How to remain the go-to experts for first time buyers

February 2023
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First time buyers have to absorb huge amounts of information when looking for their first mortgage, from navigating the house purchasing process to learning how a mortgage works. Furthermore, new buyers now face a more complex and volatile market than ever, with UK house price to earnings peaking at 7x the average buyer household income, during the first quarter of 20221. The solution has often been to turn to mortgage brokers as a source of extensive knowledge. But now a new generation of tech-savvy first time borrowers are coming to the market who are used to finding information and buying most of what they need online. So how can brokers ensure they remain front of mind with this cohort of digitally focused first time buyers?

Be social

First time buyers are potential future clients for decades, so brokers need to do everything they can to raise awareness about how they can help these customers.


This latest generation of first time buyers is one that has grown up with smartphones and social media, so getting the message out about your expertise through the channels that younger buyers use every day is key. So, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, brokers should make the most of social media to educate younger audiences about the homebuying process and raise awareness of their market knowledge. Doing so can help to position brokers as go-to experts when these new buyers start planning their first house purchase.


Sharing the right type of content will be key to building engagement though. Short, snappy videos tackling one key issue can be a great way to provide simple tips to audiences and ultimately start to build a following.



Be the expert they need

With interest rates changing very quickly at the moment, first time buyers can easily feel overwhelmed. Knowing the issues that matter to them – and being in tune with the latest solutions to these challenges – can help to position brokers as trusted problem-solvers.


Being able to afford the costs of stepping onto the housing ladder is still a big issue for first time buyers, and with house prices continuing to outpace earnings growth it will only become a bigger problem.


The good news is that brokers are in the best possible position to help. Their ability to maintain a complete overview of the market, including product innovations set to launch to specifically help first time buyers, means brokers can always provide the best possible solution for their clients when the search for a mortgage begins.  


Understanding the hurdles young buyers face also means recognising the less obvious costs that come with the homebuying process. Coventry for intermediaries’ First Time Buyer Economy research shows the extent to which these costs impact this demographic, with things like mortgage fees, renovation and moving costs all adding up to much more than anticipated. Brokers can add further value to their first time buyer clients by making them aware of these ahead of time, ensuring they are best prepared for the journey to home ownership.


At the same time, brokers will need to engage with new trends too. As the climate crisis continues to rise up the news agenda, it’s clear that this issue is becoming increasingly important for consumers. Young people are increasingly vocal about environmental issues, with the majority (52%) of those aged 16-24 more worried about climate change than concerns related to the fallout from COVID-19 (37%)2, which could continue to be a concern as they reach the time of purchasing their first home.


Whether it’s the desire for a green product or a need for a specific new build option, brokers are in the perfect position to acknowledge and support these priorities and building up their knowledge of alternatives on the market will stand them in good stead.


Be there for the future

As with any other client, the job of building a successful relationship with a first time buyer doesn’t stop after the transaction is complete. Brokers have already done the hard part, but even if a broker has gone above and beyond to help a client, it’s important not to assume a buyer will remember this when they need their next mortgage.


The future presents plenty of opportunities for brokers to support their clients in the years ahead, from remortgaging to future home moves. The key is to be proactive and to reach out to customers well before their fixed rate mortgage reaches maturity.


In some ways, the current generation of digitally focused first time buyers can seem like a difficult market to crack, but the better brokers understand this demographic, from how they prepare for their first step on the ladder to how they like to be communicated with, the better they can serve them both now and in the future.


As noted by Coventry for intermediaries’ First Time Buyer research, if brokers can adapt to new channels of communication and continue to provide expert, tailored advice to buyers, they’ll remain central to the mortgage journey for this new cohort of potential clients.




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