It is important if you are a finance broker to be aware of changes in the industry and the way you may now have to operate to stay competitive and ahead of the game. 2022 will bring lots of changes, many due to the pandemic and Brexit as well as others due to lots of emerging technologies, changes in compliancy rules and the different ways in which we now relate and communicate with others with an increased focus on taking care of ourselves.
Deciding which areas to prioritise can be difficult so we hope that by listing the 5 areas that we think are important, it will help you to step up to a new level in 2022 and become more effective in your career as a finance broker whilst making sure you stay fit and healthy.
5 things finance brokers should prioritise:
- Client relationships
- Self Care
The industry that finance brokers have been operating in for a long time is changing the way it operates. Paper based documents are becoming a thing of the past and many processes now rely almost exclusively on the new technologies that are around today.
The digital age has also transformed the way finance brokers operate and there are many positives to this. The benefits of automation reduce costs and improve efficiency making all those mundane tasks a thing of the past. All those time-consuming calculations and the endless searching for appropriate financial packages for clients can now be performed much more efficiently with the use of the many tools on offer. These can free up lots of your time allowing you to concentrate on the more customer focused aspects of your role improving relationships and efficiency.
Big data is changing the playing field with its ability to analyse the patterns and trends of financial industries, providing the broker who understands these technologies a huge opportunity to use their skills to analyse information extracted from large sets of data. This information can then be used to enable you to perform more effectively in your role and to greatly benefit your clients.
The last 2 years has seen almost all meetings conducted online and many of your clients may still be uncomfortable meeting face to face, so there is a need to be much more proficient in the use of technology when conducting business meetings than we ever were before.
Understanding the importance and the potential of investing in these new technologies will mean individual brokers and organisations can now stay ahead of the game, allowing them to focus on more effective ways of remaining competitive in their industry. If you can develop the flexibility to deal with these changes in the future you will become more resilient and competitive.
Compliancy rules standardise the financial industry and it is essential that these rules are followed. Compliancy ensures that everyone is operating under the same set of rules - if a finance broker deviates from them or is not even aware of them, the financial penalties could be damaging to their reputation and affect their ability to attract new business in the future.
Keeping abreast of current compliancy rules in the financial industry has to be a priority to ensure that the information presented to clients is transparent and accurate. An increasing number of businesses are operating globally and all countries have their own set of finance rules and standards. It is important as a finance broker that you are aware of these to avoid making potentially costly mistakes.
If you are trusted in the industry, you will attract more clients. If you have a good reputation for keeping up to date with compliancy rules, you will attract better and more valuable clients in the future.
3. Client Relationships
The pandemic has changed the way we all conduct relationships with clients and with the addition of Brexit, finance brokers may find that their new and existing clients require a lot more help to understand and to work their way through the many financial issues that have been created as a result of these changes.
Moving forward into 2022, you may find it is highly unlikely that the approach you used with your clients pre pandemic is going to work. Each client is likely to have differing needs and many may find the thought of returning to face to face meetings fills them with anxiety, whilst others may be desperate to see you in person. Developing some emotional intelligence will be important to help you to work with others more effectively and with empathy, so you will have an awareness of the issues they are facing. This will help your clients feel valued and heard.
Your communication skills will need to develop to encompass changes in the technology that you may now be using as what works in a face to face meeting doesn’t often carry over in a virtual setting. You will almost certainly need to have the conversation with regard to how future meetings will take place - some will be happy to continue with virtual meetings and some may want a combination of the two. Ultimately, it is important to be considerate to your clients and their needs.
A finance broker’s world is one of change and this is a great thing. If you can develop the mindset that enables you to embrace change in order to be flexible, it will benefit you and your clients hugely. If you can commit to ongoing professional development in order to stay on top of changes in the financial and technological field, you can strive to always be at least one step ahead of your competitors and to have a more rewarding and successful career.
Alongside the pressures of all this change comes increased levels of stress and managing this has become even more important than ever before. Increased pressure from stressed clients and from firms that expect you to work long hours with a focus on achievement, money and status, can make it hard to avoid getting sucked in... the result is your health can suffer and working too hard for too long risks a serious burn out. To avoid tipping into a life of unmanageable stress, it is very important to acknowledge the value of self care and a good work life balance so make sure you prioritise sleep, relaxation and time away from your career where you can.