The benefits of supporting brokers to a very high level, helping advisers to take the first step into self-employment – and membership of Mensa
As head of the self-employed division at Just Mortgages, can you tell us a little about the benefits of joining the company?
We give brokers the autonomy to run their own business while still providing a level of help and support usually seen only by employed people.
We pay very high commission, up to 85 per cent of banked income, but the biggest benefit is the high level of support we provide. All of our sales directors are hugely experienced and never work with more than 40 brokers at the same time. This means they have the time to dedicate themselves to supporting the brokers in whatever ways they most need, helping them to establish and run their business.
The success of this model for brokers has meant that, from launch last March to now, we have expanded to 38 self-employed brokers with another 21 waiting to join.
What’s the difference between a self-employed broker and a DA?
It is the level of support a broker receives. Most of those joining us come from employed roles so it’s a massive step to run their own business. We help them through this transition and spend a lot of time with them making plans. We look after their compliance, marketing and supervision too.
If you are a DA, it’s all down to you, often with little or no support, which can be very challenging and time consuming.
What has been the biggest challenge of your role to date?
There’s nothing that I would describe as a big challenge. The support from my colleagues in the other Just Mortgages divisions has made the setting-up of the self-employed division very easy – alongside a lot of hard work from my sales directors, of course.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Meeting mortgage advisers looking to take the first step into self-employment. It’s great to help them realise their own potential.
What plans are in place for business growth at Just Mortgages this year?
All parts of the business are on a massive expansion plan. We aim to double our broker headcount with the self-employed division taking the bulk of growth. We have no restrictions on the number of brokers we can take on. Very exciting times for all involved.
What is your hope for the market overall in the next 12 months?
As ever, I would like a consistent and stable market. But the announcement of a general election on 8 June may rock things a little.
If Theresa May wins by a good margin, she can go into Brexit negotiations much stronger, which may be beneficial not only for our market but for the economy as a whole.
If you had not chosen this career path, what else would you have liked to do?
I originally wanted to be a journalist.
Who is your all-time hero, and why?
Alexander the Great. You can’t conquer two-thirds of the known world with a small band of soldiers without inspiring great leadership.
Do you have any secret talents?
I am a member of Mensa and play snooker very badly, but do either of those count?
What do you do in your spare time?
Read books of all genres, visit the cinema and enjoy fine dining.
What is the best advice you have received?
My ‘mentor’, Ken Matthews (my manager when I joined Countrywide in 1997), used to say: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”
I have always found it to be true!
If you were chancellor for a day, what would be your priorities?
Our whole tax and welfare system needs to be started again from scratch, with the philosophy that people should pay for what they use and the country should live within its means. Not sure I could achieve that in a day, though.