Research from Mortgage Strategy’s first broker census has found that eight out of 10 brokers don’t buy leads.
Some 296 brokers responded to the survey and out of those only 17% stated they bought leads. Of those that did buy leads, the majority bought 10 leads per month.
Fahim Antoniades, group director at Mortgage Centre IFA, says leads are a luxury that many brokers have cast aside in the credit crunch.
He adds: “The lack of brokers using leads is a reflection of the fact that many are just trying to subsist. There are not as many who are willing to take a punt on leads when they are trying to cut costs. The fact that they are cutting back calls into question the value of leads.”
But a spokeswoman for Leadbay questions the survey figures and says its broker registrations have grown in recent months.
She adds: “It is hard to say that 80% of the market don’t buy leads when no-one knows how many brokers there are.
“But if it is true it’s fantastic news because there are many more brokers who could be using them. Buying leads is far more targeted than, say, an advertisement because brokers can pick someone they can actually help.”
The survey also reveals that 64% of brokers charge a fee, with 64% of them charging between £200 and £499. Only 3% reported fees of less than £100, with 9% of brokers charging between £700 and £1,000.
Robert Sinclair, director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says: “There is a positive element to brokers charging fees as it shows a growing consensus that broker advice has value.
“It is good to see advisers having the confidence to charge fees and consumers paying.”
Antoniades adds: “It looks like there are more brokers than ever charging fees. But it comes as no surprise as many are trying to survive and fees are necessary.”
Almost a quarter – 23.3% – of brokers surveyed are doing less than one mortgage a week, with 10% doing only one a month. And just 5% do more than six a week with a third doing two a week.
The report also reveals half of brokers are unable to find a mortgage for up to three clients a month, with 15% admitting that they were unable to find a deal for as many as eight to 12 clients.
A whopping 96% of brokers offer protection to customers.