Describe your business in a few sentences
We are a family business providing mortgage and insurance advice to clients across the UK. Our office is located in Leek, a beautiful town in the Peak District in Staffordshire.
I am the Mortgage Broker and have worked with my husband and business partner for years, Tom.
We have now introduced the next generation to GRN Financial Services – our 18 year old son Filip has joined the family business and is supporting us as an administrator while training to become a broker.
We want to help keep city centers sustainable by working well with other businesses
What led you to become a broker?
When I bought my first property, I had neither the knowledge nor the experience. Like everyone else, I made mistakes, which caused me unnecessary stress.
It became apparent that a little knowledge could be a dangerous thing and trying to undertake such tasks without professional help could be difficult. So I did my research and became interested in the sector.
A few years later, I joined the financial services industry, offering insurance advice. My understanding of the home buying process grew, so I decided to train as a mortgage broker to provide my clients with a holistic service, removing their stress wherever possible.
What plans do you have for the future of your business?
We have a growth strategy and a solid business plan. Our goal is to grow organically and continue to expand the reach of our services.
We can help bring customers a lot of joy. It must be emphasized to attract enthusiastic and customer-oriented professionals
Buying a property has recently become even more complex and difficult. I would like to offer specialized advice with brokers focused on the particular needs of the market.
We love our home town of Leek and are right behind the ‘totally local’ ethos that is being built in the town. GRN has a downtown office and we want to help support the viability of downtowns by working well with other businesses.
We’ve embraced digital technology, but we also want to support people who like to come into an office for a face-to-face meeting. This is important as we see many traditional banks pulling out of city centers.
Brokers may be under tremendous pressure as our business literally changes lives
It is necessary to provide a “walk-in” service to offer financial advice. My dream is to be the most popular broker in the region and to grow our business in clear and steady steps.
What is the one thing lenders could do to make brokers’ lives the most better?
It is a constantly evolving company with new products regularly being made available.
Such innovation is fantastic and rightly aimed at improving customer service, but there is a planning problem for brokers: some lenders do not give enough notice when updating mortgage products.
My dream is to be the most popular broker in the region and to grow our business in clear and steady steps.
Introducing products on very short notice creates a lot of stress and technical issues.
We all work so hard to get the best deals for customers, and lenders changing things up with enough notice would really make our lives easier. Although many lenders send emails quite early, there is significant room for improvement.
What advice do you have for a broker just starting out?
Mentoring is vital. Work with an experienced broker who will guide you and provide feedback and support. Many industry support groups are also available and anyone new to the industry can find help.
I want to offer specialized advice with brokers focused on the particular needs of the market
Everyone, whether new or more experienced, must undertake continuous improvement. At GRN, we are always on the lookout for education, training and development. It is essential to keep abreast of the changing criteria of lenders.
Attend webinars, meet regularly with lenders, and do all you can to build your knowledge and confidence.
How can the industry encourage a new wave of brokers?
By providing support and mentoring, not only with professional expertise, but also in terms of work/life balance and stress management. Brokers can be under tremendous pressure as our business literally changes lives.
Our goal is to grow organically and continue to expand the reach of our services
The advantage is that it is a fabulous sector because we can contribute to giving a lot of pleasure to customers. This must be emphasized to attract enthusiastic and customer-oriented professionals.
If you would like your business to be featured in Broker Focus, please email Mortgage strategy reporter Becky Bellamy at: [email protected]