It's been one year since I started The Mortgage Stop. It was a scary, but rewarding decision to start my own business during the global pandemic and I've come so far in 12 months! I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the last year and share some of the ups and downs of the last 12 months!
Why did I start The Mortgage Stop?
Simply put, I started The Mortgage Stop to help deliver mortgage advice my way! I have worked in financial services for over 20 years, and only in the last 5 or so years have more women take on leading adviser roles.
I wanted to show that women, especially in the more ethnic communities can make a difference in the financial services sector and having a family and a business can work! So I decided to set up for myself, to help deliver mortgage advice that makes a difference to my clients. I wanted to provide a service that was personal and family-friendly and that truly meets their needs - real advice!
I'm hoping I have achieved that, feedback has been awesome, and hope that our consistent 5-star reviews demonstrate that I’m bringing something different to clients!
We’ve made amazing progress in our first year!
The pandemic was in the early days, but I've come so far in the last 12 months. When I started, I found clients customers who were shocked and overwhelmed at how hard it had become to get their mortgage.
I took my time with each client situation and take as much time as they needed to so they could fully understand ALL their options and importantly built their trust with me – after all, they are sharing all their personal finance with me!
Though the several conversations I have really got to relate to my clients whether that be around children, pets work or hobbies and dreams. It gives me a true buzz to get to know each person as the mortgage application mean so much more than just number crunching!
With the constant changes in lending criteria as the economic effect of the pandemic evolved, I realised that it was essential to deliver advice that's not just about whether or not they could get the mortgage they needed and afford the repayments, but also to listen and understand how they were being impacted, from being furloughed to losing loved ones.
As the government brought in support, such as the stamp duty holiday, the housing market in the UK went into overdrive! Lenders taking weeks to make decisions and houses selling on the same day they are put on the market I upped my communication with clients talking to some at least 3 or 4 times a week to ensure everything went as smooth as possible
Not just about business but we wanted to be an active part of the local community as well
Based in Romsey, Hampshire, it's a lovely market town and I decided when I was planning my business, that I wanted to give something back to my local community, as well as providing a great service to our clients. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do, but it was more about helping out where needed and try my best to make a difference!
I've sponsored a local youth football team, Athletico Romsey FC, and helped them in their fundraising efforts. I've had some great fun with the team watching and supporting them, but also helping to raise funds as part of the Athletico Romsey Summer Tournament by sponsoring the prize draw where some great prizes were up for grabs!
I also support the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association that does so much for the rich and diverse community in Eastleigh and the surrounding areas. The association does some great work that culminates in Eastleigh Mela (Festival) where all communities get together to enjoy a day of music, dance and food! I'm proud to be one of the lead sponsors of this event this year.
I also send thank you gifts to my clients through local businesses that are filled with products from local farms and businesses!
Finally, thanks to our clients!
Above all else, I've really loved helping all of our clients. From our first time buyers who we hope enjoyed their welcome home baskets to our equity release clients who we have helped make a positive difference to and help them make the most of their retirement.
Technology has been vital in helping me. I've clients in their 80's on video calls helping them with their equity release (and teaching me in the process!).
The new investors who we have helped buy their first buy to let and helped begin their journey in property investment and amazing portfolio landlords who have been amazing in trusting us to help manage their buy to let mortgages, helping them maximise the return on their investment.
You're the reason why I’m able to be here today with a successful business! Thank you for helping me grow as an individual and for believing in what I accomplish for you.
My plans for the next 12 months
Finally, I've been really busy in the background and have a lot planned for the next 12 months! The Mortgage Stop is going from "me" to "we" as my new assistant will be joining me in October and to help me expand further our new Operations Director will be coming on board soon as well!
As well as building on our status as trusted advisers who consistently deliver 5-star customer service... We want to help people not just with their financial planning but be there when it counts most and continue to show why we're different to other mortgage advisors!
Thanks again from all of us, you're always welcome to give us a call or book an appointment, we'd be delighted to help you, and, if you're thinking of starting up your business, my advice is don't hold back on your dreams!
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage