last updated 5 April 2022

How Will Fintech Impact Your Mortgage Business in 2022 and Beyond?

If you're a financial adviser or a mortgage broker, have you ever wondered what fintech has to do with your mortgage business?

During one of the live sessions that I run from time to time in my private Facebook group, I interviewed Matthew McAllister of Mortgage Propeller.

Matt and I talked about fintech - what is it, how is it changing the way mortgages are sold, and what impact it will have on your mortgage brokerage over the next few years.

Matt also shared his tips on how mortgage brokers can prepare for these changes and talked about what long-term planning you can start doing to ensure you have a proper exit strategy ready for when the time comes to retire or sell your business.

Here are some of the things you will learn from this video:

  • How an unusual credit card purchase brought Matt into the mortgage industry 

  • What is fintech

  • What are the challenges fintech presents for mortgage brokers

  • How fintech can help in generating more mortgage leads

  • Tips for creating more effective online forms

  • How to secure a good exit from your mortgage business

A full transcript of the video appears below.

Full Transcript

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's Facebook live here in the marketing and lead generation for mortgage brokers group. My name is David Miles and my mission is to help mortgage brokers and financial advisors like you to generate your predictable flow of leads from your website so that you don't have to buy them from lead generation companies or stress about where your next client is coming from. 

I’m joined today by a special guest. His name is Matthew McAllister. He is from a company called Mortgage Propeller. We're gonna be talking probably about all sorts of things, but extensively, we're gonna be talking about FinTech. What FinTech is and how gonna impact your businesses and the mortgage industry at large over the coming years. Matt, welcome to the group. Great to have you with us.

Hi David, it's great to be here. Thanks for having us in the group and all the brokers there, listening or watching it. It's great to get to be family talking to the right people.

Now, I have to kick off this. I've seen a few things written about you, directly or indirectly, one of the ways you got into the mortgage industry was because you ended up buying a house on a credit card. Then, I'm gonna have to start by asking about that before we get into the whole FinTech thing. What was that about?

Yeah, everybody makes that now. That is where all of this started. You have to go back to 2000. We had the credit crunch and the world just fell apart, if some of you may remember. For a living, I was a derivatives trader, like one of the guys in the stripy jackets, although we all did it at computers. Northern Ireland's house prices, had gone up insane through the noise. It collapsed and just kept collapsing. 

As someone who looks at asset classes and trades, they like, well, how low can a high school have worth something? I had lost a lot of money around that time as well. Then, I didn't have any money, but high prices just kept falling apart. What I did have was a large credit card promotional offer. I started to Google to find out, okay, what is a high school for? What's it worth? Then there was all online houses and whatnot when they're practice, give it away from an auction. Then, I was like, okay, I'll buy this house with the credit cards and I'll do a money transfer across by.

These are the days, I remember this credit, you have chequebooks with the credit card and you'd have credit card checks. You could write a check and it would go straight on your credit card.

Pretty much that.  Then, I had a few of them over time. I was like, okay, I can afford to buy the house. The house was on and an auction of £32,000. It looked brand new. It was brand new. It was one of those brand new bills. Unfortunately, the builder, whoever went under soon, I was like, okay, I'll buy this and then I'll get a mortgage. Then, I bought the house. It was £42,000. Then I went to get the mortgage after. That's when I got a, I know I’m making in that, if you max out your credit card and also if there are no products available because of the credit cards, you might be a little bit difficult. 

I was in a lot of difficulties. Fast forward 18 months, the promotional offer had ended and I still haven't got a mortgage. I had gone through every broker, every lender, my bank, I could not get out of it.

Then slowly but surely I managed to squeeze out after paying massively ruined me. Although, what I did see was the process at that time. It was atrocious. Probably thinking back a lot of us doing what was happening in the world at the time. But I got the mortgage and I worked. I was like, okay, there are things you don't do with a credit card. I've learned that. 

I did it a few more times, which I haven't told people. I did it seven more times. Since Northern, probably when I studied it, one of the fastest house prices crashes in the history. Then, there was a massive supply and nobody was buying them. What I would do was use the credit cards to front it, fix them up, and then I would remortgage and do it that way.

But what led to more was that my wife and I went for a mortgage, not a bit more civilized way a couple of years later. It was the same process. At that time, I was working in FinTech and I couldn't believe that it's the same chasing after an advisor, trying to get paperwork, signing GDPR, things like that. This just cannot be the way I see all this innovation that's happening. That's what sort of set me on the journey, but it all started with a credit card. Had I been able to get that mortgage very easily? If I hadn't been stupid enough to use the credit card in the first place, we wouldn't be talking here today, but look, things happen for

Yeah, exactly. There’s something good that falls out of all these things eventually, doesn't it?

Didn't seem like that at the time.

Well, no. It takes a while to see it. So, Ian in chat said he used to live in Belfast, wished bought back then, 2002. Yeah. well see, should have got your credit card out, Ian.

Then, you mentioned FinTech. Then the fact you were working at FinTech, I suppose we should deal with the obvious question. First of all, because some people watching might not hear the word, but not being quite sure, what is FinTech?

Fintech is some free, smart ask and financial times, or some were decided to put up there. Now it seems through tech and the end of everything. Prop-tech was the one,  the other one legal tech and all this stuff. It's just, they're using technology in the finance space. It's not fancy, it sounds good. Sounds good to somebody, isn't anything, but it's nonsense.

I was talking to a professor at Queen's University and he asked me the same question. That's what I said. It's just a term and things are happening in the FinTech world. Happening for the last 10 years that are disrupting payments particularly. There was the PSD which led to an opening bank. Things are going on there, just starting to enter the mortgage space.

Then of course with the pandemic, people are taking it a closer look, but you and have a look at America and what's happening in the morning space around FinTech. Big things are happening there for quite a while. It's just a freeze and doesn't have to be anything fancier than that. I said I wanna talk to that professor Henry Ford, who came up with the assembly line to make the cost of cars cheaper and his data probably would've been called car tech. Do you know what I mean? It's just a freeze

Yeah. So I suppose really, well, it goes back, I guess, as when the back system's invented, but just didn't have a fancy name back then.

Yeah, maybe.

Obviously as someone relatively new to the mortgage industry and by the sound of it, you sort of got involved with it because you saw it here as an industry that, needs to be fixed in some way, or has the potential to be improved. What do you make? I mean, how long have you been in the mortgage? Is it about 18 months?

I started looking at this, it was 2018. I watched my wife getting upset cause we kept being asked for one more thing and one more document, tracking over the line. I was like that this just has to be a better way. Then, I just started looking around that time and immediately I went to America to see what they were doing. I typed down the mortgage online. 

There must be a way, a few this online just has to be America which has a way, nap or something. There are all loads of things going on over there that they're not even being suggested over here. I looked at Australia and it didn't get us hurt as bad as the credit crunch. I knew that cause I was working at a FinTech company at the time and we were pitching to some of the banks and they didn't get hurt.

They didn't squeeze. The credit cards, they had their capitals, weren't there as much pressure. Then, that sort of led me to look around and I saw things happening in Australia. If everybody's bored in the working industry, have a look to see what's happening over there. 

There's a company called  Josh. It's a startup that hasn't done much, but it's a very innovative idea. There's another one called Le Dauphin. They just move and merged. There's a very strong one called Hatching. That's been going on for about eight or nine years. I started looking. I was like, that's fine.

I went on to the biggest mortgage intermediary, I suppose. They're also a lender as well, but in America. It's Quicken loans and they created a company called rocket mortgage in 2016. Now is by far the largest ranger of mortgages to 110 billion a year. I went onto their site 2018 and I went on. I did their online fact find, and it was just a thing of beauty when you're in the tech world or if you're in product design. It's all about user experience. I went and did this and it was just poetry.

What sort of thing would do differently about because obviously, online that have been happening here at that time. What were they doing there that was slicker?

It's was everything like when you open. Think back to the first time you ever opened an iPad or the iPhone and you get it. You open the box and there's something about how it's packaged and how it's done. That's what it was like when you went on there. Seen the online fact friends here and they're all terrible pretty much. Some of the digital competitors are pretty good, but you just went, this is how it's gonna end up. Then you started to think about open banking, which you knew was coming in around that time.

I think it was September 2017 or something. They're like if they've got an online way of doing this for the borrower. What happens when the borrower can go and pull in their bank statements automatically and pull in their credit files with APIs and the verification.

Okay. You could see how a lot of them, I didn't know this at the time. I know how you could see how a lot of the pain that the broker has to go through could be greatly reduced. That was the start of it. You see what was happening over in America and Australia. 

Then, 2018 is when I started looking. 2019, I tested something in the Irish market and it was a bit of a car crash. That was it but a few random introductions like me and my co-founder Paul Dalzell, who has a firm with about a hundred advisors underneath them in different formats. He started to correct me because I'm coming and still asking silly questions that don't make sense. After all, I'm not in the industry.

I'm like, why can’t you do it with that? He is like, no, look, the brokers are kings. They provide a personal service. That's much and they have all the clients, but it's the stuff behind the scenes that makes the legacy software. The difficulty of lead generation is where the next yourself comes in. 

They say that's the real problem. If that ever got away, the brokers will be able to do much more business. The better brokers would rise to the top and a better quality of service would be given. Then, I suppose 2018 is when I started coming into. January 2020 is when the company was incorporated. January 2021 is when we launched a pilot. I suppose I'm not about three and a half years in some form number.

I mean, it's interesting about one of the advantages of being you is I suppose you see things differently and you ask questions like that. I suppose one of two things happens to other people. Someone says, “Oh no, that's just a stupid question because you are bored. You don't understand it.” But I guess, for every 10 questions you ask, there's probably one in 10 you ask where everyone goes, “Oh, well actually we do it like that. We just always have done.” Sometimes it takes someone with a fresh pair of eyes from outside to yes, to uncover the thing that there isn't a good reason for it. It's just become a habit or whatever.

That happens. Then we ended up getting investment from the industry. We raised were probably about half a million now, mostly from the industry investors. Users and people have got their mortgage firms. People of the periphery of the mortgage industry. Then, I've got great access to them and I'd be like, well, why did that happen? That happens a lot. 

Brandon, who's a CTO, he's come from a completely different background. Before we did the mortgage, I was in a Betfair. He’s in line with the gaming world. A gambling company. I was in there and I ran, I was the commercial manager. All online, engagement and things like that. There are things you would see there. It's very similar because some of your listeners here might know about the issues that happen with Google ads there and the financial promotions. You have to bid, it's the same in the gambling world.

Because I was rest in the world. There's no gambling license and say Brazil. Google ads on what you do ads. How do you generate your leads? There’s a whole different strategy around that, which is not done in the mortgage world. Even though you've got these monstrous players, like the mortgage advice and bureau prime. I'm going why? Then they were like, it's just not done. 

When I would make suggestions to Paul, it's like, surely. He used to be on the board of surely you should do this here. He would say something that, what you're talking about is the moon to this industry. It's not how it's done. I will be like, well, let's do it. Not that hard. Can we knock something together to show some advisors to see if this would be the right way to go about that approach? 

Maybe something with compliance, which is like we do with an advisor. They're like, yeah, that would be a great help, particularly mortgage room. There's lots of that. It's a great help. Also a bit of a hindrance for me. And that's why I call a co-founder, which is fantastic. That I'm trying to find the answer to something that doesn't make sense. Then I lean on the investors to guide me here.

I mean, it strikes me as a problem. It does need to be solved cause the two things, and you sort of touched on this just now, but two things I always hear brokers complaining about are not getting enough leads, paperwork, admin and compliance. I never hear them complain about the fact that they've got to talk to clients or they've got to help a client find the right mortgage or achieve whatever, goals or ambition they've got, that mortgage will facilitate. I guess what you're saying is Fintech if used correctly could take away a lot of that back-office headache that frankly, none of the brokers wants to be involved with and doesn't enjoy. Doesn't help the client process either. Because all of that just slows things down to the client, doesn't it?

Yeah. I suppose maybe this might be a good way to think about it here. Something we are thinking. There's venture capital through all this money into Fintech. I know our investors never felt stressed about that company, but that's, they haven't got it right. The conversion, help and the hold hands. But I bet you, those companies are very efficient back-office wise.

 

I suppose I can imagine some of these companies would've done and as what I did. The first thing that we did was not build anything. We didn't do anything. We had some drawings on a screen, but what started as I would've gone to a lot of advisors and I'd like them to talk me through what happens from the very first moment I walk into this office to try. We speak together. 

You walk in like somebody's probably and then you'll phone me and then I'll scramble down a few notes or phone you back. Then I will send you an email about things and we'll arrange your meeting. They started to explain that before we can give you advice, we need to get the illustration done and show you that. Then, your documents and I would ask them, well, what happens when I walk in and if I have an email to you. I'll present you the document, which I walk over there to print and I give you. We automate that. If it's online, when they make the first engagement, we could give that to them up front and then they could, by accepting it. That would confirm to you to receive that it's done and that's a straightforward one. We can do that for every firm.

Little things, that's not a real challenge, but that's how we were looking at it. It wasn't like, why do you do that? No. You have to do that. Well, let's do that first and automate little things like that, but it's probably very hard to do that if you're a huge firm and you've been in a certain way for 15 years and anybody who's grown some of your clients might be successful. 

Be 10, 15 or 20 advisors and are trying to find more leads for those advisors. Although, it's not like a firm like that is ready to go out and spend half a million building the technology to do something. We’re kind of unique in that we can do that, but as for the pie in the sky, the AI stuff, I'm sure there'll be a place at some point in the future, but it doesn't look like it's any time soon. I don't think time, we speak to borrowers, doesn't look like anybody wants that when it's such a personal thing that the advisors do.

Yeah. When you talk about AI, you talk about the kind of artificial intelligence that, would replace the broker and would find the right. Then taking the kind of the robot advisor concept to the next level.

Yes. Well, there isn't in America. There's a bunch of these firms have to go, not at the advice, but at the interpreting of the documents that you give them. I know I did a call with one of them whose name escape me now, but they said they claim when they raise money for this. They claim that, mostly for the American market, but if you were to show them your bank statements, it's the same in America.

AI software will read them for you and then give you a response on the viability of this client. There's a little bit of that going on banking with the aggregation of just a bunch of little things like that. But I don't see anyone getting away with the advice that doesn't look like it's getting cut anytime soon until there's a personal mortgage based on something which I hear. I don't believe that meant that I believe that could have at some point. Who knows how far away? It’s not happening anytime soon, but the admin stuff and compliance stuff that has to be tech to hack at that. I think that's where Fintech will come in. 

I guess this is some people's fear of technology, not just in this industry, but in lots of other industries, that it will replace the people. I suppose what the message I'm getting from what you're saying is Fintech is about keeping the people. Keeping the brokers, but making their lives easier. Making the clients like they're just making everything more efficient, but it's not gonna replace that personal service, which let's face it. If people don't want the personal service, there are already ways to replace that. You can walk into your bank where you're not gonna get particularly personal service or you can go onto a comparison site. But for those people who can't do that or who want that personal service, I think there's always gonna be that requirement, isn't there?

Yeah, I suppose. If something, well, particularly first time buyers. I think everybody who's watching us knows that it's not happening time soon for them. It's not too many, very sophisticated first-time buyers and remortgage. There are Mojo mortgages that have got a great site and they were just acquired by the companies behind what they call it, money.co.uk. We have a lot of traffic and they, in the financial time article, the guy talks about the remortgage would probably be the first to go to a lot more straightforward process. Particularly if there was an internal switch rather than a weighing mortgage and so they might transfer.

Yes, product transfers. 

That might be the one where a personal service drops a little bit. It's not the did as much. Maybe that would be the first one to do one in a few years.

I think even with something as simple as a product transfer though. Because of the amount of money at stake,  both in terms of the actual total debt and the monthly payment stuff, even with a product transfer, there's gonna be people I think who value that reassurance that it's the right thing to do. Because one thing, if I suppose you've got your mortgage with Halifax and they write to you and say, “Well, Mr Miles, you're coming to the end of your two-year fix and this is the rate we can offer you.” Yes. Some people will just wanna accept that, but others will want to have a second opinion if is this the best thing, should I be switching lenders or I'd be going for the three years rather than the two years.

When I think that might be the first one to be challenged, I'm talking about only a couple of per cent of the market. Let's say there's 400,000, remortgages come up, but you've got money.co.uk that's got 7 million visitors per month. Maybe they'll get to the point where they'll take 10,000 of them in five years. It's not inconceivable. Not a small amount, but the big picture for the people listening. It's like a long way to go before they wanna take anybody's dinner yet. But if something was to go, that might be the first.

Yeah. That makes sense. We used to talk there about some of the sorts of things around automating the processes and things about around the initial disclosure documents and stuff. Since a lot of people watching this will be sole traders. One person bands whatever. Is this the kind of thing that is accessible to mortgage brokers? Do you think it gonna rely on their networks getting on board with this first all and then that filtering down to them? Also, is that where the stumbling block is, you think?

Well, that's where pitch. That's why everybody should take my telephone number and email address and be in touch with me towards the end of the year. For self-employed and employees that are in firms where if they're doing well, don't leave. If you were thinking further down the line, what could change the firms in the networks? They should be thinking that way. I do know from some conversations that I've had on one big firm that did have come to us and suggested that we come under them as an AR for their funding needs and would be a longer play with them. I think that a lot of this tech will be there and that's why we had to sort of change our strategy.

I don't think that it's going to be very exclusive. I think if you fast forward, let's go for six years, I think there will be suppliers that will provide to all the networks and all the firms. I don't know what their business model will be. I think the tech will get commoditized with some of the things that I'm talking about that we can do. I think not that idea for us, but it's inevitable.

That's what happens and more people will get to use that. But what should happen then is the efficiency goes up of advisors. Then those that would love have been able to do 30 mortgages in a month that are currently doing 15. If they've got a good source of lead generation, then they're building their network out, they'll get to 30.

Then if they're doing 30 and they were doing that means there's 15 more just to go to other people. Maybe that's somebody locally on the street that was dependent on a high street branch or retail. I'd be very surprised if there's not fast forward 10 years and there's a third fewer mortgage advisors in the industry. 

I think that should probably provide anxiety if I was there for a lot of advisors especially when you take the likes of money buying Mojo mortgages. Then seven many people traffic. If there's in any way of some straight through starting to happen. If the efficiency processes are in there, which I'm sure they are for firms like Mojo and money.co.uk. They are gonna increase their market share.

Then there's gonna be fewer advisors. Then as more of the Gen Z move online, well, Gen Z is online, but as they decide are suddenly be able to afford a mortgage. I haven't for them yet, but once they're available to afford mortgages, they'll just be so expected to be able to do this online. That is those that haven't got the deep client bank for the referrals. That's, where's a bit of struggle. That's where I think the challenges lie in the future, be a lot of equipment in the last six months in the last year from the big firms. 

Although, I don't think there's gonna be sustainability. There only is a billion or 10 million and a half mortgages a year, especially in a really good year. This fast forward five years in the of raise, maybe there's 700,000. There won't be the same amount of brokers to get around because the good brokers will be a bit more efficient. Then that's it. If I'm right about that, that's probably a little bit concerning for some people it could be wrong, but I think there's be more and more players entering the field online. If you take a little bit of to come from somewhere else.

Yeah, well it's concerning depending on which side of that you end up on as a broker, whether you are one of the ones who become more efficient and does twice as many mortgages or whether you are the one who therefore doesn't have as many clients because they've gone to those more efficient brokers. 

Then, there's one other point and it's something you mentioned that we might talk about here. I don't know if everybody reads what's happening in the industry to the much, the extent that I do. You'll notice that private equity started the entered space. And some of the big firms' primes, I mentioned one where they got 200 million more to acquire other firms. Two other ones off the top of my mind are like that. 

What you will also see improving the efficiency is if they are consolidated buying the one, two, three, four or five round bands and bringing them together, and they do provide such sort of processes that increase the efficiency. Those people longer their umbrella should become more efficient. They should take more market share as well. It's exciting for the likes of us where we. as an investment and starting to grow. 

But it's probably very good for a lot of people that are thinking about their exit down the line. They've got their processes in place. Although for somebody who's maybe just entered the industry and are trying. They want to get busy with their lead generation, efficiencies, support teams and all that sort of stuff.

Yeah. You touched on exit stuff though, which I'd like to come back to actually in a minute. Since I think that's something that a lot of brokers, perhaps don't give enough thought to. A lot of business owners don't give enough thought to, but just in terms of Mortgage Propeller itself, if I understood correctly, then your goal at the moment is to be a brokerage that uses FinTech and is more efficient. But did I take it from what something you said earlier on that ultimately you planted big on that or become like a network or is that the ultimate goal?

Yeah, I think so. I, I don't like to call it network. This is probably where I am, but stupid and that, I don't know how you define a network. However, the people that help us with our fundraising and speak to, say, look, we're just a different type of mortgage firm. We use the technology to drive efficiencies and drive leads into the brokers' hands so that they can do more advice. 

That's the thing about structure, self-employed, employees and brokers. The truth is I'm not very clear, and what's the best way to do a lot of that, I know I'm looking at one firm, it's got a club. A networking club. It got a club and it's a network. It is AR and employees. I was like, let's just do the things that we can control first.

We'll figure that out all later. I'll buy to the investors about how certain things should be done with the end. But what I would say is that when I'm trying and when I'm asking silly questions, I'm like let's just pick one. Let's pick a price. How come I have never heard of the price? I've been doing mortgages for so long, how come that brand is not everywhere in social media? Everywhere on advertising, digital marketing, affiliate marketing and performance marketing, if you're American. Why is it not gonna a personality in a brand? Do we not learn enough through? Also, when I would ask people, that's not how it works. I was like, okay, so what I look back is that

Oh, real answer though, is it? That's just not how it works. That goes back to what we said about the new boy, challenging the industry, doesn't it? 

And I don't understand that. I came from Betfair online. I would look at all the competitors. We used to look at and share a voice. All these things were brand awareness and the back. Don't get me wrong. We all know what Berkeley's bank is. We all know these other people HSBC. We don't know that's such a huge space. Then you dig a little bit deeper and I was pitching to a wealth firm, us mortgages on this side. 

They're with a big network and they have about 500 million under management. I was asking questions like this. Then, I assume that you're able to search through all your mortgage clients. Find out the ones that had to say less than 80% loan. The value the children are now over 18 and they had a mortgage with 135 deposit, something like that. You can see who should talk to it well, and they are just me. No. That is the most basic thing in any other industry and any other online business for cross-selling. 

I wouldn't even class that as anything as glamorous as Fitech. That's just basic have a customer relationship management system which can tell you that kind of stuff.

Then, when I was starting to learn this here and then I'm talking to the board, I'm like, look, it seems to me that these firms that, so 75% of all firms are AR was a bigger outfit. Seems to me like this network. These bigger outfits are the problem because they've been around for like 15 years. They weren't built with front-facing and they've got their legacy software that they can't change. Because they have so much admin staff and such a pain, as for all the advisors to get sign off on a social media, onboard, do paperwork or whatever else. They have incurred such heavy costs, which they pass on to the advisor. This is me looking from the outside and going. If you are more inefficient, you could be more competitive than these big firms.

And since none of these big firms has provided leads, I was gonna say, that should be the default. I thought to provide leads to the brokers and I can kind of feel that they're the problem that needs to be challenged, but they're massive. It's pretty scary to go. We're gonna try and challenge one of those kids, but maybe we can eat into it a little bit by doing something completely different. Funding is if Google decided to go and be a mortgage network, it would eat all these people for breakfast, in my opinion. They just, nobody would be able to cope with their innovation, their speed and their technology to do this. 

Then, we're not quite anything like that, but we're trying to do a little bit step at a time on how tiny the budget is and then learn from the advisors. Right now the focus is on just the next sort of little improvement, but you could see how it could go that way. If the back and there and the supports there, now we're taking the steps to go that way. It takes a little while, but that's what we're thinking. 

Yeah. But ultimately whether it's a network or whatever structure is, the idea is that ultimately you develop this model. It'd be highly efficient, highly automated making the best use of technology. You will then one or another have that as a kind of umbrella that other brokers can work. 

Yes. We did it with a pilot mortgage. A pilot for six months. We had about we had 35 advisors from 17 firms come on and we built it. We didn't make anything out of bureau profit, but we just give it to them. We said to look and go in there. We will provide you with leads. Just give us feedback about what's good and what's bad. That's how you validate your proposition, but spend a whole bunch of money. We did it with the pilot. We know it works.

 

This was from a previous conversation we had. This was with actually the client or the prospect going on the website and essentially doing quite a lot of the fact find or they've even.

Yeah, that's exactly what it was. The advisor could use it for his plan if he wanted to. If he wanted to do the fact find for him, he could. But what happened was, people would find us through social media posts, ads or whatever, and they would make a start when they made so much progress through their fact find. 

We allowed them to choose the broker that they were going to use. Now, we only did it by region. We could have done it by language or whatever else they wanted. We just choose the region. We just did Scotland wheels, Northern Ireland and England. Then that allowed the advisor to take over with a qualified lead. Someone who genuinely wanted them. They may not have been able to get one. Maybe there were six months, a year,  two early or two months early, but it worked.

We did that and we proved, and that's what we go out to the market to look for investment now to go look. Initially, we thought this is a technology plan, but now from what I'm saying to you about the bigger firms, having all the dominance of unusual legacy, like we can go and challenge and do that. We should be able to provide a better service to these advisors, which would allow us to have retention and generate revenue. That's what we're going to do, but we've proved that it did work. It was pretty exciting to see people come into us and we're going, hold off. We can't spend so much more money to try and provide 40 advisors. With leads in the next three weeks, let's, throw up to the following month and the following month.

Since you need to do it for about six months and you've proved it. It has to be over a continuous period, but it was very interesting to see. It opened up a whole bunch of other things because of the way the technology was. You can see the response times of brokers to the clients who are in the fact find. You'd also see the time that people began seeking to know about mortgages at night. 

There's no point in having the platform. Well, we had a platform 24/7, but between the hours of 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM, then nobody is coming to the platform. Nobody looking at it. First thing in the morning, lunchtime, and even times, particularly at the weekend night as well, these little things all are the story to go. If you were running your ads, you should run them at that time. If you were going to be active a broker, you do your best and be here so that you can catch them when they come on everything that all sort of builds the picture.

Yeah. Because when you've got enough data, you can start to see the trends and the patterns. I mean, when I've been working on Google ads accounts with larger brokers that have got a lot of data going, you do start to see exactly those kinds of trends that and it's not even necessary that people, for example, you might tell people don't click on the ads between certain times. Well, they're still clicking, but they're not gonna inquire at that point because maybe they're on their mobile phone, on the bus or something or whatever. 

There are always these variables in terms of the time of day, location, device type and all those things. Then, the more data you've got, obviously the benefit of being big. Becoming a bigger organization and doing that on behalf of lots of brokers. You get that data and you can make meaningful decisions on it.

Yeah. Here is a very good example. People that are Fintech, which we know which just a term, but this is the way. There's a perfect example of where you're thinking. We made a change every week. We had a new release every single week for six months. So there's a new platform. Every six weeks, something changes. We made a change from time, but nobody came to the site. Panic stations in the office are like what are we doing here? Why is nobody coming on? We ran this technology that shows where their fingers were because it was where they went on the page.

Yeah. Heat mapping.

Heat mapping. Yeah. Sorry. I remember the banning stations going, this is it. We've raised all this money and it's not working. What did we do wrong? We changed the button. Then, when we were looking up the desktop without talking to you now, I can see all the menus, but when I was on a mobile, there was what's no one knew, the burger menu at the top right-hand corner. That's where they had to go. We had changed that, but we couldn't tell, and nobody could find the button to register and it just stopped. They're like look at that. Little things like that may at any point, so you're talking about the device. 80% of the people who went onto our platform, completed fact finds. 

Yeah. Which they will do if you make it easy enough to do. Even little things, I see many sites, that don't do this, when you're creating an online form, you can set it so that a particular field, if it's only to accept numbers, that the keyboard on the phone will change to a number only keypad, which makes it much easier to type in. Like you put a credit card number or a phone number. Many forms don't do that. You can type in a credit card number or bank account number. A tiny number, whereas they could have coded.

I was looking at a broker's site earlier this week.  I think I was critiquing it and found it. Equity release calculator on there. One of the questions was how old are you? You couldn't type the number in there directly. It has up and down hours. You had to click plus and minus, except it started on age one. I was like, how many of your potential equity release clients are, are gonna be aged one to eighteen or anything under 50?

Those things. This is how I'd be looking at that. Okay. You make a change on something like that. You can see your conversion rate goes up from we had a lot of data. We had like 55 million plan applications. Went to brokers in the six months of the pilot, but we lost. God knows how much. There was a hundred and near 200 million that never got to a broker so they never completed. They just bunched, they were the tires or they just got annoyed with the platform or whatever. Those things that we like work quite small, the team and hopefully we'll grow now. But those little things make such a difference because it works out the way they would work in e-commerce and this is what it would've done in Betfair.

We chain something on the site and maybe there's a 2% increase in the conversion room. Well, the job is to figure out what that is worth annually. This could be an awful lot of money and it's one of the questions that a private equity firm asked me there. What's the lifetime value of a client? Nobody seems to have the exact answer. But if we took the 2% conversion really for, 500 registrations come in and you're talking about there's 10. On those 10, half get a mortgage. Then, you've got five mortgages revenue. The total might be something around £2000. You're talking about £10,000. But you look at the referrals that they may provide if your service is good and the remortgages. That's what the private equity guy stomped me on.

Those who had that little book and starting at one, if it increased your conversion by stating that I don't know, 15 or 20 or whatever it should be made such a difference. That's the battle that we're having. We're having that battle, trying to think five or six years ahead for investment and what we could get to, whereas a small advisor in a firm, that's not getting that support. Or, when I say firm a network or somebody that's just not in the same playfield that we're trying to win our battles on. It's very different to of the other ones, but we have to get them right. We have to get those numbers up.

Yeah, definitely. Time's rattling past. I wanna come back to that thing that I said, just never exit strategies because my audience has been made up of quite a lot of people. Mortgage brokers who are very new to the industry but equal. I know there's a good way to my audience who are been brokers, maybe sort of 10, 20 years.

They may be sort of in the early fifties now but thinking about how they will exit in the business and how they retire within view of all this stuff. That's coming along, what you said there as well about perhaps firms getting taken over and bought out. Is there any particular advice you would give to brokers? What they should be doing now if they want to be securing a good exit 10 years down the line or whatever?

It's not like I'm qualified to talk. It's not like we've been buying firms or anything, and that's not on our horizon. It's a potential that you would put at the bottom of your pitch. What I have been doing is speaking it to the people that are raising debt funding intending to acquire. There are some very clear things that advisors need to have. First of all, you need a process in place. If your CRM is writing something down on a calendar, six months ahead, I don't know if that's still happening. I can't imagine it. If it is, you're not worth awful, that there's a great book called built to sell. It's very easy reading and I would recommend any brokers.

I want to think to read that, but it talks about putting processes in place so that you can put it. Your future predictable recurring revenue. That's what online is all about. If you know how much traffic you have, how many conversions come in, what the value of it is and your cost of acquisition, that's our work.

But the private equity has been us in wealth for quite a while. It seems like it speaking to our investors and another private equity seem like they've woke up to the mortgage advisors. When they do wealth, there's recurring revenue. If you've got a hundred million other management, the future recurring revenue, so that's how our company's valued. It goes worth five times it's future annual recurring revenue or whatever. 

Mortgage brokers have to be able to do the same. You should be able to know how many referrals came per client. If you turn out that you have an average of 2.2 referrals per client since you've got this documented in a CRM, Excel or something clever. Then you sort of know how many clients you have and how many referrals you'll get. Then if you could pick an estimation of how many switches or remortgages or future businesses come in, and that needs to be documented, they're not gonna take your word for it. 

If you've got a, I don't know, let's say if you have 10-year trade history, this should be a much easier task. If the key is that you're still driving leads, you could show a sort of acceleration of how you're driving leads. Perhaps you're very influential in the industry. Perhaps you've created a social media brand, which drives a certain amount of traffic to your site. If it's not to your site, you're gonna have to have some way of capturing it. 

Your P&L will take care of it, but you need to have a document. I suppose if you're thinking you're the one-man band and I don't know enough about this, but I see some fantastic people on LinkedIn that are building their brands. From that, they're getting referrals. They'll need to document that because here's the thing, it's like if your prime is going to buy this person's brand, it can't. If he wanted to exit, he can't. Do you know what I'm saying? It's not worth anything. 

Then his clients will have to be transferred into the future company. They need to think a little bit more about processes. It's not about when I go, drop one of my amazing videos and I have a hundred thousand people watching it and I generate, so that's fine. You're the brand. Are you gonna do that for the rest of your days? These are the little changes that are different from the wealth industry about recurring revenue and money under management versus the mortgage broker industry, which is where… 

Relies on the client coming back every two or three years, doesn't it? Whereas wealth management, more relies on them not leaving.

It's yeah. Those things, if you think about, let's say somebody purely, let's just say they did a run Google ads. They did a run of Google ads every six months and dropped 5 or 10 grand to get their leads in. Well, that's not gonna be enough because the firm is gonna acquire them and could use that in the lead generation. But if they did the run of Google ads and then they documented the recurring revenue that came from that and the cross sale, which is a particular one and their success rates. If those numbers are all going up into the right, they'll get a higher multiple for their business and be more attractive to acquire as opposed to the person who's got the calendar on paper, nothing to show only got their P&L.

When you ask them where they get their leads, they have nothing clear and concise. I think that's gonna be a challenge. Fantastic articles being written about that in the financial times by people, when you start Google because I have to present this to my investors. You see once a month, what's happening and what's going on. 

AI just gather collect them and then show them what's going on. But I think that's something, anybody who's thinking about an exit. Let’s say three, four and five years now is the time to do that sort of stuff. Anybody who's thinking about it in a year, I hope you've got already got that input, but it's, it's a very exciting time. It's a very exciting time for us because we're trying to raise money. We're trying to raise money when there's nearly a billion of private equity and debt capital coming into acquisition.

It shows that we're in the right space at the right time. I think everybody who's listening or watching it should be excited about the opportunities for a negative. That's what they wanted or possibly being sort of like a JV where they'll bring them in under somebody else's brand, give them capital with the view to an exit in a much longer timeframe. I don't know enough in the game long enough, but I don't think that's the way it was. It just seemed to have landed in the last couple of years. 

Because when I was doing my searches in 2018, I wasn't seeing this sort of stuff. Now I have to update twice a month to the investors because trust has been acquired. All have been acquired. Prime got award chest. Somebody else has got an award chest. It's happening everywhere now. It's really exciting.

Yeah, definitely. It's as with these new things. It's exciting if you get on board with it and frightening if you don't. 

Yes. Well, we don't have any of these at the moment. My life is still squeaky bone time for us, as we are trying to get the first advisors on and get those processes in place. We've got the tech and we do all that fight with all that administrative stuff that everybody in the industry has had to deal with for a long time. Then once we have it in, see how we can make it more efficient.

Yeah. Well, that sounds excellent. We're getting good luck with it all. Do keep in touch with us via the Facebook group and stuff and let's know how it all goes. Just before we finish, if people want to contact you, ask questions and talk to you about opportunities, where can they find you?

[email protected] is probably the best way. If you're on LinkedIn, follow us because we'll start talking a little bit more about what we would be offering advisors down the line. That's probably the best way [email protected] or connect with us on LinkedIn. 

Yeah. I put links in the notes to the video and everything as well. 

Yeah. Also, another, David, we've been talking for nearly an hour here. I am only learning this industry. If anybody has mad, crazy thoughts, wanna shoot the breeze about nothing in particular, or to tell me that we’re on the wrong track here, I would love to hear, the only way I'm gonna learn. I like to listen to a bit and hear what people have to say. It's the only way we're gonna get to the next stage by learning from what people have to say. It's like talking to your customers. You have to do it.

Yeah, definitely. Well, they open an invitation, everyone. If you think Matt's been talking rubbish, then contact him, put something in comments or whatever. 

Fantastic. Thank you very much for coming on today, Matt. It's been great chatting with you as always. Hope everyone's got some useful stuff from it. If you watch it on the replay, put comments or questions in or whatever, if anything you think we didn't cover. Then one of us will get back to you and thank you very much. Thanks again, Matt

Cheers, cheers. See you.

Bye.

  • "AI software will read them for you and then give you a response on the viability of this client." - Matthew McAllister
  • "I guess this is some people's fear of technology, not just in this industry, but in lots of other industries, that it will replace the people. I suppose the message I'm getting from what you're saying is that fintech is about keeping the people. Keeping the brokers, but making their lives easier." - David Miles
  • "First thing in the morning, lunchtime, and evening times… If you were running your ads, you should run them at that time." - Matthew McAllister

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

Related Posts

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Discover How to Generate More Leads From Your Own Website

>