Everyone with a mortgage has experienced the frustration of needing to fill in the same information multiple times, often wondering why the various providers can’t just communicate with each other.
With the rise of digital mortgage brokers like Habito and Trussle, that question has a solution: to not use the traditional route if you want to cut out the hassle of filling in the same information for everyone.
But estate agents provide a very valuable link into getting a mortgage – after all, they sell over 95% of homes in the UK.
So how can estate agents make the process consumers experience more modern – and claim a larger share of the estimated £1bn of annual mortgage procurement fees?
Step in Eligible, a new proptech company offering to make any estate agent offer a Habito level of service.
Eligible co-founder Rameez Zafar says their solution called MortgageWatch starts by plugging into an estate agent’s existing customer data to “very quickly determine if there’s an opportunity for a customer to save money – including if they are eligible for the product”.
Zafar states the product is “in beta with several large networks” of mortgage introducers. [EYE heard a rumour that LSL are involved in the beta trial, but neither Zafar or his PR would confirm this.]
With a background in trading ‘structured credit’ for HSBC, Zafar comes at this problem from a technical standpoint of efficiency and speed of service.
Of the company’s origin, Zafar said its central philosophy “is about auto-filling and removing layers of data-gathering”.
On the importance of agents in this, he says: “The journey begins with the property – the mortgage is just a financial product that sits alongside and is something to which people attribute a lot of stress and paperwork.”
He adds: “Seamless integration is good for the entire industry.”
It means, he says, that a broker can dispense with re-quizzing for basic information and “focus on adding value”.
Zafar started the interview by referencing how consumers are “now accustomed to Uber and checking bank statements online” but that people still want to talk to people because “mortgages are a big deal”.
With £1bn of revenue to compete for, embracing software that empowers agents and brokers, Eligible could be what people actually want from the mortgage industry.