Rachel Geddes – Mortgage Advice Bureau, City of London

Well what a 12 months it has been, as we entered into 2020 as a business, we through we had the year ahead of us laid out and have our best year to date. Then March happened and the world as we knew turned upside. Our industry was being forced to close. However, I was able to see this challenge as an opportunity a time to grow as a business not just in recruitment but in how we specialise in the London arena.

With fewer new enquiries coming through from our current introducers we looked at where else we could grow our business in London. Focusing on this we have successfully brought on 4 London new build sites with Barratt homes of over 8000 new units across London planned to complete over a 18 month period. This is enabling us to use our experience and specialism in foreign national buyers, investors and Help to buy mortgages and give us business sustainability.

We have also partnered up with several large business including local councils to be part of their employee benefits package, back in April I saw this as a perfect time to approach local business and offer this benefit so they could reward their employees especially in a time of so much uncertainty. We now offer mortgage and protection advice to over 6500 employees and counting.

Retentions has always been a key area for my business and never has this been more important. At the very beginning of COVID-19 we contacted each of our existing clients to reassure them that we were still here to assist and talk through any help or guidance they needed. Especially regarding payment holidays and the potential impacts involved should they take one. We also set up dedicated helplines for existing and new clients to contact us to discuss any concerns they had to elevate as much financial stress as possible.

We have always been a market share driven business rather then market driven and 2020 has been no exception. Growth we have achieved so far in 2020- 40% increase in staff, lending arranged is up by £36,000,000 from £64,000,000 to £100,000,000 arranged ytd.

With the hard work and vision, we have put in to 2020 we have managed to achieve our best year to date. So much can be and will be taken from 2020 as we enter 2021. Working closely with your team- learning how to work closely whilst remotely – their individual challenges and ensuring their wellbeing is a priority in the business. Keeping in regular contact with lenders, surveyors and legal partners is paramount to success. Seeing every obstacle as an opportunity and refusing to give up has not only allowed us to succeed in a year that couldn’t have been foreseen but given us the time and opportunity to lay new foundation to optimise the business so we can continue our growth not just in 2021 but for the many years ahead.