"Due to the rise of the product transfer, it’s much harder now to trade profitably": Malcolm Davidson, UK Moneyman

We spoke to Malcolm Davidson, managing director of UK Moneyman, about how 2020 marked a pivotal juncture in the advice industry, the opportunities and challenges currently facing brokers, and why it's time for procuration fees to be reviewed.

Related topics:  In The Spotlight,  Mortgages
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
10th May 2024
Malcolm Davidson UK Moneyman
"Due to the rise of the product transfer and the derisory 0.2% paid by some lenders, it’s much harder now to trade profitably."

FR: Please tell us a little bit about your background, your role and the business.

As husband-and-wife co-directors, my partner and I have been on a journey since the inception of our company in 2009. For me, this venture has been a culmination of decades of experience in the mortgage advice sector, dating back to the mid-1990s. Our base of operations is in Hull, East Yorkshire, where our team of 32 highly talented individuals work from.

What distinguishes us, in our opinion, is our progressive approach to lead generation. We've cultivated an in-house marketing team tasked with creating compelling website content and orchestrating web leads through astute SEO and PPC strategies. This concerted effort on digital has been pivotal in propelling the growth of UK Moneyman.

The year 2020 looms large in our collective memory, as it marked a pivotal juncture for us, undoubtedly mirroring the experiences of many within the mortgage industry. We made a strategic pivot, opting to transition from traditional face-to-face engagements to a fully remote model, relying exclusively on telephone and video consultations. While this decision wasn't devoid of challenges, we viewed it as a necessary evolution to align with the shifting landscape, and we take pride in our resilience throughout this transformational phase.

FR: How important is technology to your business and how do you utilise technology in your day-to-day proposition for both your brokers and their customers?

At UK MoneyMan, technology isn't just important — it's the backbone of our operations. We've seamlessly integrated online appointment booking through Calendly, ensuring our availability around the clock. This integration seamlessly syncs with our One Mortgage System (OMS) and Microsoft applications, automating lead logging and pre-appointment communications, including initial fact-finding and video links ahead of appointments.

In response to the challenges presented by Covid-19, we took a significant step by deconstructing our sales process, which was pivotal in rebuilding our efficiency and profitability. Our capacity to remain organised, then and now, has been largely facilitated by technology, specifically through the implementation of workflows and task management tools.

Additionally, our use of our integration with Dashly, elevates our client experience. This sends out monthly ‘comfort’ emails assuring our clients of their continued access to the best deals, while the system provides indexed home valuations—a valuable discussion point during client interactions.

In essence, technology has empowered us to adapt seamlessly to the demands of operating 24/7 for our clients. Moreover, it has significantly enhanced our efficiency and enabled us to deliver unparalleled customer experiences.

FR: You use One Mortgage System across your business, why did you choose them initially and how have they helped your business grow since you appointed them?

Before teaming up with OMS, I looked at a couple of systems, but none quite matched up to what OMS had to offer. What truly set OMS apart for us was not only its reasonable pricing but also the fact that it was designed by brokers for brokers. This bespoke approach convinced me that OMS was tailor-made for the industry by someone who truly comprehends its nuances.

Since integrating with OMS, our collaboration with Neal and the team has been seamless. They consistently demonstrate their commitment by valuing and implementing our feedback, always striving to enhance the system for all users.

Moreover, OMS played a crucial role in facilitating the smooth transition of our data during the system switch, ensuring that no information was overlooked.

In terms of growth, OMS recognised early on that partner integrations were key to progress. This approach eliminated the need for repetitive data entry, as everything we require is seamlessly integrated into the system, resulting in significant time savings for us.

FR: What challenges do you think brokers face currently and why; plus conversely what opportunities do you believe exist?

Brokers currently face a multitude of challenges in the ever-evolving landscape of the mortgage industry.

One of which are that clients’ expectations are higher than ever before, yet due to the rise of the product transfer and the derisory 0.2% paid by some lenders, it’s much harder now to trade profitably.

Brokers represent a huge part of lenders’ mortgage income as well as taking on the regulatory burden of responsibility for advice and it’s time for this to be reviewed to be more representative of the work involved in keeping a client on the books.

Also, data security is an ongoing challenge for brokers, especially those that are DA and are responsible for their own systems and processes. Working with all our data and files in the cloud has been helpful for our business over the last few years, especially with remote working.

FR: What are your main areas of focus for 2024 and what can we expect from UK Moneyman for the rest of this year?

Our main focus for 2024 revolves around further solidifying our position as a comprehensive service provider for our clients at UK Moneyman. We have been working hard over the years to become a 'one stop shop' for our customers and gain our independent broker status. Now we offer advice in-house on secured loans, bridging finance, and retirement/equity release mortgages.

We’ve found it surprising how many over 50s mortgages fit with a high street lender for a traditional mortgage following a customer enquiry for equity release.

We now have mortgage brokers and IFAs referring their later life clients over to us and we operate a revenue sharing model which we are looking to expand upon in 2024.

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