How to Become a Mortgage Adviser
Guest contributor Molly works in financial professional service recruitment; she explains the role of a mortgage adviser, and the skills and experience that could enhance your prospects if you’re considering following this path.
Mortgage advisers help people fund a major life purchase, a home. It’s a career that naturally comes with responsibility. As advisers, they are required to offer sound advice on the best mortgage deals to people or companies, whilst protecting their client’s financial interests. It’s work that requires being comfortable with both numbers and people.
If you are considering a career as a mortgage adviser, we’ve put together some helpful information on what the job entails, together with the qualifications and skills you’ll need.
What the job typically involves
- Explaining to your clients their mortgage options, including features, benefits, pros and cons.
- Offering your client cost-effective mortgages that are suited to their financial circumstances, and helping them work out how much they should borrow. If you work for a bank or building society, you would be selling their products, but if you work for an estate agent or broker, you could offer mortgages from a wider range of lenders.
- Going through with clients their financial and repayments options.
- Assisting your clients in completing the mortgage application forms and guiding them through the whole process.
- Analysing and keeping up-to-date with mortgage market trends and law. You have to understand and follow strict rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which protect customers and ensure they are given the right financial advice.
- Dealing with other professionals like solicitors and conveyancers, estate agents, valuers and mortgage providers to help seal the deal.
What qualifications do you need?
A degree isn’t essential to become a mortgage adviser. However, achieving an industry-recognised qualification, such as CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice & Practice) will improve your prospects,
CeMAP is the primary qualification course taken by aspiring mortgage advisers. You can choose to enrol on the self-study route, studying using books and online materials, or alternatively with a course trainer who will be on hand to help you to learn tricky subjects. If you’re employed, consider asking your employer for support. The process will require at least 200 hours of studying.
It is also worth getting appropriate work experience in customer services or financial services. You could start your career as:
- An intern or apprentice
- Insurance technician
- Mortgage administrator
- Customer service adviser
Professional & personal skills needed
Develop your personal interaction skills
Buying a home can be stressful and your role will involve helping and reassuring customers, so good communication skills are essential, for example:
- Knowing how to communicate while listening to their concerns
- Presenting an honest and trustworthy personality
- Turning complex ideas into terms customers will clearly understand
- Providing excellent customer service
Be confident and assertive
The workplace is an excellent environment to develop assertiveness. Practise making eye contact and being confident around people. If you’re working in a job that involves interacting with clients or other people, you may have already mastered this ability. People who display confidence in their work can convince and reassure clients more easily.
Attention to detail
You can train yourself in these skills, for example by organising your personal or work calendar, make lists to prioritise and allocate time to tasks, or offer to proofread a colleague’s report; this type of work enables you to develop an eye for detail. Being meticulous can help you avoid any hidden errors or unfavourable terms in the contracts.
Resilience & determination
You will be required to meet sales targets, so you need to be self-motivated and able to pick yourself up when things aren’t going so well. (On the upside, if you are successful, you can generally earn good commission on top of your basic salary).
Numeracy & IT skills
An aptitude for Maths is important, as you will need to explain mortgage calculations to customers. Good IT skills will enable you to work quickly and efficiently. Being knowledgeable in legal and financial matters can help you give valuable advice to your clients.
As a mortgage adviser, you’ll meet new challenges with every client and mortgage deal. Aside from passing exams like CeMAP, you may need to develop your interpersonal skills to succeed in this career, as you will be dealing with people every day. A career as a mortgage adviser can be a particularly rewarding path to follow. After all, playing a part in helping people to get the house of their dreams and sharing in their joy, is an uplifting experience.
Molly is an administrator for Stellar Select, an industry leader in financial professional service recruitment. They would be happy to help you find out more about career opportunities in the mortgage and financial services sector.
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Make sure you are well-prepared before you start applying for jobs, to give yourself the best possible chance. Read our tips on how to write a standout CV and how to tailor your application, to convince the employer that you’re a perfect fit for the job!