2020 Vision: Looking back

Throughout an undoubtably challenging year, businesses across the world have worked tirelessly to combat the impact of the pandemic on both their business and their industries.

During this time, Mortgage Brain is proud to have not only powered through but to have continued to support the industry through innovations and developments including launching the COVID-19 support hub, a lender service levels report and our affordability sourcing product, Affordability Hub.

We’ve taken time to reflect on the challenges and successes of the year which we’re pleased to share with you.

Information overload

Early on in the pandemic, a key challenge was identified as the overwhelming amount of information being released on a daily basis. Advisers struggled to keep track of the rapid changes to products available, policies and lender’s criteria. The volume of information was vast, and the situation was evolving rapidly. So how could an adviser be sure the information given to a client was up-to-date and accurate without having to invest significant time scouring the internet?

By utilising a combination of product information, criteria updates, and an industry news feed, Mortgage Brain rapidly developed a portal that was free and available for anyone to access which collated all this information to provide one source of truth about the pandemic’s impact on the market. In April this launched as part of the COVID-19 Support Hub on Criteria Hub which includes easily accessible resources covering:

  • Lenders Impact Page allowing advisers to access regularly updated information populated direct from the lenders themselves, and
  • COVID-19 News Portal displaying criteria, product, and industry news as it was released

The COVID-19 Support Hub has proved to be very popular with almost 13,500 visits to the portal from the start of April through to the end of July, 7800 of which were registered Criteria Hub users. All this essential market information can still be accessed for free via the Criteria Hub website.

Efficiency as a currency

With many businesses being reliant on smaller teams due to operational restrictions, the value of time increased exponentially. As a mortgage technology expert, we are constantly reviewing how technology can help advisers and lenders alike streamline their processes.

For advisers, Affordability Hub: This innovative new solution uses just one simple form to capture details of a client’s property, income, debt, and expenditure. Once this is done there is no re-keying needed as this standardised form can be submitted to the affordability calculators of all lenders on the platform. Within a minute results are returned including a screenshot of each lender’s decision page, giving advisers a complete audit trail for compliance. The platform has truly been embraced with over 30 lenders live and with hundreds of searches being undertaken each hour with a total of £10 billion of affordability searches performed in the first three months since launch.

For advisers, transforming sourcing: To further enhance the sourcing journey for customers, Mortgage Brain launched an integration from its product sourcing systems that enables customers to access information from Criteria Hub providing a comprehensive search to be completed covering both products available and criteria within a single user journey.

Alongside the launch of Affordability Hub, it creates a powerful suite of solutions that cover all three aspects of mortgage sourcing to provide a complete picture of the whole market and enables an adviser to ensure the recommended mortgage fits the customer’s criteria, is affordable to them, and is the most suitable product.

For lenders, Lender Affordability Calculator: Some lenders have their own inhouse affordability calculator, but for those that don’t we provided the ability to have a detailed, bespoke and configurable lender affordability calculator solution that can be used for both residential and buy-to-let customers.

The calculator can be embedded in intermediary-facing websites or there is a modified and simplified ‘quick calculation tool’ for consumer-facing websites. As you would expect from a Mortgage Brain solution, the Lender Affordability Calculator offers easy integration into a lender’s website, backed up by monthly analytics to help assess performance.

For lenders and advisers alike, managing expectations: When the market reopened following the first lockdown, an astounding resurgence of the purchase market arose which was the result of a flurry of applications and requests to already busy lender teams.

Seeing the challenges experienced we worked quickly to develop a Lender Service Levels report to provide advisers with a consolidated view of the current service standards of lenders. Available through the COVID-19 Support Hub on Criteria Hub, the document is updated daily to give advisers an overview of waiting times for each lender and the time taken by each lender to process an application and make an offer.

2021 and beyond…Throughout the year, Mortgage Brain has continued to launch platforms that not only support the market but change the way advisers work for the better. We will not slow down and look forward to sharing even more innovations with you in the new year!

To find out more about Mortgage Brain’s suite of powerful solutions that together offer a seamless end-to-end journey from sourcing through to conveyancing, email sales@mortgage-brain.co.uk.

Beyond compliance…

As a mortgage adviser compliance is at the very core of your business and ensuring you have a back office system that intuitively puts compliance first is an integral part of safeguarding your business. However, leading systems, such as The Key by mortgage technology expert Mortgage Brain can offer a plethora of additional benefits to your business that you may not even be aware of.

This short guide will take you through key areas to consider to maximise your sales, CRM, and case tracking platform to deliver exceptional customer service and generate business.

Be organised and get personal

Personalising your communications will increase engagement and provides an opportunity to explain any additional services your business may offer in a tailored way.

One way to achieve this is by including information that is relevant only to the recipient, for instance using a preferred ‘known by’ like Dan instead of Daniel. The Key’s letter templates include merge fields that can be inserted into your communications to give them a person-to-person feel.

Further opportunities to engage with your clients can be found through The Key’s remortgage module which ensures you never miss an opportunity to retain your customers by approaching them as they near the end of their current product rate. Once set up, the module will work to reach out to your customers at the appropriate time.

Communicate often (and effectively)

Data quickly goes out of date and if it does you risk not being able to maintain regular contact with your clients. Make sure you constantly cleanse all your data sets to avoid this and remain compliant with data protection legislation.

Using the Client Portal enables your customers to quickly and easily update their own information including email addresses and phone numbers, so you can always stay in touch which has become more important than ever in recent months where face-to-face meetings have not been possible.

Customers’ circumstances can change quickly. As they do, your clients can update their details in the Client Portal. There is no re-keying needed from you, and reduced risk of errors. Your data remains accurate, and you can spend less time making updates and more time communicating with your clients.

Segmentation and targeting

Segmenting your data into different groups helps you accurately target your messaging and deliver more relevant information that will resonate and encourage connections. An example of this could be to identify your customers who have a mortgage but have not taken out protection, enabling you to provide them with further details or capture their renewal date if they have taken a policy out elsewhere.

Segmenting your data is simple with The Key’s marketing mailshot functionality and you can use the ad-hoc reporting section to filter out applicants you wish to target, safe in the knowledge that The Key’s built-in consent manager stores customer GDPR preferences.

Want to learn more about how you can supercharge and streamline your processes?

Added benefits of using The Key for data management:

  • Engineered to manage your back office compliantly
  • Client Portal gives your clients the security and convenience of sharing documents, case tracking and completing the Fact Find digitally.
  • Fact Find feature giving clients separate logins to add documents and personal details privately and securely without applicants 1 or 2 viewing them
  • Data is securely stored and backed up online

About The Key

The Key, is a powerful CRM, back office and point of sale solution that offers an integrated compliant mortgage process, providing an adviser and their administrators with efficiencies and security. The integrated and customisable Client Portal also saves up to an hour per case by capturing information directly from the client and negating the need for re-keying details.

12 days of…

We’re celebrating the arrival of December by putting together a 12-day advent calendar filled with all things mortgage-related from the 01 December until the 16th December!

Please check back each weekday to see what’s behind each door and go to our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter social media pages to see the full image and message we have shared.

Happy Holidays from Mortgage Brain!


01: With only 30 days left of the year, we are reflecting on some of the ‘best bits’ of 2020. For us, being named the Best Technology Provider twice was certainly a highlight! What has been your biggest achievement this year? Comment on our social media pages.

02: December is also party season! Is your website as best dressed as it could be? If not, don’t worry, our Mortgage Brain B2C experts can help give your website a makeover so it’s looking its best in 2021. Read our blog filled with useful tips or contact us today!

03: The best gifts are the most personal ones…what’s the best gift you have ever received? Comment on our social media pages.

04: What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store… What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more! ― Dr. Seuss

05: If you’re preparing for your business’s demand next year, maybe you should evaluate where to start when mortgage sourcing for customers. Find out where to start and be prepared for 2021! Read here

06: Whilst we’ve all embraced online events, we would love to see you face-to-face (and shower you with freebies) once it is safe to do so. The Mortgage Brain team is working hard on our 2021 events, so, make sure you sign up to receive updates. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year! #MV2021

07: Throughout this unusual year, we have tried all sorts to keep ourselves entertained with company activities including quizzes, workout Wednesdays, scavenger hunts, and virtual Friday happy hours!

08: We all like to receive a bit of love! This year we raised £1,500 for charity through our #LoveYourCustomer competition. We have so much more to give our customers and it’s not just chocolates! #Throwbackthursday

09: It’s finally time to dust off your Christmas jumper! Whether you’ll be showing yours off on Zoom or the school run today, we’d love to see your festive threads in our comments section. #Christmasjumperday

10: Sharing is caring and this season is all about supporting those in need. That’s why this year, instead of buying Christmas cards we have donated to Mind, the mental health charity.

11: The Mortgage Brain team is here to help you all year, and the festive period is no exception. You can contact us by email, call our Customer Services, join one of our many webinars, or send a message through LiveChat. So, if you need our support, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

12: We wanted to show our customers and partners how thankful we are for your support this year, so we made a Christmas video. And to demonstrate how grateful we are there is NO singing! Merry Christmas from Mortgage Brain.