How to combat broker burnout and focus on gaining clients

by Mike Wood12 May 2021

This is a boom time for those of us in the mortgage industry, but with good times comes the ever-looming threat of broker burnout. Broking can be a stressful job at the best of times, and while business is good and we are all busy, that can have a strain on mental health and stress levels. As you assist your clients at such critical junctures in their lives, so it is inevitable that you will feel some of their stress too. Here are a few ways in which you can adapt to stave off the threat of burnout.

Setting limits on your phone time

This should be a no brainer, and go further than just your job. Studies upon studies have shown that, as smartphone technology has improved, so the ‘always on’ mentality has spread throughout the business community. Brokers are no different. Having your phone on all the time, and having permanent availability to clients can lead to never really stopping working, never relaxing and consequently, allowing stress to mount to unmanageable levels.

There are easy ways around this. Firstly, simply putting your phone down at a certain time each night is a good place to start: studies show that having a period without screen time at least thirty minutes before you go to sleep drastically improves rest, and therefore stress levels. Secondly, having a mentality that you are always available to clients will, obviously, make them think that you are always available: don’t be afraid to draw boundaries and make time for yourself.

Building a solid client base

The goal as a mortgage broker is to help clients into their dream homes, but also to keep them there. That trail book is vital. That means that having a good client base, with diverse needs and loan types, can insulate you against broker burnout by giving a more reliable stream of income.

Long term success ultimately derives from two things: solid client relationships built over time and reputation. If you nurture your clients, they will stick with you and, crucially recommend your services to their mates.

Stress relief benefits

Work life balance is everything, right? Avoiding broker burnout is a vital part of balancing life and work, and that means investing in your clients and yourself. If that means taking time out to come back refreshed, then do it. If it means drawing boundaries between yourself and your clients, then do that too.

Don’t see time spent on yourself, even if it is just time sat on the couch at home doing nothing, as time wasted. In avoiding stress, anything that relaxes you and leaves you feeling refreshed is a positive, as it allows you to devote your energies better in the future. 

Set hours that work for you and clients

Working hours are always an issue in the broking community. We work long hours because our clients need us to fit around their lives, and we know that they can easily switch elsewhere if those aren’t being met. Clients, however, have jobs of their own and know that what you are doing is your job, so don’t be afraid to tell them about your commitments and working hours. If they think you are available around the clock, then they will at like you are.

Cutting down on phone time is vital, and setting established times at which your clients know that you are beyond reach is a good way to let them know that you have a life too. Make sure that they know that you turn your emails off at 5pm on a Friday and don’t look at them until Monday morning if that means that you will get your weekends to yourself to rest, relax and get ready for the week ahead.

Join a broker network

Brokers know brokers better than anyone else. That’s why joining a broker network is vital to maintaining a manageable stress level. Being able to talk to your peers, share experiences and best practice, and know that others have the same stresses that you do is essential to keeping on top of your work.

It helps you maintain clients, too. If you are working as a mortgage broker and your client needs a personal loan, then having contacts in that world can help you get a great deal for your client while bolstering your own reputation with them as a trusted financial adviser. After all, broking is all about knowledge and information.

Maintaining contact with clients who enjoyed your services

Keeping clients on side is vital to ongoing success in broking, so keeping in touch with them after their loan is secured is essential to building business. It’s much easier to keep a client that you already have than to find a new one, so nurture your trail book and make sure that, if they need financial services, yours is the first name that they think of.

That works on both sides of the ledger: it’s great for repeat business, but also means that you have that stream of income that you can depend on long-term. They are your best marketers too: a happy client with a good ongoing relationship with their broker if likely to tell their friends about you, helping you to keep a steady stream of new business coming.

Using online tools to assist with your workload

Broker burnout is managed by your own actions and by your willingness to adapt. As tech moves forwards, there are new products released constantly that can assist reducing your stress through automation, online document signing, faster turnaround times and more. When you work as long hours as brokers do, this can make all the difference.

The good news is that mortgage brokers are better than most at adapting. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, brokers were much faster than the big banks at changing their processes and as a result, market share to brokers rose to near-record levels at the end of 2020. If you need to take time away to educate yourself, or if your broker network is hosting training sessions, then it makes all the sense in the world to invest that time in yourself and your business, as well as your own mental health.