It has been an extraordinary year for mortgage advisers with the property market shut down in March, only to be followed by a bounce back that surpassed the expectations of most.
The post-lockdown surge in demand coupled with the stamp duty holiday announced in July has meant many brokers have seen record levels of activity in recent months.
With this in mind, Mortgages Solutions asked brokers whether they had managed to take a summer holiday this year.
Only just over one in ten said they had managed a getaway as normal, with half reporting that Covid restrictions had disrupted plans.
Around 15 per cent of brokers had a shorter holiday than normal, but one in 10 said they were just too busy to take time off, a further one in 10 said they didn’t want or need a break.
Not worried about burnout
James Chisnall, director at City Finance Brokers, decided against a holiday this year. Instead his wife and children took a break in England at weekends.
He is currently working 12-14 hours days to stay on top of demand and said he decided it was better to “make hay while the sun shines” rather than take time off.
Chisnall told Mortgage Solutions: “As a self-employed broker, I work while I can… that’s my philosophy.
“If the market ever slows down, I will take a break,” he added.
Taking time out now would mean that it would be stressful and take a long time trying to catch up, Chisnall explained.
But he’s not worried about ‘burning out’.
“I’m absolutely loving it – it’s a good problem to have. A worse problem is not having deals. More business means more income,” he said.
Holiday paid off
However, Sarah Tucker, managing director at the Mortgage Mum, said she wanted the summer holidays to “feel like a holiday”.
After months of jugging childcare and work, she told staff to make time for family during August – if they wanted to – so they could come back refreshed in September.
Tucker said: “I encouraged staff to do something – I wanted them to look back and feel like they had a good summer.”
She opted to take her children to the beach many days until the afternoon, and then would work in the evening.
Tucker said the approach “paid off” with the company having had its best month in September.
Paul Donoghue chief executive at Concept Financial Services was one of the brokers who managed to get away for a break in the UK – but it wasn’t the planned summer holiday abroad.
He said he found it harder to relax being in the UK, which made him “feel like I’m more available”.
When he was away, Donoghue was still working every morning for around three hours – this was down to being less able to switch off from work.
The Covid-19 crisis has blurred some of the lines between work and home life, he said.
Everyone has got used to remote working and “there is a less pressured working environment,” however, people are “more available”.