The Rise Self-Employed Mortgage Advisor Roles: A hot new trend?

We have made more self employed advisor placements in the first 4 months this year, than we have in ANY other full years as a business.

Alex Holland – Director

As a recruitment agency specialising in the mortgage sector, we have witnessed a weird shift in the industry: self-employed mortgage advisor roles are becoming so popular! This trend is transforming how mortgage advisors work, offering flexibility and autonomy that appeals to many professionals. In this blog, we discuss the reasons behind this shift, share our recent experiences, (as oracles of recruitment, of course) and provide insights for aspiring self-employed mortgage advisors…

Why are Self-Employed Roles sooo Appealing Right Now!?

As of February 2024, there were around 4.26 million self-employed people in the UK, a figure growing by almost 64,000 year-on-year. Self-employed mortgage advising roles offer a range of benefits that are attractive to both experienced and budding advisors in the field:

  • Flexibility: Self-employed advisors enjoy the freedom to set their own schedules and work remotely. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you work 10am-2pm every day, it does mean you can be completely flexible around your priorities (maybe you take a client call on a Thursday evening but you’re able to do every school run). 
  • Autonomy: Self-employed advisors can shape their own careers, choosing their clients and the mortgage products they recommend. This independence can lead to a more fulfilling and balanced career path. 
  • Earning Potential: While self-employment can mean bigger financial risk, it also provides opportunities for higher earnings. Advisors can set their own rates and directly benefit from their hard work and expertise. We’ve got clients that pay up to 90% splits (not to mention they’re Directly Authorised/DA, so no network fees to worry about).
  • Diverse Client Base: Being self-employed allows advisors to work with a broader range of clients, catering to different needs and preferences. Standard brokerages don’t offer specialist finance and you’ll have to refer your clients elsewhere, whereas if you have the knowledge yourself you can do development/commercial/bridging/equity release and significantly boost your earnings (loan sizes are much higher for some of these so brokers can earn a lot more). This diversity can make the job more engaging and rewarding – make it your own!

The Stats – Everyone Loves a Graph, eh?

According to the findings, 52% of company employees experienced burnout in 2023, compared to 37% of self employed workers or those who freelance.


Since the pandemic, 470,000 people have left the workforce on ill-health grounds, while many more continue to work despite struggling with long-term health problems. In total, 2.5m people are not currently in employment due to ‘work-limiting conditions’.

According to a 2023 survey by Champion Health, an employee wellbeing platform, 60% of UK workers are currently living with anxiety. However, only 10% are seeking or receiving mental health support.


Research by Fiverr also shows that the self-employed are less likely to experience career regret compared to staff. 51% of company employees surveyed want to change jobs in 2024, compared to just 38% of freelancers and self-employed workers surveyed.

In our opinion…

One of the reasons for an increase of self employed placements, in our opinion, is that the employed market isn’t actually as secure as what people thought. There were unfortunately a lot of redundancies, not just through COVID, but through the tough year for property in 2023. Companies must keep in mind the overheads and with employed advisors, it’s often a larger overhead for the company. 

Our Recent Experience

In recent months, we’ve seen a surge in demand for self-employed mortgage advisors. Many professionals are looking to transition from traditional employment to self-employment, while clients actively seek out self-employed advisors due to the flexible approach they offer.

Here are some observations from our recent work in this area:

  • Increased Interest: There’s been a noticeable uptick in the number of professionals exploring self-employment as a viable career option – as we said at the beginning of the newsletter, we have made more self employed advisor placements in the first 4 months this year, than in any other full years as a business! This is CRAZY! But why is this…? We reckon it’s the market stabilising. Companies who survived the turmoil of 2023 are now more confident with their growth plans and can offer more attractive set-ups – namely; retainers, higher splits, and remote working.
  • Wide Range of Opportunities: Self employed roles come in all shapes and sizes, and you tend to find that there will be a couple of roles that will suit each type of advisor, in terms of experience, specialism, requirements etc.. You can get full support from retainer, to admin, to leads, so that it isn’t actually far off an employed position. For example: take your client bank and grow its size and value for higher splits, or get leads provided to develop if you’re not self-sufficient yet. It’s easy to stagnate in an employed role, whereas SE roles, while riskier on paper, offer higher reward and faster progress in the long term.
  • Positive Feedback: Both advisors and clients seem pleased with the self-employed model. Advisors appreciate the autonomy and potential for higher earnings, while clients enjoy a more tailored, personalised service.

How to become a self-employed mortgage advisor?

To become a self-employed mortgage adviser, you need to obtain certain certifications that can cost between £500 and £600. The certification process typically takes around six to twelve months to complete, according to Counting Up, an electronic bank for small businesses.

Achieving these certifications is a legal requirement and failing to do so can lead to significant issues with clients. If you are self-employed, you should also secure special insurance for your own protection and that of your clients and business.

The two main certifications are:

  1. Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMap) offered by The London Institute of Banking & Finance.
  2. Certificate in Mortgage Advice provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Challenges and Considerations

While self-employment can be appealing, it comes with its own set of challenges that aspiring advisors should be aware of:

  • Financial Stability: Self-employed advisors must manage their own finances, including budgeting for lean periods, handling taxes as well as other expenses.
  • Regulation and Compliance: Operating as a self-employed advisor means staying up to date with industry regulations and ensuring compliance with all legal requirements.
  • Marketing and Client Acquisition: Building a client base requires effort and skill in marketing and networking. Self-employed advisors need to be proactive in seeking out new clients and promoting their services. Choosing how to market your business/skills to attract a desired client is vital; do you want to be jargon-free and approachable like Habito or attract HNW/overseas clients like Enness Global?
  • Well-being and Work-Life Balance: The freedom of self-employment comes with the responsibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance and take care of your mental and physical health. Finding balance is key to sustaining your workflow when self-employed, and employed for that matter!

We ARE NOT Bashing Employed Roles!

DISCLAIMER: this newsletter hasn’t been written to discredit the option of an employed role, if you’re in a situation of deciding between the two. We still love both – (but shh, don’t tell either one of them!)

Here’s the low-down: Employed roles are mostly office based, you tend to be more ‘part of a team’ working together, and no matter what you are getting that monthly salary. You get more structure, and some perks such as insurance, a good pension, amongst other benefits.

We’re just hoping to get advisors to consider self employed roles, and not just rule them out as soon as they see the words – ‘SELF-EMPLOYED’.

Tips for Success

For those considering a self-employed mortgage advisor role, here are a few tips to help you thrive:

  • Plan Ahead: Develop a solid business plan, including a budget and strategy for acquiring clients. This will help you stay focused and organised.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with industry trends and regulations to ensure you’re providing the best possible service to your clients.
  • Leverage Your Network: Networking is key to building a client base and growing your business. Make connections with other professionals in the industry and maintain relationships with past clients.
  • Invest in Yourself: Continuous professional development is essential for staying competitive in the industry. Consider taking courses or certifications to enhance your skills and knowledge.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out to other self-employed advisors or join professional groups for support and advice.
  • Balance Work and Life: While self-employment offers flexibility, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Self-employed mortgage advisor roles offer significant opportunities for professionals in the industry. Our experience as a recruitment agency has shown that this trend is gaining momentum, with both advisors and clients benefiting from the flexibility and balance that self-employment provides.

If you’re considering making the switch to self-employment or exploring new opportunities in the mortgage industry, take the leap with careful planning and dedication. With the right approach, you can thrive as a self-employed mortgage advisor!

Stay tuned for more updates and insights on from us recruiters here at Placing Faces! Let us know how we can support you. Please subscribe if you enjoyed this month’s newsletter!

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career or expand your team, connect with us! Feel free to contact us for any advice or assistance.

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