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Hello, and welcome to the Mortgage Mum podcast with me, Shelley Walker, Senior Mortgage Broker. I’m your podcast host today, because our lovely MD Sarah Tucker has extended her maternity leave, and quite rightly so.

I’m pleased to be bringing you this podcast today, with the fantastic news that we’re launching our new business, The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance, as of now. So please get in touch if you have any specialist finance requirements. 

In this podcast we’ll give you more information about the new company. I’ll be speaking alongside Dan Hobbs from New Leaf Distribution. Welcome, Dan!

The New Leaf Network

Dan:

Hi, Shelley. Thanks for having me on the podcast today, it’s an honour to be here. I’m Daniel Hobbs, MD of the New Leaf distribution network for Mortgage Brokers and Financial Advisors.

Shelley:

The reason you’re here today, is that our exciting new business, The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance sits under New Leaf Distribution Network. Do you want to say a little bit about the network and the framework we work under?

Dan: 

It’s fantastic to have The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance with us. We’ve been working behind the scenes for quite a while to get it all through and start it up.

So New Leaf, as you say, is a network, and it essentially does two things. The first is compliance support for advisers who do mortgages, investments, commercial finances, insurances etc., to give advice to retail and commercial customers.

It takes away the headache for firms like yourselves, because we look after all the compliance rules for you. The systems you use are all provided as well. It just means you can do what you do best, which is getting out there and speaking to customers, giving great advice and helping people.

The second thing the network does is provide insurance for the advisors. It means if an advisor makes a mistake, then the customer has got recourse not only through independent options,  but also through the network itself. There’s a route for compensation should the advisor make a mistake. So there are benefits for both advisers and customers.

Shelley: 

Absolutely right. It’s very necessary and a very good place for us to be launching the new business. So The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance is the new company, it’s regulated under the New Leaf framework and is separate to the main Mortgage Mum company, which is regulated under Mortgage Intelligence Networks.

The strength of the New Leaf Network is the sheer diversity of products that we’re now able to offer. You’ve had 40 years in business and there are a lot of other advisors that we can call on for shared expertise. It gives us a great informal network of support. Plus, you’ve got fantastic relationships with 200 lenders – and it seems to grow every week.

As you know, I’ve been with The Mortgage Mum since the beginning. I’m excited to move into a new area and learn more about new and different products and bring those to our clients.

Why have we launched The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance

Shelley: 

As you know, under the Mortgage Mum, we can do regulated and unregulated mortgages and protection, as well as later-life lending. That’s our core business.

But under New Leaf, The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance is going to bring that commercial finance aspect in. We’re looking at a different target audience. We’re looking at helping and supporting aspirational investors, property professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

We’re really passionate about doing that because one of our core values at The Mortgage Mum, is to ‘lift as you climb’. It really feels like we have climbed – we started from our kitchens and now there are over 35 of us in the team, on national TV and in the press regularly.

We’re thinking, how can we help more people? So to bring these commercial products to a different range of people is something we’re really passionate about. We can help people build their businesses.

We’re all family people. Most of us are mums. We see that businesses help to build communities, and communities are what’s really important to us, bringing a nice safe space for our children. It just makes the world a better place, doesn’t it?

Dan: 

It’s great to be able to offer these new products properly, without using third party firms that package cases on your behalf. The key thing for The Mortgage Mum is control. You wanted to keep hold of your clients. You didn’t want to muddy the waters, because it’s hard for clients to understand.

They’re coming to you, Shelley, as a broker, the mortgage person they know and trust. Then they decide theyI’d like to get into property development. They might want to get a bridging loan to buy property at auction.

If you say, that’s fine, I can help you, but then end up passing them to someone else, the client won’t know what’s happening. They’ll wonder why you can’t do it.

Shelley: 

Definitely. And that’s exactly what we found. And it must be frustrating.

Dan: 

And as an advisor, you think you can do this, with a bit of help. You’ve got a good grasp on where to go, but you just couldn’t do it because of the restrictions in place. That must be very frustrating for brokers as well.

Shelley:

It is. You can’t measure the quality or the timeliness or the responsiveness of a third party. That’s been the tricky bit for us. We really pride ourselves on our five-star responsive service.

Sometimes when you do have to pass people on, we haven’t quite got that same feel. And that’s what people have said: we came to you at the Mortgage Mum because you’re nurturing, you’re educating us, you’re supporting us through the process, and then we’ve been passed on and let down a bit.

The style of our advice is very supportive at the Mortgage Mum, and that’s why people come to us. And in the commercial world it can be more rate driven, harder and faster, which is understandable. But if you’ve experienced gentle, nurturing support and then suddenly you don’t, it feels like a let down.

That’s the feedback we’ve had, and people are coming to us with development deals, with bridging enquiries, with secured loan enquiries. We want to be able to help – and now we’re really excited to be able to.

Dan: 

They have someone they can go to, they can trust and it’s within the same brand. It’s part of the group. That’s going to be great for you.

Shelley:

Under the Mortgage Mum specialist finance, we can help them with everything. It’s really exciting. I’m excited and slightly scared at the same time.

Dan:

Well, it’s a new venture, isn’t it? Ultimately, it’s a bit scary, but that excitement and bit of nerves is part of what drives it. You’ll really be good at it, I’m sure.

Shelley:

The thing is, you can overcompensate and do too much. I know, for example, we need to get at least three quotes for a bridging loan. Yesterday I went out to ten lenders. I will get the best quote on the market. It makes you try much harder.

Dan:

You want to do best for your client. And that’s amazing. But actually on the quoting side of things, this is part of the reason why a lot of advisers feel restricted by this market because there isn’t a system. There isn’t a comparison tool to help us.

It’s more old-fashioned. There isn’t really any help, tech-wise. It’s about getting on the phone, talking to the banks’ business development managers and getting the deal written down. I think a lot of advisers sometimes feel it’s a bit too difficult. They decide to stay out of it because it’s hard to see what everyone’s doing. There’s less control.

But with us, because we’ve been doing it for a long time, we got a great route to get these quotes. We have strong relationships and support in the background. So you can be new to it but quickly get to grips with some of these amazing new products you can offer.

Products available with The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance:

Shelley: 

I’ll give just a brief overview of products, because obviously we could talk about each one of them for quite a while. But we’ll do a deep dive into those products on later podcasts.

  1. Secured Loans

This is where we’re putting a second charge against a property. It can be a residential property, a business, commercial premises, buy to let. It’s a second mortgage.

Dan: 

A good point to raise actually is that we say commercial, but actually some of this stuff is residential. You can now do these things with us. This is specialist residential, and other networks would still be restricted on that kind of deal. Many networks don’t allow advisers to access secured loans directly. They’ll make you refer it on. Obviously, you’ll be able to do that now yourself, which is great.

  1. Bridging Loans

Shelley: 

Bridging Loans are a really core part of the business. People might know about bridging or short-term property finance. It’s often used for auction purchases and chain breaks: if you’re buying a property and your seller collapses. It can also be used if you’re buying a property that needs significant refurbishment – so it’s not currently mortgageable or habitable.

It’s popular for conversion projects like changing a house to an HMO or multi-unit block or splitting the title on a block. There are lots of different purposes really for bridging. Again, it can be commercial, residential or Buy to Let. There are lots of options there.

It’s been the bulk of our enquiries so far, even without us having launched The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance. We think that’s the universe telling us that we’re doing the right thing and nudging us in the right direction.

  1. Commercial Finance

Now, commercial finance is a broad banner. But we can help people to buy commercial premises, to use as their own business – opening a shop, for example. Perhaps it’s a shop with a flat above, or perhaps you’re an experienced landlord and you’re buying commercial premises as a Buy to Let investment.

Dan: 

That’s true. Where someone might lease their office and then want to buy it. It’s absolutely anything to do with commercial property.

Shelley:

The way commercial loans are assessed is different, whether it’s Buy to Let or owner-occupied. If you’re occupying it yourself, lenders will look at the accounts rather than the rental, because obviously you are occupying it. It’s something we can work through individually for each business proposition and access a great range of lenders.

  1. Development Finance

Next is development finance. We’re talking about large-scale developments – a few houses on a site or a multi-million pound site, we’re now in the game.

Dan:

So if a client of yours has bought a bit of land recently and wants to build on it, you’re going to be able to help them now. This product helps them build whatever they want over a period of time and access funds as and when they need them.

Shelley:

I have a vision for development finance, and it’s in our business plan. There’s a photo, which I claim is me, but she’s definitely at least 10 years younger than me and about two dress sizes smaller. I’m in a hard hat, on a building site with a crane behind me. I’ve got plans in my hands and I’m visiting and I’m doing the finance. It’s something I’m quite passionate about.

Dan: 

That’s a really good way to look at it. When you get into specialist finance and commercial, you become more than just the finance person. You can be that property finder, build up your client book and help find them an opportunity to invest in. Go and get a hard hat on, talk to surveyors, and present the plan to your investors and then ultimately finance it.

We’ve got some people who do that within the network now and it’s fantastic to see how proactive they are with the arrangements.

Shelley:  That’s my dream. I’m passionate about property and I am a property investor myself. I really see a role there. Some of my clients are in this space and often ask me if I have anybody that would invest in their project. I’d love to go out and work on that end-to-end. Ultimately, I’d love to invest in it myself, but I’m saving up the pennies for that.

  1. Complex Buy to Let

Shelley:

Here we’re talking about professional landlords, with meaty portfolios, a range of property, and different types of property. They may have some standard Buy to Let, they may have commercial, semi-commercial or multi-unit blocks.

We’re looking at different finance options across the whole portfolio, whether it be a portfolio loan or whether it be individual mortgages for individual projects. We understand how to get under the skin of that portfolio and offer the best option to that person.

Dan: 

It’s a big one, because there’s lots of lenders out there. It’s really tough if you don’t have someone to help you. You can end up losing so much money as things go to variable rates. We see clients with 35 properties in their portfolio – that’s a lot of applications to do.

Shelley:

You definitely need a finance broker to help you. Although this is the one that makes me nervous, Dan, because I think, do I really want to do 35 applications?

But of course, I do. It’s looking at that whole picture, isn’t it? Sometimes people get in that rut of looking at individual mortgages. I take a step back, and it just doesn’t make sense. One property is loaded to 80% loan to value, and another one’s unencumbered with no mortgage at all. Why aren’t we just spreading that across a couple of properties and bringing rates right down?

Dan: 

I guarantee there’ll be people who’ve arranged mortgages for clients previously and not really engaged them very well. Customer service maybe isn’t the best with some advisers.

Then the client gets left on a deal that doesn’t really work for them, but they don’t realise – they’re paying for it, they can afford it,  but they could have structured it far better.

You guys obviously don’t have that issue, because customer service is part of your core value. You’ll look out for your customer.

Shelley:

Recently I was dealing with someone’s residential mortgage, and the loan size and monthly payment didn’t make sense to me at all. I could literally halve those payments. The client  was amazed – they had been in a loss situation but could be making a profit.

  1. Business Finance

We often talk about property finance but here we’re talking about asset finance, invoicing, cash flow finance. Mark at the network has a great story of somebody that came forward that was setting up a pilot school. He needed finance to buy the planes. So it’s really diverse and gives businesses an opportunity.

Dan: 

It could be anything – a printing company might want to buy new printing machinery. That could be a massive investment of say £100,000 to replace an old one. Asset finance will help the businesses with buying big items. But the pilot one was a particularly expensive venture.

Shelley:

Even last month I was helping a client who wanted to diversify. They’ve got their own limited company now, but they’re wanting to move on from IT contracting and their dream is to set up a national chain of sports bars.

We’ve helped them raise funds from their existing business to act as a deposit for their onward purchase. That’s been a really nice one – it’s helping someone’s meet their life goals.

  1. Protection

Shelley:

Protection is something that we’re very hot on. From the launch of The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance we are going to refer that on to one of our sister companies. We have specialist advisers within the Mortgage Mum that can deal with personal protection. And we have a great colleague that deals with business protection.

We’ll start like that, but see where the world takes us, because protection is so essential, isn’t it, to everybody.

Dan: 

Absolutely. The key is to make sure the client has that conversation with you, that’s the main thing. Whoever writes it, it’s about making sure that client has the opportunity.

  1. High net worth clients

Shelley: 

We have another sister company where we can deal with private bank finance. There are fantastic options for people who are high net worth. Under The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance, we have access to a wider range of lenders to help those people with high net worth.

Dan: 

Absolutely. You’ve got people who are buying residential properties at very high levels. It’s a bespoke type of lending, really.

Shelley:

Also, when people are investors they are often high net worth. Then, we’re looking not only at what the return on investment might be, we might be looking at their assets and how we can spread lending across the whole suite of their financial arrangements.

I hope people can sense that both of us actually are really passionate about this space and this new offer is all about helping people progress their own lives and businesses. It’s so important.

Shared business values

Shelley:

Essentially, both our organisations are passionate about helping people. You’re a very forward thinking, progressive network. You’re very supportive. And that’s how we like to see ourselves at the Mortgage Mum and in the new company as well. We’re very solution-focused. We like to be tenacious about finding the right thing for somebody, subject to it all stacking up well. It’s about the quality of service for us.

Dan:

It’s really important. Absolutely huge. From our end, we want to give you a really good service as well. We want to make sure you have that foundation where you can be really confident to go to your clients and give them a great service.

Our network has been going for over 20 years now, but I still feel that we’re quite nimble. I feel like we’re just getting started. We have that ‘day one’ mindset. You walk in the door as if you’re starting a new venture. That’s how I feel every day coming to New Leaf.

With the Mortgage Mum, that’s especially true. Every day is like going back to day one, you give clients 100%. There’s no slacking off. You’re really supportive and really want to help. I think that’s why we align really well together.

Shelley:

That’s how it is to me. I want to give every client the best level of service. I enjoy it when I don’t know the answer straight away – I’ve got to learn. I’ve got to find it out. That is my drive, to make things work as best as we can.

I’ve got an impossible case on my desk at the moment, it feels like. But I’m going to get something for this client. They’ve been told no by several other brokers, but no is not the answer here. We’ll keep going.

That’s what we’d like to bring to this sector, really. I hope that’s been a good overview for everybody. Dan, we’ve spoken a lot about business today, but is there anything that you could say about yourself to help us get to know you a little bit better? I’m sure you won’t be a stranger to the Mortgage Mum podcast!

Dan: 

I’ve been working for New Leaf since 2010, so my experience has really grown over the years. Commercial finance is relatively new for me personally, having only really been involved in it the last couple of years myself.

We’ve worked closely in getting this set up, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys flourish and progress. I just want to end by saying I’m really thankful that you did choose to work with – we’re not the only network available. But you chose us, and that’s a real big win for us. We’re really happy to work with you guys.

You’ve got a great brand, great business. I’ve been following it closely over the last three or four years as it’s grown. Sarah has done amazingly, Jamie in the background and the rest of the mums as well.

Shelley:

I can’t wait. The cases are coming, the business is being written. It is such a good opportunity. Thank you for accepting us in.

To any of our listeners out there, if you’ve got specialist finance needs, then come and speak to me. Or, if you’re a broker and you’d like to work with us, get in touch! If you’re looking for that special bit of Mortgage Mum magic and want to give that quality five star service to your commercial and specialist clients, then we’d love to talk to you.

Thank you for listening, and thank you Dan for being my co-host.

Sarah:

Thank you so much for listening to the Mortgage Mum podcast, and I hope you learned something new today and felt inspired in some way. Here at The Mortgage Mum, we really believe in people supporting people. So if you’ve enjoyed this episode of The Mortgage Mum podcast, please share and subscribe and rate and review this podcast and let’s keep supporting each other.

And of course, if you would like help with your mortgage or your insurance, contact any one of the team on social media, we would love to help you. Thank you for listening.

The Mortgage Mum Specialist Finance (FCA 999350) is an approved representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd (FCA 460421). Some of the products discussed are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.