If you’d like to build a career helping people secure homes or making long-term decisions, you could become a mortgage advisor. But if you also want the freedom to decide your hours or earnings, you can also be self-employed.
To start to find work, prepare yourself with the appropriate first steps to take. With all of the knowledge to help you plan, you’ll be able to put yourself in the best position to begin.
This guide discusses how to become a self-employed mortgage advisor, which includes:
- Skills and qualifications
Each step for how to become a self-employed mortgage advisor
Skills and qualifications
The first stage of how to become a self-employed mortgage advisor is to ensure you have the relevant qualities to help people. That means you’ll need to develop skills and gain the right qualifications.
There are a few critical skills that you need to consider to make sure that mortgage advice is something that suits you.
- Communication — you’ll need to maintain relationships with your clients and be able to explain to them complex information.
- Determination –– can be a challenge that includes chasing lenders and answering calls from clients outside normal hours in emergencies.
- Numeracy — an essential part of your role will be making calculations and quickly explaining financial information to your clients.
There are two options for the essential qualifications you need to have, which can take six to twelve months. Both are also likely to cost between £500 and £600.
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMap) — The London Institute of Banking & Finance
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice — Chartered Insurance Institute
These are the industry-standard qualifications, and if you don’t have either, you may face legal action from clients. It’s essential that you can offer the best possible service, so make sure you’re qualified.
It’s essential to take out the relevant insurance cover for your role to prepare yourself against legal trouble. There are two in particular which are most likely to be helpful for you.
Professional indemnity insurance
Advice is the leading service you’ll offer, and it means that your clients put their trust in what you suggest. That can mean they spend lots of money which they could lose if something doesn’t work out.
When a client loses funds from your advice, they could take you to court to seek financial compensation. Without professional indemnity insurance, you would be alone to pay for the court fees and payment.
The cover also helps with client disputes, like if they refuse to pay your fees. Professional indemnity insurance is available from Countingup’s partner provider, Superscript, for £7.58 a month.
Public liability insurance
Another cover likely to be relevant is public liability insurance. You will need to speak to your clients, often meeting with them face-to-face.
Suppose a public member has injuries or there’s damage to private property due to your business. For example, someone trips on a wire in your office. In that case, you could face court fees or compensation.
With this cover, you’ll get support to help you with the costs of legal action. Superscript offers public liability insurance from £5 a month.
Another vital part of how to become a self-employed mortgage advisor is the decision of what you’ll charge for services. That can mean that you research competing businesses in your area and look at their prices.
You might decide to price yourself slightly lower than your competition so you can become more attractive to new customers. That helps you get into the market, and you can raise your prices over time as you gain credibility.
With those fees for your services, it’s also crucial to understand how to invoice your clients. When you invoice, you make it clear what you did so that your clients know what they owe you.
Invoices are also great to keep, so you can use them to settle any legal disputes over client payments.
Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software. Its invoice on the go feature means you can create, send and store them on your phone.
If you’re qualified, insured and ready to charge for your service, then it’s time to find clients. There are a few helpful ways that you begin to market your services.
A professional website can help your clients learn about your services, and it can offer contact information. When it comes to financial advice, clients must trust you so you can put some of your personality into your site.
There are plenty of site builders available to use, with the most popular being:
With a site to direct clients to, you still need to reach them. The best way to get in front of many people is through social media platforms.
As a professional service, you might find that LinkedIn could be a great place to find other businesses. Which is something that you could focus on to help local companies get mortgages.
But if you want to reach out to local people who want to buy new homes, another option could be Facebook. It’s full of groups and pages that are often specific to your area where you can post your services.
Consider the costs of becoming a self-employed mortgage advisor
As mentioned, there are a few costs that you are likely to need to consider. Those could be upfront like for qualification courses or ongoing like insurance payments.
So it would help if you managed these alongside the rates that you charge your clients to become a business that makes a profit. The more you earn over time, the greater you can invest in marketing to find new clients.
Focus on your client’s finances by sorting your own with Countingup
You’ll spend a lot of time helping your clients make the most of their money and take out suitable mortgages. So you shouldn’t need to worry about mismanaging your own.
Countingup is an excellent solution as a business account with built-in accounting software. Its expense categorisation feature can automatically sort your costs conveniently, with HMRC approved labels.