The Mortgage Minefield – What Consumers Really Want

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

With over 6,000 different mortgages on offer it is little surprise that homebuyers are confused. Yet few product providers manage to get their message across effectively. Maureen Duffy analyses the problems.
The findings from a major research project by the Newspaper Marketing Agency on mortgage advertising in national newspapers show the need to move from the status quo where ads are seen as complicated, dull and uniform to a new advertising model which understands consumers’ mindsets and builds engagement and trust through relevant and accessible communications.
How the mortgage marketplace feels to consumers For consumers, finding the right mortgage is difficult and described by many as a minefield. Those recently involved in the process describe the stress involved as feeling fraught and drained and devoid of pleasure – emotions only alleviated once they’ve got the keys to their property. All in all, it’s a highly charged and emotionally-led time.
This minefield exists because the mortgage marketplace looks and feels complicated. Getting a mortgage is no longer about putting on a suit and visiting your bank manager. It’s much more about DIY financial advising, working the options out for yourself. Many find it either too difficult or too dull to take on, hugely time consuming and – with a growing lack of trust in providers – frustrating in that there is little reward for loyalty. All of these negative emotions are in stark contrast to the sense of excitement and achievement in actually getting a house.
Faced with a bewildering array of complex products and an enormous amount of information and data to process, consumers admit that although they do their best to decipher the market, they don’t feel entirely qualified to do so. Feelings range from stress to fear to despondency and with the stakes set so high, this is one decision which fully engages a range of emotions. As one respondent put it, “it’s supposed to be about money but it’s not. It’s feelings, it’s your lifestyle, your expectations.”
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