Meet the team: Lee Richardson

As you’re reading our blog, you probably know plenty about our company, systems and what we offer. But how much do you know about the people behind Mortgage Brain? Our new series will allow you to meet our team – the people who bring our company to life and are the face of our Mortgage Brain.

First up is Lee Richardson, a National Business Development Manager, who is a long-standing member of the team.

How long have you been working at Mortgage Brain?
Just over three years.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day can be different which makes the job exciting and challenging. I could be helping one of my accounts with training or maybe an issue they may be having. Or, I could be out on the road presenting our offering to a new prospect account. Also, I help my colleagues win business and deliver a first-class service to our clients.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Helping our clients understand the benefits of the system and what the system can do for them. Also winning the sale from one of our competitors is a great feeling.

What is your best Mortgage Brain memory?
Doing my Latino Bull dance moves at the Christmas party!

Why Mortgage Brain – what drew you to the company?
It’s a great company to work for, and what drew me to the company was that your views and thoughts are valued. You are not a number at Mortgage Brain, you are looked at as an integral member of the company who can make a difference.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee – Caramel Latte is the drink of champions.

You’re stranded on a desert island. Which co-worker would you like to have with you, and why?
I would say Chris Brown, we would spend our time on the island arguing which is the more manly game to play: Rugby union or Rugby league. We all know it would be Rugby Union – the tougher sport…

What’s your best party trick?
My dance moves and my fabulous singing voice.

Do you have any bad habits – especially ones that annoy the rest of the office?!
Yes, what seems to annoy everyone is my ability to look damn good looking every morning when I come to work…

What’s your best quality, and how does it help you at work?
I would have to say my sense of humour. Sometimes we work in a pressured environment and it’s good to release that pressure sometimes.

Keep your data secure with the Key

Cyber-crime is one of the biggest threats we face in our day-to-day lives – especially for those of us who spend a large chunk of our time on a computer.

With cyber-security of paramount importance, our role here at Mortgage Brain is to keep your client’s details safe and secure within our systems. This means that, as a broker, you are able to ensure that your clients have peace of mind throughout the mortgage advice process.

The Key is one of our flagship systems, and it holds a plethora of data about clients within it. So how do we ensure that it’s all kept safe and sound? We run through the security ins and outs for the Key below, so you can rest assured your data is kept safe with us.

How does it all work?

Like many systems nowadays, the Key stores all its data and documentation in ‘the cloud.’ Access to the system is restricted to approved users, supported by extensive configuration around password format and expiry.

There are then two ways in which this information is stored:

Locally stored information

Whilst data is in use and being updated, the Key operates with limited data stored temporarily on the user’s computer. Once the data is uploaded to the server – by saving it or closing the application altogether – this locally stored information is then removed.

Security at this end is where you come in.

Ultimately, the local computer environment remains under the control of the end user. We recommend you only use versions of Windows that are supported by Microsoft, and that they are kept up to date with regular system updates.

We also recommend that the latest anti-virus software is used at all times, as well as strong passwords changed regularly to keep the highest protection on your data.

Security

Server stored information

And this is where we come in. When we are hosting the Key, all server information is hosted with a leading Internet Service Provider within their data centres. These centres are protected by the latest, most sophisticated software as well as high-tech physical security systems – including CCTV, alarms, 24-hour monitoring and dual authentication access controls.

Personal data and documents within the Key are stored on servers with no direct connection to the internet. Access to them is via services hosted on separate, internet-facing servers. Data is also encrypted when it’s not in use, and access is controlled by firewalls that restrict all access other than that required to run the service.

There are also a number of other precautions we have in place, which are:

  • Microsoft-supported software
    Regular security updates
  • Anti-virus software on all servers

We also employ an independent security company who run regular tests against all aspects of our data security. Based on their findings, we make the changes and improvements necessary to ensure that your data within the Key remains secure.

For more information about how we keep your data safe in all our systems, you can take a look at our PDF here.

How much is a broker worth?

Do you think your neighbours, family and friends really understand what your job entails? In a Legal & General report, they found that more than half of UK consumers didn’t actually realise that a mortgage broker could offer greater product choice than banks or building societies – and about a third believed that brokers worked on behalf of a bank.

In fact, buyers have plenty of misconceptions when it comes to securing a mortgage and the role a broker plays in enabling them to find better deals and save money along the way.

Nearly half (48%) of homeowners and prospective buyers who did not use a broker chose not to do so because they felt their bank or building society offered them a good deal. But, as we know, as a broker, you are able to source mortgages from a much extensive pool, whereas a bank can only offer their own products.

The wider public seem unaware, however, with almost a fifth (19%) believing that brokers and banks have the same access to all mortgage products. In reality, brokers actually have plenty more options – up to eight times more than a bank or a building society. According to research, as of 30th October 2017, there were 3,721 products available direct to consumers, compared to a mammoth 29,886 available via a mortgage broker.

Not only is there a lack of knowledge about the differences between offerings of banks versus brokers, the research also discovered that one in seven respondents thought their bank or building society would be able to give them access to the same impartial advice as a mortgage broker.

The research from Legal & General highlights an education gap within the society, with a plethora of misconceptions surrounding the role of a mortgage broker and the true number of benefits they can provide to their clients. Mortgage brokers should be shouting about their ability to offer a more impartial, comprehensive service with far more financing choices when compared to a single lender. It is all about spreading the word and educating friends, family and neighbours, so that they can then spread their knowledge within their network and eventually to the wider public – all to mutual benefit.

So, next time you are asked what you do by your neighbour, a family member, a client, a friend or even someone you’ve just met, be sure not to hide your light under a bushel. Tell them what a mortgage broker does in fact do and therefore what you REALLY are worth.