2017: A year in review

Enhanced systems, superior industry-leading functionality, our biggest roadshow of Mortgage Vision events yet, plus our milestone 30th birthday party raising money for charity….. How do we begin to review just how great 2017 has been for you and us?

Let’s start with our systems.

You, our valued customer, are at the very epicentre of what we do. That’s why our focus throughout this year – and every year – has been on the enhancements we could make to our products, in order to ensure you are able to make the most of what’s on offer to you, and ensure the mortgage sourcing process is as streamlined and simple as possible.

We began in February with the Key as we launched our secure Client Portal, enabling you and your clients to communicate with each other within the Portal 24/7. It was a move that brought you and your customers closer than ever before, and has allowed increased levels of communications within a highly secure environment.

Our other big announcement this year was our integrated second charge sourcing, which is now available in both MortgageBrain Classic and MortgageBrain Anywhere. The system enhancements broke new ground in our industry, offering the ability to compare as many appropriate first and second charge product side-by-side as you wish.

Provided at no additional cost, the new functionality has since enabled our customers to use both MortgageBrain Classic and, more recently, MortgageBrain Anywhere, unlike any other sourcing systems available on the market.

We also celebrated turning the big 30…

Over 300 of our closest partners joined us in April to celebrate the 30th birthday of Mortgage Brain. Not only did the evening allow us to celebrate the last thirty years in business, but it also meant we were able to raise an incredible £100,000 for our chosen charities: Birmingham Christmas Shelter, Contact the Elderly, Young Dementia, MDS UK Patient Support Group, the Alzheimer’s Society, Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, Compassion International and Haiti Orphanage Project Espwa.

30th birthday

On a fantastic evening of celebration, our CEO, Mark Lofthouse, said: “Reaching our 30th birthday is a significant achievement, and as well as giving us the opportunity to celebrate, it was a perfect opportunity to say thank you to our business partners, friends, colleagues and associates.

“It was also the perfect opportunity to help raise much-needed funds for several great causes and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us raise over £100,000 for charity, which will make a huge difference to the people they help.”

And our Mortgage Vision events were our biggest yet.

We set a new attendance record at our Mortgage Vision roadshow this year, with a 22 per-cent increase an adviser attendance – a new record in our eight-year history of running the annual events.

Almost 1,100 advisers joined us at the free-to-attend events across the UK, learning about the impact of GDPR, the creation of a digital customer experience, and plenty more. The events also include round table sessions from leading industry organisations – a real pivotal part of what makes our events so vital for you to attend.

We didn’t stop there.

This year, we’ve also added to our team to support the company’s growth and product development, reached over 12,000 conveyancing quotes with ConveyancingBrain, seen the 2 million transaction mark reached by Mortgage Trading Exchange (MTE), and announced news about numerous lenders partnering with us.

What does 2018 hold?

For the industry as a whole, GDPR will be at the very top of the agenda, as we all work towards ensuring compliance with the new rules and regulations.

Our Mortgage Vision survey found that the majority of UK advisers are at risk of non-compliance with GDPR, with 81 per-cent of survey respondents still having no implementation of rules or regulations as of November. Our main aim going into 2018 will be educating advisers as much as possible on the importance of GDPR compliance, and ensuring everyone is as prepared as can be as soon as it comes into effect.

The digital advice journey will also take centre stage in the new year and become increasingly important, and we will also be stepping in to ensure you have all the tools you need at your disposal to maximise business opportunities and stay ahead of the game.

We’re also looking forward to even more product enhancements next year, with product investment being at the heart of what we have undertaken in 2017, and a continuing focus for us going forward.

Our biggest and best year yet? That’s up for debate, but we are certainly proud of 2017’s achievements, and we can’t wait to break more new ground and help you be an even more successful adviser next year!

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!

A History of Mortgage Brain

We recently celebrated a milestone here at Mortgage Brain as we turned thirty years old. We’d like to think that we’ve aged gracefully, and made the most of our time since 1986, offering our customers the best products possible – and service with a smile.

Where did we come from?

Set up by Peter Nice, Mike Green and Barry Louvel back in the eighties, Mortgage Brain came from humble origins.

Peter built a small sourcing system for his wife, an estate agent, and Mortgage Brain was born. We offered the first sourcing system in the UK mortgage market available to all brokers, and thus started the thriving industry we know today.

Initially, product data and software updates were distributed via disk – sent in the post! It wasn’t all online, automatic and up to the minute as it is today.

Then it all changed…

As Mortgage Brain grew, the three founders decided to sell the company in 2001 to a consortium of lenders and Nationwide, Halifax (now Lloyds Banking Group) and Alliance & Leicester (now Santander) bought the business for £4.8m.

RBS, Northern Rock (now Virgin Money) and Barclays came on board a little later in December 2001, when the turnover was £2M and we had only one product channel – mortgage sourcing.

In an era of paper applications, the lenders who now owned Mortgage Brain were keen to make changes in the market. So, they brought in our CEO, Mark Lofthouse, to develop a trading platform that allowed mortgage applications to be completed, submitted and processed electronically.

Enter Mortgage Trading Exchange, which arrived in 2003, and has gone on to become the largest single delivery channel for mortgage placement in the industry. Today, more than 20% of all mortgage applications from brokers are processed via the platform.

Making waves

Three years later, we bought the Key, a point of sale system. At this time, the system was in its fledgling state following the introduction of MDay. Significant investment and development has led to the Key becoming the most widely used CRM system available with thousands of advisers relying on it to support their businesses on a daily basis.

A History of Mortgage Brain

There is no stopping for us

We then upped our game even further, launching MortgageBrain B2C in 2010, offering the industry’s first app, UKMortgages in 2012, and, a year later, bringing another industry first, iSourceMortgages, an iPad-based sourcing system to the table. To follow shortly in 2014 was MortgageBrain Anywhere, our online sourcing system developed as a solution to the growing demand for flexibility and ability to use multiple devices, and at the same time Mortgage Brain’s original desktop sourcing product was renamed MortgageBrain Classic.

More recently in 2015 we ventured into conveyancing sourcing with a case tracking portal with the launch of ConveyancingBrain – soon after followed by LoansBrain in 2016. The latter is a second charge sourcing website that remains freely available to all, and now in 2017, we have also integrated that functionality into our first charge sourcing systems.

Product accuracy and product data turnaround have always been crucially important to us, and today we continue to lead the field, with 90% of all product data requests from lenders being up and live on our sourcing systems within four hours, and 100% within eight hours. We also continue to adapt and enhance our products to ensure that they offer the latest in technology and support all the latest regulations – we never stand still!

 Ahead of the pack

We have consistently delivered specialist technology solutions ahead of our competitors since we began, and each year invest approximately 40% of our turnover into product development to ensure that you continually get the most out of our systems.

Our employees remain our best asset and the customer services team are on hand to support your queries or answer your question. We also are the only technology company to add an online chat facility to our website to help those who don’t want to pick up the phone. Plus our extensive library of resources to support our products with numerous videos and guides remains the best in our view.

We are very proud of who we are and what we have achieved.

Celebration time…

To celebrate our successful thirty years in business, we held a party in London at the end of April to raise money for a number of charities actively supported either through fundraising or volunteering by one or more of our Mortgage Brain colleagues.

The charities were Alzheimer’s Society, Birmingham Christmas Shelter, Contact the Elderly and Shooting Star Chase a leading children’s hospice charity. So far, we have raised a fantastic £50,245 for our incredible charities.

Here’s to another thirty years – and thirty more after that!