Product investment – it is not important, it is critical.

Staying ahead of the game in our market relies on listening to our customers, coming up with innovative ideas to accommodate their changing needs and different ways of thinking. Product investment is therefore crucial to our business’s evolution and offering high-end solutions.

Speaking to Introducer Today this month, our CEO Mark Lofthouse gave his thoughts on how we have retained as an industry and thought leader by ensuring that product investment remains at the top of our agenda each year:

“The technology market,” he notes, “is a particularly competitive market and the longevity and survival of many tech companies is down, quite simply, to their approach to product investment and development. Apple is the world’s largest tech company and regularly features in lists of the top ten companies in the world of any description.

“There’s one very good reason for that – it keeps bringing out new products that people want to buy. The first iPhone, the product on which the company was established, was launched ten years ago and since then they have continued to launch a range of new, innovative iPhones and along the way supported by the launch of new ‘connected’ products and devices like the iPad and Apple Watch. If Apple had lost its way and was still trying to sell the original ‘ten-year-old’ iPhone, I can pretty much guarantee that, as a company, it’d be rotten to the core by now! Blackberry and Nokia prove that point!”

While the mortgage technology market may not run on such a global scale like Apple, Mark notes that the principles remain the same:

“Any company in its sector which doesn’t listen to its customers and adapt to a changing market can’t possibly survive in the long run.

“Let me start close to home for a minute. Mortgage Brain recently celebrated its 30th birthday and we’re still as relevant now as we were 30 years ago. This is because we continually listen to our customers, invest in new products and people, and develop new and associated technology products and services to bring to the market. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Simple as that.”

As the use of technology constantly evolves, you need to ensure you can keep up with it. As Mark points out, having the resources to be able to ensure your vision and ideas become a reality – is crucial.

Mark continues: “It’s why we invest over 40% of our expenditure each year into product research and development. It’s through product development and investment in the mortgage technology market that saw the launch of the mortgage industry’s first ever sourcing system. The ability to complete and submit AIPs and Full Applications digitally and receive a lending decision in under a minute. The launch in 2012 of the industry’s first mobile App that promoted advisers to consumers and brought in new business leads.”

This kind of investment allowed us to bring the industry’s first ever iPad-based sourcing system to the table as well as the development of multi-device, online and offline, fully integrated first and second charge sourcing solutions. It was also through this same investment and development that meant mortgage advisers were able to break into new markets such as conveyancing and second charge mortgage sourcing.

But how did all these developments come about? Mark has an answer for that: “Continuous investment in people, products and services – if done properly – is much more than just bringing new products to the market for the sake of it. Done properly, product development and investment allows companies to help and support advisers through the constant regulatory and market changes.

“Interactive websites with mortgage search and selection capabilities are here and now, together with digital client portals, which enable consumers to complete online Fact Finds, and securely send and receive information and documentation – all of which is way ahead of what the large aggregators have to offer.”

So, what’s next for both the mortgage market and for us as a company?

Mark thinks that anything is possible: “Looking ahead five or more years the biggest changes will be in the way we interact with computers with voice commands taking over from keyboards, and if we go all out Sci-Fi, there’ll be holograms and human-like robots!

“Who knows where it will end? The mortgage tech industry may not work on Apple’s global scale, but it’s still investing millions in R&D to keep advisers ahead of the game in an ever-changing market. Continuous investment, therefore, isn’t important, it’s critical.”

You can read the full piece on our website here.

We’ve been shortlisted!

There are plenty of exciting events going on at Mortgage Brain as we head towards the end of 2017 and the beginning of a new year, and we’ll be hoping to end it on a high and with another trophy in our cabinet.

We will be heading to the UK IT Awards this Wednesday 15th November as a finalist at their 2017 awards, under our nomination for the ‘Best Use of Cloud Based Services’ awards, sponsored by Amazon Web Services.

Our nomination comes due to our partnership with NaviSite, one of our cloud service providers. We have worked with NaviSite since 2014, and have since used its secure NaviCloud IaaS platform to both host and develop our customer product suite.

The annual UK IT Industry Awards are the benchmark for innovation and outstanding performance throughout the UK IT industry, and two areas that we pride ourselves on here at Mortgage Brain.

To us, product investment and enhancement are of paramount importance. As our CEO Mark Lofthouse noted in his most recent article, “The technology market is a particularly competitive one and the longevity and survival of many tech companies is down, quite simply, to their approach to product investment and development.”

We are always working towards constant development and providing regular enhancements to our systems, which is why we are honoured to be nominated for Wednesday’s awards alongside other huge names such as BHS, Vue Cinemas, The Home Office and the National Grid.

We are all thrilled with how much we have achieved together, and Mark echoed our thoughts upon the announcement of our award nomination:

“To receive the recognition for our work from the UK IT Industry Awards – especially when placed alongside the likes of The Home Office, BHS and the National Grid – speaks volumes for our approach, innovation and capabilities to help us deliver a flexible, resilient and secure cloud-based solution for advisers, IFAs and the next generation of house buyer.”

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter @Mortgage_Brain to see how we get on!

Four reasons to attend industry events

You turn your computer on. You log onto social media and see the latest conference hashtag, or see an email drop into your inbox about the next industry event. Tempted to go? You should be.

Industry events offer incredible benefits, such as increasing your knowledge to service your customers better, understanding forthcoming regulatory changes and requirements, developing networking skills and meeting up with industry representatives from different services.  We’ve rounded up our top reasons as to why you should attend events below:

  1. Knowledge gains

In our latest social media poll, 67% of you said that the part you value most about events is expanding your knowledge. From key speakers to the latest industry news, events are vital for increasing your understanding outside of what you learn during working hours.

Our Mortgage Vision events this year cover topics such as creating a digital journey for your customers, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, Buy to Let activity 12 months on, the Competition Review, GDPR – new data protection legislation, the return of the First Time Buyer and much more.

You can only learn so much from reading books and published articles – you can learn far more from actually going out and meeting Lenders and product providers first-hand. There are always opportunities to ask questions, discuss relevant topics including the current and future of your industry with other delegates too.

  1. Plenty of opportunities to network

Events offer a fantastic way for you to meet your peers, discuss the latest industry news with likeminded individuals and compare how you are finding ‘business’.

Comparing notes about forthcoming legislation, discussing the latest technology advancements and going over changes to mortgage products with those who are working in the same market as you, can often be very enlightening.

Not only that, but networking can help evolve your interpersonal skills. If you’re new to the networking scene, events can provide a great way of getting used to introducing yourself to others and gain confidence in potentially seeking out people to talk to.

  1. Everything you need, all in one place

It can often take time to locate all the resources you need to see the latest news, understand the next lot of legislation changes and discover new and existing technology advancements that can help you be the best broker possible. Luckily for you, events can provide a place where you learn all this and more – in one place, and often in just one day.

Events allow you to learn the topics that are influencing the market from the key-note speakers, as well as taking part in workshops or individual roundtable sessions that will offer you the change to interact more closely with your peers and ask the important, burning questions from the presenters.

  1. And they may be CPD accredited!

A really key pull for many brokers is that the majority of industry events will enable you to gain all-important CPD hours. Conferences and event may have been accredited to provide structured CPD to those that attend. This means that the events will provide directed ‘study,’ and will have clear and precise learning objectives in place for the delegates.

Mortgage Brokers need to complete a minimum of 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year, of which 21 hours should be structured. So in our industry, it is important to ensure that you are improving your knowledge and gain continuing professional development hours each year and events are the perfect place to do so.

Need a few more benefits?

  • Many events, like Mortgage Vision, are free to attend!
  • They’re informative and allow you to meet new people
  • You can motivate yourself simply by being in an educational environment
  • You will impress your customers by being up to the minute with the very latest news and views

The real trick to events is to go with clear objectives and plan your day to get the most of your time. Whatever your reason for going, we would love to hear it. Tweet us with the hashtag #MVision17 and let us know your top motive for attending events.

Conveyancing and technology: how the two go hand in hand

The conveyancing market is booming. Proactivity levels have soared by 69% in the past four years, according to data released in July by Search Acumen, even with 11 per cent less conveyancers currently in the market. It’s becoming ever more imperative that those of us still working in the industry can cope with a heavier workload, and continue to make it a success.

As the amount of technology on offer increases, its use in different sectors grows at the same time. Technology in the conveyancing industry has improved as of late, with the rise in technology overall playing its part in enabling conveyancers to not only keep on top of their cases, but to ensure they are completed efficiently and to a high standard.

Conveyancers are, on average, now completing an extra case per week, and technology can be thanked for having a large part in this success. It can be said to be helping improve efficiency, enhancing due diligence and streamlining the processes that must be completed in the conveyancing process. But do you know everything that’s on offer to you to ensure your conveyancing career is a successful one? 

Technology and communication

Communication is incredibly important if you want the conveyancing process to run as smoothly as possible. ConveyancingBrain’s Case Tracking Guide provides an overview of the perfect method of three-way communication, between you, your client and the chosen Solicitor. The ConveyancingBrain team is also able to join in the conversation to move things along, so it can be a four-way conversation if need be.

One of the beauties of the messaging element of the case tracking is that you can also choose whether all parties or just some can see each message. On occasion it may be prudent to simply converse directly with the Solicitor without the need for the Client to view that message, thereby giving you greater control of the communication.

The Purchase Progress log on the case tracking system also shows what stage the case is currently at and helps provide confidence and information as to what activity the Solicitor is undertaking.

With all communication in one place and made simple, you can keep up with your growing workload whilst not compromising on service. The guide explains how to track your cases efficiently, with the system allowing everyone to see case updates 24/7 and alerting all parties when there is an update, request or advance in the case.

Regular updates

The brilliant thing about technology is that it means processes are now instant, and updates more frequent. ConveyancingBrain are committed to making regular updates to the system to make things easier to use and processes more simple to follow, giving you the tools you need to obtain a quote quick and easily, instruct a solicitor and complete a case.

tracking

Automated emails and text messages (if chosen) are sent whenever a Solicitor adds a note to the Case Notes section of any ongoing cases, saving plenty of time as it means you don’t even have to log in to check your messages.

Technology also makes it easier to take on customer feedback and implement any changes to make the user journey a better and smoother one.

One change ConveyancingBrain made recently was making it possible for you to choose whether to disclose the Solicitor’s name on the quote you provide to your client. Technology allows you to choose from different options to make everyone’s conveyancing experience better.

Opportunity for more

With technology comes the ability to offer more for your customers, with the advantages for online offerings ever increasing. Downloadable guides are a handy ConveyancingBrain offering that you can use to offer additional support to your clients.

Whether it’s sharing the 10 Steps to Conveyancing with your client to help them understand the process, information to sell conveyancing to clients, or guides to help you to make the most of the system, there are plenty of free information available to ensure both you and your clients are well equipped to understand the conveyancing process.

Technology is all about making things easier

When it comes to your job, the more streamlined processes are and the easier a system is, the more likely you are to succeed. Coping with an increasing workload sounds difficult, but when you use systems at your disposal, life is made much easier.

Open All Hours – top tips for Advisers on how to win more clients (without working harder)

Whilst we all know that success comes from hard work (and perhaps a bit of luck) we also know that working smarter is often key too. However, despite this ‘always-on’ digital world that we now live in, it can often seem impossible to switch off without losing an opportunity.  So what if your business could carry on working hard for you, even when you have signed off for the day? With research showing that 85% of shoppers research online before buying* it is imperative that you are ‘open all hours’ for business to win new clients.  Online at least.

Here are our top tips on how to gain more customers, even when you are officially ‘Out of Office’.

Work smarter, not harder

Consumers today look to investigate and research when looking to make any purchase and it is no different with mortgages. With increasingly busy lives, they will typically do their research at a time to suit them – so to capture their interest, you need to ensure your website and your social channels are working even when you aren’t.

By adding interactive information and research tools such as a Mortgage Search plug-in or a Best Buy Table onto your website, users at least have an option to submit an enquiry to you, rather than simply be an uninspired visitor.

Your social channels are also live 24/7 so ensure that they carry on working for you after hours. Take the time to add content that is relevant, current and recent – there are tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, to help you schedule social media posts that can be published at times when your potential clients are more likely to be active (and you have switched off for the evening).

 

Get recommended

An influencer engagement survey found that over 90% of consumer’s trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of marketing, and 70% said they trusted consumer opinions posted online.

Provide an excellent and honest service that brings results for your clients, and they are far more likely to recommend you to family and friends.

Why not take the plunge and ask your clients to provide written recommendations that you can add to the content on your website or post on social media. These short recommendations will continue to work for you for many months to come and speak volumes about you and your services.

 

Achieve 5-star reviews

As well as recommendations, you could also ask clients to review your services – the trick is to make the process simple and easy to do so. You could send them a follow-up email thanking them for their business and at the same time ask them to provide a review? There are several ways of doing this:

  1. Reviews given on your Google Listing not only appear on your Google Business Page (easy to set up if you don’t have one) but they also appear against your business record in Google searches:

Ask for reviews on your Facebook page if you have one. Look at this recent search for ‘mortgage adviser’ – which one would you select? A customer will probably consider locality and take note of the star rating and may potentially make a choice based on the highest ratings and/or number of reviews.

  1. On receipt of unprompted feedback or thanks from a client, ask if you can publish what they have written. Most people are delighted to see their name and words ‘in print’.

facebook reviews

Prove your brilliance

As good as customer reviews, testimonials and recommendations can be, many potential clients will also be interested in what you have done for other people in similar situations. Including case studies on your website can open your business up to more clients, as you not only tell them how good other people think your service is, but it also helps to explain exactly how you have solved challenges and issues that may have arisen during the process.

You don’t need to use any names in the case studies, just explain clearly and concisely exactly what the problem was or what situation the client came to you with, what you did to get them the best deal and what the successful outcome was. It provides yet more evidence as to why people should choose you as their Adviser.

 

Perfect your pitch

When a potential client does find you, providing them solid advice there and then will help them to conclude that you are the Adviser for them! Show your expertise, share your knowledge and give them all they need to come to an informed decision.

All clients are different, and as you know will have a varied amount of knowledge about the mortgage process and the advice available. So as long as you use your experience to make them feel comfortable talking to you and putting their trust in you, growing your client base should become second nature.

 

Use technology to your advantage

An ever-growing client base requires management and consistency. Taking advantage of technology to store all your client’s data securely and reduce paper-work to a minimum will save time, both for you and for your client.  Your client will expect you to have the latest information at your figure tips to provide information on products relevant to them and their situation, so be ready to do.

Clients will also be relying on your efficiency, and using mortgage technology can enable you to demonstrate that you are indeed very capable, whilst you remain compliant throughout the whole mortgage advice process. It will also save time with limited need for paperwork as your records are largely entered online.

However, with 65% of consumers citing a fear of their personal information being hacked, you need to demonstrate that your clients’ data is both secure and protected – at all times. If you use a secure system such as the Key, not only will you be able to manage the whole sales process compliantly and with little effort, the associated Client Portal will allow both you and your client to securely message and exchange documents. Not forgetting you can now present an online Fact Find form to your client which they can complete at their leisure, and you have no need to re-key the information as it synchs seamlessly back to the Key.

laptop

Get out there!

So now you have set up your website and social channels to showcase your business and handle incoming enquiries (pull marketing), you may still need to get out there and promote yourself (push marketing). It doesn’t take long to craft an email to send to your database of potential customers. Let your prospects know you are open for business, send them your latest review or recommendation and perhaps provide news of a new fixed rate product, not forgetting to highlight your relevant services. With £35bn of mortgage loans expiring in the next 2 months+ there is huge potential to grab a slice of the market.

Spending time on expanding your presence both online and offline holds the key to obtaining more clients – even when you are ‘out of office’.

We do hope these tips will help to ensure your business is ‘Open all Hours’ – without working even harder than you already do.  Good luck!

 

Sources:

+ CACI

*Retailing Today

◊ PwC, Total Retail 2017

Social Media for Advisers

Social media for advisers – where to start?

Research shows that £145Bn worth of mortgages were granted in 2016* but with new mortgage brokers setting up every week you need to be able to protect, and indeed grow, your own market share. You can gain instant access to 1000s of buyers using social media, but where do you start? Or how do you maximise your time online to the best effect? In this article, we explore how social media can give you that competitive edge.

Why use social media?

Being part of a social media community immediately opens up opportunities to expand your audience, communicate within the industry and engage with potential clients. It can help you:

  • Keep abreast of the latest news and developments in the mortgage market
  • Promote your business and communicate with potential clients
  • Network with fellow brokers and connect with Lenders
  • Link in with industry influencers who may open doors for you

As we mentioned in our previous blog, your website acts as your shop window. Social media goes further – it provides more channels and opportunities to promote your business, as well as directing readers to your own website. With each and every social media channel you can easily connect, engage and discuss with all those who are important to you. You can promote your business through your social profile(s) to help attract new clients. By posting engaging, relevant content and promoting your profiles to others, you can help boost your reputation and recognition amongst your target audience.

You can promote your business through your social profile(s) to help attract new clients. By posting engaging, relevant content and promoting your profiles to others, you can help boost your reputation and recognition amongst your target audience.

Social media platforms allow you to network with fellow brokers, start a conversation about a current topic and discuss more general, light-hearted subjects. Ultimately, social media gives you the possibility to grow a network of contacts you can connect and potentially work with in the future.

Using social media

Which platforms should you use?

From Facebook to Pinterest and YouTube, the myriad of channels can be overwhelming making it hard to know which one/s to focus on.  However, you don’t have to use them all. Don’t overstretch yourself and focus your efforts on perhaps just one platform to start with. This will ensure the quality of your messages remains of a high standard and you are able to post regularly.

TOP TIP: Do NOT attempt to use more than three channels when starting out on social media. Perhaps start with one and build from there.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a prime platform for brokers to find and network with like-minded peers. It is traditionally a professional network, where discussions tend to centre on industry-related subjects. This means that most of your connections are likely to be people you work with and other industry contacts you may know, for example, people you have met at events or conferences. You can also join groups about topics you’re interested in or to connect with like-minded people, such as the Mortgage Brain group or Mortgage Brokers UK.

You can create a personal profile as well as a company page for your business to post your own content and updates to promote your services.

Twitter

The main benefit of Twitter is that it is an open network. While LinkedIn and Facebook both have closed networks whereby you must connect with, ‘like’ or ‘follow’ someone in order for them to see your content, Twitter is open to everyone.

Unless your account is on a private setting, people can see your tweets and get involved in discussions, especially if you use hashtags. This is an excellent technique to increase brand awareness and to spread the word about your business.  Don’t use more than a couple of hashtags in any one tweet thought, otherwise it could look like spam.  Again, you can set up your profile to be personal – or create one for your business.

TOP TIP: Practice at writing short posts as Twitter only allows 140 characters, including any relevant links or tags.  For example: Radical new proposals to cut out unfair abuses of leasehold have been announced by the government this week:  buff.ly/2uBapHo   (132 characters)

Facebook

Your personal Facebook profile with party and children photos won’t get you far in the mortgage world, so for business promotion, it is a good idea to create a Facebook company page to act as the hub of your marketing on this channel.

Like many other social channels, Facebook allows you to schedule content to be posted directly onto your page and reach out to your target audience with the use of promoted posts. It is a tool primarily for businesses to use, and it can help you with lead generation.

TOP TIP: Ensure you set up the right sort of page for your business – Facebook guides you through the process and has a great help centre should you need it.

Business or pleasure?

If you have your own business and are looking to grow your client base, it’s best to first focus on creating company pages for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can share similar content across all three sites whilst ensuring you reach a variety of audiences since different people use different networks. This simple step ensures you are promoting your business, rather than your social activities.

TOP TIP: Check your organisation’s policy to ensure you stay within their guidelines (if applicable). It may include hints and tips to get you started.

If you work for a larger company and would like to expand your industry presence as an individual, you can start off with a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile. You can get involved in discussions on Twitter and tweet from meetings or events to get involved in conversation with fellow brokers. Start building connections with colleagues on LinkedIn and explore any groups you can join to meet new people to network online with.

Use social media to your advantage

Using social media wisely can help grow your business and your network of trusted contacts and specialists. Show yourself to be an expert in your field and you are likely to earn the trust and respect of your audience. You should share interesting, unique content that adds value to your followers, reminding yourself that it’s quality, not quantity that counts. Dedicate sufficient time to build an audience on each network – and remember not to spread yourself too thin. Good luck!

*Source: Building Societies Association

My Mortgage Brain Experience: Katie M

As part of my Year 10 work experience programme, I was kindly offered a placement at Mortgage Brain where I spent a week with the marketing team, learning about what the company does in a broad sense, as well as the individual roles and responsibilities of the team. It was my first experience of a business environment, so it was interesting for me to see how everything works and how my original perceptions of an “office life” were so far from the truth!

I was given a basic outline of what the company does in which I learned about broker/customer/lender relations and roles, the different departments and their roles within the company. I also learnt about the different products the company offers and what each one provides. This was when I realised how little I actually knew about mortgages and how difficult it was for an outsider to grasp.

Nonetheless, it was explained to me well. I was given my own email and was shown how to use Outlook which was a programme I hadn’t used before (luckily it was easier to understand than the actual company!). I was also taught how to structure an email formally which was very useful – especially since it’s something we don’t learn at school.

I was introduced to the employees of Mortgage Brain on my first day, I received a warm and friendly welcome from all of the staff; everyone was so kind and eager to help me. It was a great environment to work in as everyone got on well (they didn’t even argue over who made the tea), and were always looking out for me (and offering me cups of tea), which definitely put me at ease (the tea was very good). I sat down with each member of the marketing team during the week and they talked me through their roles within the team and the programmes and processes that they use. It was informative for me to learn about individual responsibilities as well as an overall view because it allowed me to visualise what working for Mortgage Brain would be like.

During my stay, I was lucky enough to be involved in the redesigning of the Mortgage Vision 2017 website. This was great as I was given the opportunity to attend meetings within the team where web design was discussed. I also had a look at the Mortgage Vision 2016 website and I was asked to review and compare it to other sites. This was a great experience for me as I could learn about web design and the whole process behind creating a website; it was a lot harder than I realised. The team was very good at helping me feel included during the meetings and explained concepts that I didn’t understand. The end product looked amazing – I’m sure you’ll agree!

I was also able to attend a “Company Meeting”. This was particularly useful for me as a work experience student as I was able to experience how meetings work in the real world – they were a lot less scary than I had initially imagined, but a lot more boring!

Overall my work experience with Mortgage Brain was fantastic; I was able to see a new environment which was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

Security: You are in safe hands with us

Whether we like to think about it or not, cybercrime is on the increase. In 2015, it was reported by Professional Adviser that 20,000 cyber-attacks were taking place each week, and that figure is expected to reach around 700,000 by the end of 2017.

Safeguarding data is of paramount importance, and so we want you to have peace of mind that the information stored in our datat centres will always remain intact. Hence why we dedicate a great deal of time and effort to our cybersecurity strategy and ensure that robust measures are in place to protect both your data and our systems against any potential threats or unauthorised access.

Regular security updates
All of our systems receive routine software updates to protect against any known cyber threats and provide resistance to potential future risks. What is more, we don’t support unsecure operating systems such as Windows XP which no longer receives any security updates from Windows.

Backing it up
We know that when you save information on our systems, you need and expect it to remain safe. Therefore we ensure that we regularly back up all your data and always have a secure copy of all our hosted data, and always have a copy of your files should any ever be corrupted. This also means that should you need to install the Key on a new computer or laptop, you can simply reinstall the application and continue you where you left off with little inconvenience.

Our own protection
We don’t simply safeguard your data, we also ensure that our own systems are protected by firewalls which will prevent any hacker attempting to gain unauthorised access. The recent WannaCry virus exploited a technique that is prevented by our security systems, meaning that any attempt to corrupt the data was useless.

Rigorous security checks are also regularly carried out. We use a specialist security partner to test our systems for any possible vulnerabilities and make any recommended changes to ensure that we are following best practice and doing all that we can.

Our internet hosts are also secure
Our systems are hosted by industry-leading internet services providers in highly secure data centres that offer virtualization technology, which provides another extra layer of protection.

All processes are in place
We also have systems that are on standby, designed to take over immediately in the event of any service interruption. This means that there will be a limited impact to your business, but your data will remain safe and secure.

How can you help?
Your own understanding of the potential and real threat to all of us by cybercrime is important. Just awareness is an important way in which we can all together prevent cyber-attacks affecting us.

Good cybersecurity practices include regular updates and back-ups, strong and frequently changed passwords, being careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi and being sensible when sharing information on social media or plugging devices into your computer. Secure messaging is also wise when sending sensitive data, which is a feature of our Client Portal within the Key.

Being aware that threats are out there and being prepared for them is something we at Mortgage Brain pride ourselves on.  Our aim remains to ensure that you can use our systems, safe in the knowledge that we have your data security and integrity taken care of and it remains an integral part of our service to you.

How to engage with website visitors to turn them into customers

Whether you consider yourself technically savvy or not, having a website in this day and age is not only key to generating new business but expected. It is the first thing that any prospective client will look for even if it is just for your contact details. Your website however is so much more, it is effectively your shop window; as the ‘shoppers’ peruse your site, wouldn’t it be great if they were to see something that captured their attention, kept it, and offered them something that they simply couldn’t resist. Surely you would like that website to be yours.

There are several steps you can take to make your website stand out from the crowd, as well as ensure you are promoting yourself as well as you can against your competition.

So, why is a website so important?

Your website presents your business online to the world. It is vital that you have a professional-looking regularly updated website to attract your website visitors, therefore potential customers.

People visiting a poorly designed website that takes a while to load are likely to go straight back to the search engine and choose someone else – and this is the last thing you want when business and new customers are so important.

Keep it simple

Your website could be your most lucrative marketing tool, so you should take several things into consideration when thinking about its design – or explaining to someone what type of website that you want.

A clean, straight-forward template is one of the first steps to ensure your website is a winning one. People don’t like clutter; they like to go onto a website and be able to instantly and intuitively know how to navigate to the information they require.

If your website has too many menus and a lot of text on the home page, it will be sure to put people off. Your homepage sells your business, and the menu should only include pages that offer useful information about your services that will help visitors learn about your services and you who are.


Websites
 Think about the add-ons

Providing general information about your services is vital, but it’s also highly beneficial to include additional tools to offer your visitors an opportunity to get engaged with your website. Broadly speaking, the more engaged your visitors are, the more likely they are to convert into paying customers.

Interactive Mortgage Search plug-in and the Best Buy Tables allow you to position yourself to your audience as a more credible and modern professional adviser and differentiate your website from others. You can find out more about how plug-ins work here.

These sort of plug-ins can also encourage visitors to fill in an enquiry form, so they become lead generators. You can then receive the visitors’ contact details in an encrypted email, so that all personal details remain secure. If you were to use Mortgage Brain’s plug-in and Best Buy Tables, then enquiries are pre-populated into the Key, our CRM system so that the leads form part of your usual compliant sales process.

Both of Mortgage Brain’s plug-ins are also mobile-friendly, so they will look and work well on any website being viewed on different devices, from a PC to a smartphone.

Get social

When people are looking for a service, many may turn to social media to get a feel for the company and see what they are posting. So adding buttons that link to your social media profiles on your website will allow people to quickly find you.

You must however be sure to keep your social media accounts regularly updated. Visitors are likely to be put off by a Twitter page that hasn’t seen any activity for several months, or a Facebook page with hardly any information about your business or what you do. Make sure you are posting content onto your pages or accounts each week to keep them fresh and engaging.

The perfect website?

A website doesn’t have to be perfect to convert customers. It just needs to be smart, efficient, and straight-to-the-point, preferably with add-ons such as our mobile-friendly plug-ins to give your visitors as reason to stay on and remember your website for long enough to encourage them to contact you and turn into paying clients.

Websites are all about capturing attention, and then engaging visitors enough to keep them there. Once you’ve cracked that, your business will start generating a lot more leads.

If you want to find out more about our MortgageBrain B2C offerings, go to the dedicated page on our website. You can also contact the team via Live Chat whilst you’re there, or tweet us if you want to find out more.

Integrated Second Charge Sourcing

Breaking new ground is something we are always striving to do. That’s why we have developed a second charge sourcing functionality within our first charge sourcing systems. It’s a rich and powerful feature, simple and easy to use, and is unlike anything else available on the market right now – and we created it to make your life that little bit easier.

How does it work?
Our sourcing systems have been a powerful tool for businesses for the past thirty years, and they’ve just become even more powerful.

The new functionality gives you the option of sourcing and comparing any first and second charge mortgage products, side by side, on one screen or print out.  It gives you a choice as to whether you want to advise on second charge products and deal directly with the lender, or pass the lead to a Master Broker to progress.

Second charge enhancements are currently being rolled out to existing MortgageBrain Classic users and will be coming soon to MortgageBrain Anywhere – so, if you use that system, then watch this space. The enhancements are included in the software and you don’t have to pay extra to be able to source second charge products in either of our sourcing systems.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit, of course, is that you can source everything within one system. Compare re-mortgage and second charge products on one screen with no need to switch to a different system. We’ve put everything in one place to save you time and hassle.

You can also compare as many products as you like at any one time. To do this, simply check all of the boxes of the schemes required to compare remortgage options, and then move to the second charge tab and select as many products required to compare from this tab.

The reload function is another great time-saver. It allows you to save all your searches for a client and open them at a later date. So, if you need to pause midway through, you can save all your scenarios retaining your filters, and re-visit them later when you’re ready to begin again.

Our multiple tabs function also helps you out allowing the remortgage deals to be retained whilst second charge products are sourced alongside it – which enables you, the broker, to work much more efficiently.

Is there anything else I need to know?

If you’re a little unsure about how our new functionality works, you can book a live demo and join our weekly webinars. They are held on Tuesdays at 10.00-10.15am BST, and they take you through everything you need to know about this powerful tool for your business.

For those who want to see what we’re all about, you can begin a 30-day free trial of Mortgage Brain Classic to experience first-hand just how much easier we’ve made it to source mortgages for your clients.

Give us a call on 0208 665 3289, or email sales@mortgage-brain.co.uk one of the team who will be happy to help you begin your Mortgage Brain journey. You can also check out our hints and tips for MortgageBrain Classic, too.