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Expats and older borrowers find startup digital mortgage adviser Hoocht

  • 05/12/2017
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Expats and older borrowers find startup digital mortgage adviser Hoocht
Hull-based startup digital mortgage advice firm Hoocht has seen applications from the Philippines, South Africa, Saudi and Somalia, including a British diplomat since its online launch two months ago.

Customer ages range from 20 to 64 said Hoocht and include buy-to-let portfolios, to Help to Buy, shared homeownership and first-time buyer loans.

The business which launched at The Deep business centre with two advisers on 30 October has ambitions to grow to 20 by the end of 2018 and already taken on two trainee advisers currently undergoing CeMap.

Global demand has ‘far exceeded all my expectations’ in the first month said Hoocht MD Rich Wynn, also an ex-London and Country and Barclays employee who built telephone-based brokerage MortgageCube.

Initial customer conversations are handled by ‘chatbots’, followed by automatically-generated mortgage and borrowing capacity illustrations. Customers are passed to Hoocht’s brokers for mortgage advice – again via online chat – to help them make their decision.

Wyn added the most important service elements for a mortgage adviser are honesty, prompt case submission, proactive communication and an ability to work closely with the target lender to make things happen quickly and efficiently.

Obsolete in 10 years

Wynn said the traditional ways of offering mortgage advice, face-to-face and over the telephone, will be obsolete within a decade.

“People are used to completing instantaneous transactions, usually via their smartphones, for everything from buying their supermarket shopping to booking a holiday,” he said.

“However, up to now, their financial services just haven’t been able to keep up with such expectations, due to the constraints of providers’ outmoded legacy IT systems, regulatory requirements and technical capabilities.

“That’s all changing now, though; the technology is available and we are going to be among the first businesses to offer people the kind of mortgage service they want, how they want it.

“I think the arrival of new regulation like the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) means we are also entering a new ‘open market’ era in financial services. In my view, this will lead to the major banks becoming the introducers, passing on their mortgage customers to who can combine good advice with speed and agility to offer customers a better experience.”


Adviser market growth

He added the vast majority of the mortgages agreed in 2016 were done through intermediaries and said this is only likely to grow.

“The great thing about the technology we’re using is that it’s very scalable. I’m an ordinary broker with a vision to change aspects of the industry for the benefit of consumers, and the technology is enabling me to do exactly that.

“While I don’t want to give too much away at this early stage, I can say we’re planning innovations that are different, and not necessarily what people would expect from a mortgage brokerage.”

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