How much do you know about your clients’ renovation plans? Did you know that last year alone, more than 480,000 domestic planning applications were submitted for approval across the length and breadth of the UK? That doesn’t take into account permitted development which could account for twice as many. When you factor in the availability of funds the MNW and HNW sectors account for much of this.

According to a recent report by mortgage site Money, UK’s homeowners have spent £55 billion on renovations since lockdown restrictions began in March - an average of £4,035.70 per household. That doesn’t include the commercial sector and office refurbishments which we know have also seen significant levels of renovation activity this year. How many of those could be your clients, would you know? 

UK estate agents Jackson-Stops reported that over 80 percent of British buyers would be prepared to buy a home in need of major works; it’s likely that many of your current private clients would feel the same too. 

You may not be delivering your client’s cover requirements accurately and could be missing out on an opportunity to boost brokerage by not gaining the proper insight and fully covering potential renovation works.

Be your clients’ renovation adviser before someone else is!

We know from talking to brokers in our dedicated CPD training sessions that many private client brokers deal poorly with building works situations. This is most often driven by a skills gap within client handling teams; either failing to spot opportunities or feeling ill equipped to deal with works enquiries when they do arise. Clients engage a broker to protect their interests, and so it’s crucial to build a full picture of that client’s situation and wider insurance needs. 

Ask yourself – 

  1. How many of your private clients could be looking to undertake a significant renovation?
  2. Would they know specific works insurance is required?
  3. Would they come to you for advice, or do they consider it outside your skillset?

I’ve always been a firm believer in building and maintaining broker-client relationships through effective and honest communication techniques. Unless you tell clients they need to communicate their plans, build insurance to protect them and that you understand how to do that it is unlikely you’ll benefit from the explosion in works cases.  

Most brokers tell us they nearly always talk to clients who are due for renewal, rather than just email or send a letter.  That’s a golden opportunity to ask about works, talk about their future plans, display some knowledge and let them know you can deal with the project insurance properly.

We can help you identify potential lost brokerage 

If works insurance isn’t an area you’ve got experience in, we know that asking these questions could feel daunting. That’s why we show you how to put together the perfect insurance package in our dedicated series of CPD training.  CPD sessions provide the valuable skills and support needed to become more confident when advising your clients on works meaning you don’t miss out on income and they don’t remain uninsured. Now’s the time to learn, offer better quality service, build solid client relationships and look forward to a more profitable 2021. 

Our CPD Covers:

  • How to use JCT Contracts
  • Property and Works Risks Analysis
  • Controlling Liability Risks
  • Party Wall Act Exposures
  • The Psychology of Renovation Sales

Renovation projects can generate substantial revenues for brokers and their business. If it’s an area that you overlook, are unclear on, or perceive to be hampered by difficulties, we can help. Find out more about our CPD training series here

Douglas Brown is Managing Director of Renovation Underwriting, the UK’s leader in property renovation insurance cover.

Categories: Blog

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