Marketing Brief

Support is critical in the mortgage industry. Kevin Paterson\'s A-Z review rates the marketing material that lenders issue to help brokers with sales and business development

UCB Home Loans, the specialist lender of Nationwide, should have been a banker for good marketing content but I found some big gaps in its offering which was surprising from a broker-centric lender. It will be interesting to see what the plans are following the integration of The Mortgage Works, once the takeover of Portman is complete. There is clearly a significant overlap. My second review this week is Universal. I was fully expecting another dreary mutual website from this building society but surprisingly the Universal website punches well above it’s weight. I am just surprised we have not heard more of this society.

UCB Home Loans
www.ucbhomeloans.co.uk

As the specialist lender of the Nationwide I had high hopes for the UCB Home Loans website and overall it kind of achieves it, but little things let it down. For example, I’d like to see the rates available as a collective download instead of simply on screen and printable individually. I did find a couple of tables in the documents download sections but by accident as these were called flyers. Equally, while there are a fair number of forms available to download I could find nothing in the way of marketing literature. There is loads of online functionality with Key Facts Illustrations, applications in principle and case tracking and it is easy to navigate, but I’d like to see this lender apply some of the undoubted marketing expertise that must exist within the Nationwide group.

Universal
www.theuniversal.co.uk

A real surprise this one. I was expecting to find another tedious mutual website that was full of it’s own importance while comprehensively ignoring the broker sector. What I found was a comprehensive broker-friendly website with lots of useful information and documentation. The layout is easy to use. Some of the graphics are a bit strange but you can forgive this because there is a lot of helpful stuff available. There is also a fair amount of functionality – online KFIs and applications to name but two. There is a useful first-timers intermediary page which helps but I just feel it needs more in the way of marketing material and awareness in the intermediary sector if it is going to make inroads, as Universal seems like a well kept secret.38,000 registered users can’t be wrong