Specialist Solutions: What has been the highlight of your first year in business?
Pete Thomson: There have been a couple, the first was launch day, 11 July last year and the second the support we’ve had from brokers.
I feel very proud that we went from sitting in a coffee shop in Cornhill with Trevor Pothecary, Hugh Meechan and David Newman discussing a new lender, to launching The Mortgage Lender in less than twelve months.
I’ve also been amazed by the people in the industry who’ve engaged with us over the last year. There’s a lot of goodwill towards the TML team and we’re very appreciative of that.
SLS: What weren’t you expecting?
PT: Brexit! The vote put a spanner in our launch timeline and caused a delay of around four weeks and I don’t think the timing of the surprise General Election has boosted confidence in the sector.
SLS: What have you learnt?
PT: Gaining traction has been tougher than any of us thought. Earning and winning the trust of brokers is the key which goes hand in hand with brand awareness.
Equally, we are seeing a large demand for buy to let mortgages and it’s something we’re developing at the moment, so watch this space.
SLS: What advice would you give yourself if you could go back a year?
PT: To launch with the widest product suite possible.
SLS: Has the venture proved more or less successful than you envisaged?
PT: It’s proved more successful than we could have hoped for in a lot of ways, the brokers who use us love our service and pragmatic approach to underwriting.
We have recently conducted some research recently which showed we’ve got a real competitive advantage in the areas we’ve focused on and the initial findings indicate that brokers intend to place more cases with us over the next six months than they have over the last – a great place for us to be.
SLS: What’s next?
PT: Building on what we’ve achieved so far and moving into new markets, buy to let being the first one.