An East Anglian mortgage broker has experienced a record year, having arranged over £100 million of mortgage business in 2020 and seeing a 100 per cent increase in the number of mortgage applications handled since March last year.
Bungay-based Boon Brokers has been receiving six times more enquiries each day since the start of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. Clients are also coming from further afield. From 99 per cent of clients being based in Norfolk and Suffolk in 2019, nine out of 10 of the company’s clients now live elsewhere in the UK.
The boom in business has also led to the team growing from three people to seven, with further recruitment planned. Over the last year, the company has recruited four new members of staff. Joshua Lillie, Dominic Lyne and Lucinda Robinson joined the team as fully CeMAP qualified mortgage and protection advisers, whilst Hannah Liggins has joined the team as administrator.
The company formed 18 years ago, with the aim of offering a fee free, high quality and independent service. Yet 20 per cent of the total mortgage cases ever handled by the firm took place in the last year. The company has heavily invested in new technology, including a new website, to improve customer service and to enable the team to work remotely as needed.
During the first lockdown Boon Brokers launched new online client profiles – the first brokerage in Norfolk or Suffolk to offer the service with so much in terms of features and functionality. The bespoke profiles keep clients updated at every stage of the application with updates via text and e-mail, freeing up brokers’ time to facilitate the process. The company has also launched a number of free guides on its website to help customers better understand mortgages and mortgage applications, after research revealed homeowners often weren’t clear on the details.
Gerard Boon, founder and partner at Boon Brokers, said: “It has obviously been a year unlike any other, but it is always a positive to be able to help people save money by getting a better mortgage deal, or to enable them to buy their dream home. The increase in client enquiries has been staggering. Many clients are from London because London mortgage brokers typically charge one per cent of the loan sum as a client fee – often many thousands of pounds. As we offer the same quality of service for free, it makes sense for many of those clients to switch to us. As the pandemic has clearly demonstrated, everything can be done remotely now!
“Although the stamp duty savings have undoubtedly driven many property purchases, actually for us its effects haven’t been as profound as you might expect. The majority of our cases have been first time buyers under the stamp duty threshold or re-mortgages. Now that 95 per cent loan to value mortgages are becoming available again, including through a new government scheme, we should see another boost in demand, which I cannot see falling during 2021. As confidence in the economy grows from, hopefully, successful vaccinations and reduced lockdown measures, we expect the housing market to continue to thrive. We’re delighted to have welcomed four fantastic new starters to our team and we have plans to recruit more brokers to help us manage the workload – hopefully another three before the end of the year.”
Boon Brokers is an independent mortgage, insurance and equity release brokerage. It does not charge client fees for mortgage or insurance advice or product arrangement and is directly authorised by the FCA to enable whole of market access.