Neil Alexander launched his Your Mortgage Plus franchise in January 2021, hitting the ground running, to say the least
One of Neil Alexander’s biggest areas of success since starting in January has been with residential mortgages. Residential mortgages, sometimes known as regulated mortgages, are large long-term loans taken out by one or more individuals to buy a home to live in and are the fundamental bread and butter of any Your mortgage Plus franchisee, forming the majority of the workflow in the earlier period.
Neil has found that since the post-COVID re-introduction of the 95 per cent mortgage (any mortgage allowing for a maximum of 95 per cent of the total purchase to be covered with a loan), the market space has recovered significantly and that there has been a massive boom for demand in this space, with Neil processing approximately one first- time buyer case on average per week since the beginning of April, and has eight more in the pipeline.
In addition to residential mortgages, another one of Neil’s biggest areas of success since starting has been with his investment purchase clients, particularly those looking to grow their buy-to-let portfolios. These individuals typically own multiple investment properties, with Neil currently working with a handful of them regularly to generate business and income for himself.
Due to the stamp duty holiday, he has seen significant interest in this area of business since starting, processing six cases in the last three months alone, a significant number for any new member of the network. The majority were relatively straightforward, most with a 25 per cent deposit looking to either purchase or refinance a property that had already been purchased.
To achieve this significant success, Neil has implemented a comprehensive marketing approach, covering a wide variety of channels and trialling a mix of different strategies. In particular, he has implemented a lot of advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn and also began buying leads quite early on to supplement his business pipeline while he was getting started. This has already started to pay dividends, with new enquiries coming to Neil from previous clients who have recommended him to friends and family.
In addition to the regulated mortgages and buy-to-lets, another big area for Neil is insurance. However, in his own words, he approaches the subject by putting them “on the menu”, waiting until after all or the majority of the mortgage process has been completed so as to not overwhelm his clients with information about different financial products. This is important in any case, but especially with first-time buyers, as they need the time to understand and digest all the facets of the mortgage application process, for which their ability to do so would be significantly impacted by having two lots of information thrown at them simultaneously.
The added benefit of this though is that when the time comes to start considering insurances, Neil has the majority of the information that he needs to hand from the mortgage application process, and so can already draw up some ideas about availability and price points based on their needs, which he will also likely have a better understanding of by that stage.
Neil says: “When working with clients looking to secure mortgages or insurance packages, I enjoy the interaction and communication most of all, particularly when it comes to first-time buyers who are looking to secure their first home, as they are the ones that benefit the most from all of the support and guidance.
“In order to help people most effectively, you need to develop a trusting relationship so that they feel comfortable sharing their data with you, an essential part of the process in any application, and the development of those relationships is one of my favourite parts of the job.”
Neil, an industry veteran with 20 years of experience, says that he could have gone into the market on his own, but that without the Your Mortgage Plus training he would not have done nearly as well. He particularly praises Lee Hesketh, YMP’s regulated network support manager, and Steve Buckley, the training and compliance manager, for their continual support, saying: “[He] had faith in them to support and guide him where needed.”
Speaking about the quality of the training, he says: “The platform is there, they give you the tools, it’s up to you to put them to use.”
Summarising that the major factors in his success were primarily working hard to get the job done with good results for all involved, and being as readily available as possible to help his clients whenever they needed his support and guidance.