Meet the broker… Mortgages 4 U

Meet Paul Seed of Mortgages 4 U

Tell us about your business?

I set up during the pandemic as a bit of a safety net from my main occupation in the entertainment industry, with the initial intention of targeting the difficult combination of self-employment and the gig culture income as a market.

I like a challenge and complex mortgages was the original aim, but soon migrated to realise that most people have an element of complexity in their case so our main client base is adverse credit and complex situations – whether income, debt or residency.

Two years in and the previous occupation will be retiring in September to focus on moving the Mortgages 4 U brand forwards.

Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?

I’m based in South Essex, but our client base is from across the country thanks to the internet and Zoom.

I find particularly with the adverse credit market people would rather deal electronically rather than face-to-face and our systems have adapted for this market.

What are the main issues impacting your local market?

Simple – house pricing. I would say around 30% of my client base over the last 12 month have been affected by agents or vendors overestimating the value of a property, and accepting offers way over the true valuation.

With squeezed deposits and bidding wars, we have seen a great deal of re-shaping of deals to cope with lower valuations, or deals falling through. Similarly, we have seen a lot of clients priced out of a property be re-contacted when an original deal fell through.

What challenges are you facing as a broker?

Expectations of timescales. Because we approach the process by getting absolutely everything upfront to fully assess a case, it takes time to assess and place.

Ultimately it leads to a successful offer, but when they have either obtained a DIP online or elsewhere on basic information within minutes it’s difficult to explain that the case needs to be fully assessed for success! Then pile on the inevitable underwriting delays and there is a lot of client expectation management to be done, especially with first-time buyers.

What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?

We have based our approach on the full journey – so try and approach a case with opportunities for not just the mortgage, but the conveyancing, surveying, general and life Insurance, and onwards planning.

I think a lot of brokers miss out on the easy wins due to the time it takes to ultimately manage the process (and it does take time to keep cases flowing).

The mortgage broker always seems to be the go-to to debunk the status of the process (interpreting solicitor speak, estate agent updates etc), and I feel if the broker fosters that relationship with a client and looks after them across the whole piece, the repeat business will come in.

What could lenders do to help further your business?

I think in-process response times are key to help brokers drive the deals through. We have all seen cases that are put on lenders’ system on a Friday and offered on the Monday with a good wind, but the same lender could hit ridiculously long app to offer times. Going back to the applicants’ timescale expectations, it’s really hard to justify why Applicant 1 took three days, and Applicant 2 took three months!

What sets you apart from the competition?

I think our approach to detail before we approach lenders is rare. In a world where online services offer a decision in principle with basic figures, we have seen clients come to us when what was presented as a solution turns out to be unachievable once the detail is looked at.

Our intention is also to always be on hand to work around when a client needs us, rather than a 9-5 – our target market are either working during the day, or don’t want to openly discuss their arrangements whilst in a working environment.

How should potential borrowers contact you? or 01268 851424