With mortgage regulation drawing closer, I thought it would be interesting to look at the websites of three companies that provide services to mortgage brokers. Both Mortgage Promotions and Mortgage Support Network currently provide compliance support and lender/product panels, although there the similarities end. Unfortunately, both also need to take a long, hard look at their websites, review their internet strategies and rethink their approaches to website construction and design. The mortgageforce website, while you would expect it to have more to offer, is more in tune with what's required, making it overall an easier site to use.
As usual, email comments on the websites you use to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mortgage Promotions aims to promote regulated mortgage advisers to lenders and other product providers, and there's evidence within the website to support this. But the navigation needs a thorough sort-out. While all the screens have a rather basic menu bar, a more detailed, if incomplete, contents bar appears only on the 'about us' page, although this is tucked away off the bottom of the screen. There's plenty of information, when you can find it, but some of the pages are just too wordy. And the link to the associated compliance website needs redoing as the URL specified no longer exists. So disappointing overall, which is a shame as the company should have an attractive proposition for directly authorised firms in the new regulatory regime.
I'm not usually a fan of websites where the text is white out of a coloured background but this site works, mainly because the amount of text is kept under control, allowing the type size to be more user-friendly. The mortgageforce proposition is summarised neatly, with details of the benefits of being a mortgageforce franchisee. But the key part of the site is the secure area where users can access a wide variety of marketing and promotional material, from office stationery to promotional merchandise to a marketing toolbox containing formats for direct mail, advertising, press releases and newsletters, along with guidance on how best to use them. Plus, there's compliance support and access to the franchisee's commission account.
Mortgage Support Network
Mortgage Support Network may provide admin support, compliance and packaging, but its website is a mess. Faced with the homepage I didn't know where to start, with one navibar across the top, another down the left, and click-throughs from the body of the page as well.
The colour scheme of blue and sickly green is not my cup of tea at all and some of the layouts are plain awful. But there are some positives. The 'best buy' page is a good idea, even if one or two of the products lack detail ('no extended ties' is just not enough), and interactive mortgage sourcing and an AIP that can be submitted online are also plus points. Nice to see a printer-friendly generic application form too.