Broker Focus is a weekly column that aims to amplify the voices of intermediaries up and down the country.
Profiling a different mortgage broker every week, the column will ask a mix of light-hearted and professional questions about the individual, their firm and their take on the mortgage market.
The last Broker Focus was on Xpress Mortgages’ founder and mortgage adviser Rachel Lummis, and this week it’s the turn of MOV8 Financial director Robin Purdie.
Tell me about your firm in three sentences.
MOV8 Financial are independent mortgage and protection brokers based in Edinburgh. We opened in 2011, and are involved in residential mortgages, reviews, buy-to-let and all things protection. We consider ourselves experts in the nuances of the Scottish purchase process.
What is your headcount?
Currently six of us – myself and business partner, plus two other advisers, our case manager and office manager. I can see that figure increasing in the coming months.
Where are you based?
Edinburgh, but we cover anywhere really. We have clients throughout Scotland and I also have a number of clients in London and the South East. One of the great things about our industry is that there are no geographical restrictions these days.
What led you to become a mortgage broker?
Prior to setting up MOV8 Financial I had been a full Ifa for more than 10 years. However, the majority of my business was coming from the mortgage and protection side, and RDR was looming, so it made sense to concentrate on what I knew best.
What are the best parts of your job?
Ultimately, we are the link between clients and the biggest, most exciting thing that they’ll ever purchase.
A new set of keys is their goal, and this tends to lead to happy clients who will pass your number to more people than a client you’ve arranged a pension for.
We do a large amount of review business as well, so I am really excited that every lender of note will be at the retention party by 2018. It really is a great time to be a broker.
What are your plans for your firm’s future?
We have a few irons in the fire regarding new introducers and business sources, which should lead to continued growth.
First and foremost though, we want to ensure that our current advisers and support staff are maximising their own potential. We have a really great team, and my goal is to help them be the best that they can be, then add the additional bodies that will supplement them.
What annoys you about the mortgage market?
Genuine answer – not much at the moment! A number of lenders have significantly upped their game in recent times, and we tend to avoid the ones whose service levels are substandard.
We are fortunate in Scotland that we have no ‘survey ambiguity’ on purchases, but by 2018 I’ll be happy to do more product transfers and less remortgages.
Down-valuations and the hassle caused by remortgage solicitors will hopefully become a thing of the past.
And what is the best thing about it?
Simple – retention! The day of the Santander announcement was literally a watershed moment for brokers, because you knew that the other big resisters would follow shortly thereafter.
We need to be able to do a proper job for our clients at review time, and by 2018 our capabilities will no longer be hamstrung by lenders.
What one thing would improve brokers’ working lives the most?
Better technology. Some of the sourcing systems and CRM software really need dragged into the 21st century.
And I find some of the rules surrounding ‘advertising’ simply bizarre, so more common sense in this area would be good.
Lastly, the levies are grossly unfair and require a complete overhaul. The most recent one, and the reason for it, was simply scandalous for the good guys who are left in the industry.
What is the best day you’ve ever had, and why?
On a personal level, my wedding day and the day my daughter was born. Of course these are bit cliched, but they are genuinely special days.
Business-wise, every time we have our biggest month!
Which person, alive or dead, would you most like to have a drink with?
Noel Gallagher. One of my very few heroes, from being a teenager in the 90s, and always seems like he’d have top patter on a day out!
Which teams do you support, and why?
I am more of a rugby man than football, and support Glasgow Warriors. A few of their lads are clients of ours, so I have developed an affinity with this club over the years.
Football-wise its Newcastle, who at time of writing have been promoted, assuming no 20-point deduction due to tax affairs!
Finally, what do you most like to read in Mortgage Strategy?
Corny answer, but all of it. I find it a great source of breaking mortgage news and check the website several times during the day, as well as following the main site and journalists on Twitter. And I also enjoy Andrew Montlake’s weekly Marketwatch column.
If you would like to be featured in Broker Focus, please email Mortgage Strategy deputy editor Sam Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02079704425.