Savvy mortgage advisers who have multiplied their client base by harnessing the power of TikTok are now urging other brokers to do the same, as Aamina Zafar reports
Qualified brokers who juggle their day job with creating entertaining yet informative videos on social media platform TikTok are now sharing their top tips to help others replicate their success.
Trailblazers in this field include mortgage brokers Michael Isherwood, Ewa Brzeska and Saira Haider who have all attracted more than one million views on their most popular videos.
They specialise in creating informal videos that cut through confusing jargon and use layman’s terms to explain a range of topics including credit score checks, buy-to-lets, and how to apply for a mortgage.
Mr Isherwood – who has a following of more than 115,000 on his TikTok account PFS Mortgages – says he now gets around 100 enquires a week from the platform and is urging others to try their luck.
Mr Isherwood, who is a mortgage broker at Blackpool-based Progress FS, says the key to his success is making regular online content.
He adds: “My advice to any other brokers wanting to use TikTok would be to just give it a go but remain consistent with a minimum of one video a day. Just be yourself and don’t worry too much about the quality of the video – just make sure the content provides value.”
TikTok’s mortgage stars are able to capitalise on their popularity by adding their firm’s contact details to their profiles so that they can convert requests from followers into actual sales for their business.
This has had a positive effect on their firms and success stories include Ms Haider, who now completes 60 cases each month compared to the 20 cases she used to complete before making TikTok videos months ago. She has also hired nine extra staff members to keep up with demand from her online fol-lowers, which includes filtering upto 100 new enquires a day.
Ms Brzeska, who has 91,000 followers on her TikTok account That Mortgage Queen, receives around 100 enquires from the platform a week, while TikTok mortgage star Kylie-Ann Gatecliffe gets between 200 to 300 enquires a month to her Selby-based business Kag Financial.
As such, Ms Gatecliffe, who has 18,000 followers on her TikTok profile Kag Financial Mortgages, says it is important to have a good back-office to cope with the increase in demand from the platform.
These videos are popular because they help to address genuine concerns the general public have but maybe too shy to ask a professional in an office environment. It also helps others to see real life exam-ples of clients we have helped because many of my followers can relate to their scenarios and this of-ten inspires them to take their first steps towards financial freedom
But what does it actually take to attract lots of viewers on social media? According to Ms Brzeska the secret to her success is being authentic.
The mortgage and protection adviser at Carlisle-based Truly Independent, says: “My main tip for other advisers is to be yourself and show that you are approachable as this helps to build trust with the au-dience.”
As a result of this, most successful brokers on TikTok film themselves in informal settings to create the idea that they are their viewer’s friend. Some simply don causal clothes, while others film themselves doing household chores while talking about the advice profession.
Ms Gatecliffe adds: “Clients like the fact we come across as normal everyday people like them – we aim to be as approachable and on their level.”
But dressing informally doesn’t mean TikTok stars can be sloppy with strict financial compliance rules.
That is why mortgage stars adhere to strict rules on financial promotion by either ensuring compliance wording is pinned on their TikTok pages and by making sure they do not give direct advice on their vid-eos.
This is partially important after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned investment firms earlier this year to get legal advice before promoting their products on social media.
Popular mortgage brokers on social media tend to be the ones that utilise the interactive nature of app, which allows followers to leave questions in the comments section of their videos. These comments are then used by the brokers to create new videos addressing the issues raised.
Ms Haider, who has 98,000 followers on TikTok account Mansion Broker, is adept at this and says mak-ing videos that answer questions from real people often gets thousands of views within hours because it involves a topic her followers are genuinely interested in.
In fact, Ms Haider’s most viewed video was creating using a viewer’s comment on how she affords to drive a Ferrari. This video now has a whopping 1.2m views.
She says: “I am very busy and initially I was worried how I’d have the time to plan and record lots of videos on TikTok day in, day out. But the reality is that a lot of my videos involve me answering the questions that get posted on my videos.
“These videos are popular because they help to address genuine concerns the general public have but maybe too shy to ask a professional in an office environment. It also helps others to see real life exam-ples of clients we have helped because many of my followers can relate to their scenarios and this of-ten inspires them to take their first steps towards financial freedom.
“I have recently found that as users are not recognised officially in any capacity they feel free to ask questions around legal obligations like declaring your rents,” she says.
There is clearly a huge untapped market for mortgage tips on TikTok as the platform is accessed by more than 1.4bn people who are also facing the pressures of purchasing property in a highly competi-tive and increasingly unaffordable market.
Hashtags such as #property and #realestateinvesting have garnered more than 1.6bn views from peo-ple wanting to seek information on how to get onto the property ladder or make a real estate invest-ment.
As brokers use social media to attract more clients, mortgage guru Robert Sinclair insists standards must not slip.
The chief executive at Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says: “It is important to make videos that are compliant with the rules. It is important that the Advertising Standards Authority and FCA con-tinue to monitor and take action against people straying into area of advice where they do not hold the correct permissions.”