The phrase ‘We don’t know what we don’t know’ — which appears to have emanated from former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote about ‘known knowns’ and ‘known unknowns’ — has come to represent a feeling that, even with all the ‘information’ we are continually fed by various channels, there is often a knowledge void. And what makes it worse is that we know that void exists.
In the world of mortgages, many borrowers are probably aware that better rates than theirs may exist, but they do not know what, or where, they are.
Now, I hear the broker audience exclaiming that those borrowers should employ an adviser; and they would be absolutely right.
However, let’s move this issue further back. How did the borrower in question obtain their current mortgage? Did they go direct? Are they even aware advisers exist? Did they go to their bank or building society and now simply assume they received whole-of-market advice?
One of the biggest ‘unknown unknowns’ is around the entire conveyancing process. If we can barely keep clients interested in their mortgage, and in regularly reviewing it, what chance do we have when it comes to a process they go through only when they purchase and would probably like to never experience again?
Relieving the pressure
This is, of course, where the mortgage adviser can take off the pressure, recommending the best conveyancer for their client’s needs — one that should, at the very least, work on their behalf, representing their interests and ensuring the process is not just all about the lender.
Too often, clients are left to their own devices when it comes to their conveyancing. Relying on friends or family, to recommend potentially unsuitable and poorly resourced firms not committed to conveyancing, will only add to the stress and cause significant delay.
Advisers who do not advise on conveyancing are not just missing a trick but leaving their clients in the lurch. The latter will come to know that sooner rather than later, with the consequences for the adviser-client relationship not likely to be positive.
Harpal Singh is managing director of Broker Conveyancing