Work life balance: a day in the life of a mortgage adviser

Work life balance: a day in the life of a mortgage adviser

The role of a mortgage adviser is actually much wider than the title might suggest. They do a lot more than just specialise in finding lenders.

From insurance (think buildings, landlords and contents cover) to protection (life insurance, anyone?), mortgage advisers are with you from the beginning of your mortgage application until long after your completion date.

With October 12th to 16th marking National Work Life Week – 7 days dedicated to talking about wellbeing at work and the work-life balance – we thought we’d find out how our resident mortgage adviser and mum of two, Jo Jingree, juggles the two.

Organising yourself

Jo’s day starts at around 6.30am when she gets up and practices some yoga.

“It’s calming and helps me wake up slowly,” Jo says. “I have a routine that I do but sometimes I’ll watch a YouTube video from the likes of Yoga with Adriene to help me find my flow.”

After some stolen minutes of relaxation, it’s time to wake her two children, Oscar and Freya, to get them ready for school. They’re fed, watered and out the door by 8.30am and Jo’s normally back home by 9am to start her working day.

“Sometimes my husband Sacha will take them to school,” Jo says. “We try to be as equal and fair in everything we do. If he walks them to school, I’ll start working earlier.

“I always begin the day with a planning exercise, working out what needs to be done in order of priority. I’ll also work through my inbox and reply to anything urgent.”

Jo splits her morning between new client calls (she offers a free 30-minute consultation), video calls with current clients (to talk through any queries and the next steps) and admin tasks.

Liaising with lenders

“These admin tasks normally involve dealing with mortgage applications, applying for mortgages and liaising with lenders,” Jo tells us.

“Whilst the phone calls, are normally an introductory chat, where I get to know the client and they get to know me and I talk about what is possible.

“Already today, I’ve had a video call with a previous client who wants to re-mortgage and buy another property.

“I’d actually say talking to my clients is the best part of my job!” Jo says. “I really enjoy that aspect of the role because that’s how I get to know them and help them achieve their goals.

Making dreams become a reality

“Buying a house is such a big thing. It’s life changing and for some people they never know if it’s a dream that could even become a reality.

“For many, buying a house is the ultimate goal in life. So, helping people with that is such a positive thing.

“For example, over the weekend, one of my clients went to view a shared ownership property but didn’t think she would have enough deposit to buy it.   I did some research and just this morning I found out that I can get her a mortgage.

“She’s so happy. It’s just such a nice feeling to help someone in that situation.”

Lunch time break

But, in the midst of mortgage applications and insurance quotes, does Jo get time for lunch?

“I always make time for a quick break – even if it’s 10 minutes to eat something and then get back to work,” Jo says.

“My partner and I both work from home and we have developed this routine where we take it in turns to make lunch which is quite nice. It’s really beneficial to take a break. I’m not very good if I don’t eat for long periods of time!”

After lunch, Jo spends a chunk of time completing continuous professional development (CPD) workshops.

CPD is a requirement of the Financial Conduct Authority (the body that governs those who work in the finance sector). Advisers must complete a certain number of hours each year to keep their mortgage adviser status.

Jo says: “A lot of the insurance providers and lenders do webinars so we can keep up to date with what is happening in the world of mortgages and beyond.

“I do those fairly regularly.

“The mortgage world has changed a lot in the last six to seven months so it’s invaluable to keep up to date with the latest news.

“My most recent workshop was Specialist Lending in the Current Climate. It covered things like how we can help people with adverse credit (those with negative payment information on their Credit Report), unusual incomes and portfolio landlords.”

Book club and boxsets

Jo’s day doesn’t normally end until around 6pm. But how does such a busy person chill out after they’ve downed tools?

“We watch box sets!” Jo says. “We’re currently addicted to This Is Us. It’s epic. We’re on season 4 but I think there’s something like 20 episodes in a season.

“And when we’re not watching box sets, I’m reading. I actually run a book club which has now gone virtual, due to the current circumstances. So that keeps me busy!”.

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