In this edition of The Mortgage Mum Podcast, Sarah talks about why she became a Mortgage Broker. The Mortgage Mum now has a team of 20 brokers, and an upcoming mortgage recruitment day is set to expand the company even further.
Turning disappointment into opportunity
It was a Friday in 2015, I was working in London, and I was a Legal PA. I’d applied for Britain’s Got Talent. They had already offered me an audition and told me to get T-shirts made.
I’d invited all my friends and family to this audition with the judges, including Simon Cowell, who I’d met previously. I was so excited about it. Then they called me that Friday and said, “Sarah, hi, we know you’re auditioning with us on Monday. We’re so sorry, there have been some changes and we haven’t got as many slots as we thought. And I’m afraid you’re not going to be auditioning with us now.”
Looking back, it doesn’t sound like a big deal. But at the time I’d had years of this sort of thing and got so close. I’d previously got on X Factor all the way to the end of boot camp – and they didn’t air any of it. I got four yes’s and had an amazing standing ovation performance. They filmed me at work and at home and I thought, wow, this is it. But it just never aired. It’s a strange world, the TV and music industry.
So I sat at my desk and I thought, I can’t do this anymore. I’d become a mum the year before. My daughter, Sienna, was 18 months old and I just thought, I don’t want this London life when she’s at school. I’m here three days a week, 12 hours a day, and I want to be with her more.
At the time I was a PA and it wasn’t giving me enough. Previously I’d worked in mortgages and loved it. I asked myself, what should I do next? And sometimes the answer just pops into your head.
Making it happen
I’d always found mortgages really interesting and I realised I could do that from home. I could take my kids to school, help people buy their first homes.
To cut a long story short, I got qualified and I became a mortgage broker alongside my day job. I had already set up my own business when Joshua was born and I was on maternity leave – I thought, it’s now or never: if I go back to London, I’m never going to leave.
So I left employed life behind, and put everything into my business. I’d built a client base by then and there I was, a mortgage broker and a mum of two. Broking was very male dominated – and nobody was really taking advantage of the online space. So I just started doing Facebook videos about mortgages. I was really nervous, but people really liked it. And lots of women particularly tuned in and I got lots of good feedback – and when they saw me at school they called me the Mortgage Mum.
So I set up Instagram as the Mortgage Mum – I was a bit embarrassed about it at first. But then people started recognising it as a brand.
A return to singing
I was doing self development courses and I found I was talking a lot about my singing again.
It was years after that Britain’s Got Talent audition and I thought that I’d let it go. But as with any true passion, it never goes away. So even now, I’m very busy in the business, but I think about singing every day.
So I applied for The Voice. And for those of you who don’t know, in 2019 I was lucky enough to get a blind audition – it was the moment I’d waited for for such a long time.
I set my sights on Jennifer Hudson and ideally getting all four judges to turn round. When the stars align, it’s the most magical feeling in the whole world and I got my four turns, it was the most amazing thing ever.
I told my daughter, if you imagine something, if you really believe it, it can come true. And she stood at the side of the stage watching me. And to be honest, I had multiple panic attacks on the day because I just didn’t feel ready. But… If you push yourself, when you feel that your back’s against the wall, and you do it, magic happens. You will transform overnight.
I will never forget standing on the side of that stage. I felt like I was standing in a plane with a parachute on my back. I had to force myself to walk out there. You can’t talk. There’s no introduction. You walk on silently, you take hold of the microphone, you count to 10 and your song starts.
If you push yourself and put yourself out there, great things can happen. And back at work, I had a vision of helping women get into the industry and become mortgage brokers – more women like me.
I had a vision of working alongside incredible women who are also juggling family life, who put their clients first and empower them so that they know what’s happening with their money, and why they are choosing a particular mortgage product.
Now we’re here, 2 years on, in a company full of women like me who are passionate, full of empathy, understanding, passion and drive, and who are set on giving our clients the best service possible.
Mortgage advice with a difference
I’m very proud of where we are. I really didn’t realise we would grow so quickly.
As mortgage brokers, we take our role very seriously. When you’re buying property, you want a broker you can trust. It’s not about the money, it’s not about the rates, it’s about service and it’s about the people.
A mortgage broker is here to make your house purchase or remortgage that much easier and more enjoyable so that you can focus on the good stuff.
Thank you for listening to my story – I’m proud to share it and let you understand a little bit more about The Mortgage Mum and how we got here.