between speaking to customers and colleagues.
Although academic qualifications are not especially important, the ability to learn and retain information quickly is vital. Trainee mortgage consultants will need to be willing to take an industry-recognised qualification, such as the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP), and will usually need to have strong numeracy and IT skills.
Finally, due to the customer-facing nature of the job, good customer service skills are important. This includes things like a positive attitude, the ability to solve problems and positive body language, as well as the ability to handle confidential information, so previous experience in a customer service role is extremely advantageous.
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