Why did I give up a successful career as a broker?

Hemel Shah

March 5, 2019

Hemel Shah (pictured) is sales director at Eligible

  • I had a successful career as a mortgage broker with over nine years at two of the top brokerages in the UK
  • I have gained an in-depth knowledge of the mortgage market and the key players within the market
  • I had an established book of clients with whom I had a great relationship
  • I had a great work-life balance that gave me flexibility and time to dedicate to ensuring my clients received the best service I could offer

So why did I give all of this up to join a fintech firm focused on mortgages?

I am incredibly fortunate and grateful to have spent the last nine years working alongside some very dedicated and knowledgeable people. Their openness has allowed me to develop a great understanding of the mortgage industry and I felt that I could leverage this knowledge to help even more people than I have done on an individual level.

I also saw the other side of broking where frustrations can set in. Speaking to clients and helping them realise their ambitions in terms of property ownership (either as a home or an investment) is very rewarding.

However, our industry can be very process driven at times which, in turn, can lead to brokers trying to avoid clunky, and in their view, unhelpful processes.

Anyone that has ever spoken to or worked with me knows that I’m a fan of technology and I’ve been intrigued by the changes in the mortgage industry over the past few years.

The ideas of automating processes and, using AI technology to reduce the level of bureaucracy piqued my interest and I spent quite some time looking at opportunities that I felt would aid the advisor and client experience. Going into technology focused around mortgages felt like the right step.

It is my belief that every potential borrower would benefit from taking advice – I’ve seen people who never thought they could get a mortgage buy their dream home and I’ve seen people desperately in financial troubles that needed the outside perspective of an experienced advisor to help guide them from the brink and onto stable ground.

When I first started talking to my now colleagues at Eligible, I saw a deep-seated desire to help and, if necessary, convince the industry to progress and ensure that every client is given the opportunity to improve their circumstances. I found a culture that matched my beliefs and filled with capable people that can help leverage the knowledge that I’ve acquired to help tens of thousands of clients each year get the advice they deserve at firm and lender level.

The mortgage journey can often be a confusing and daunting process for our clients.  As brokers used to dealing with mortgages every day, we sometimes forget that our clients do not think about their mortgage often and when they do, they may have lost the knowledge we had shared with them.

Providing engaging, educational content to clients that helps prepare them for their remortgage or product transfer not only creates a better journey but it reduces the anxieties that our clients feel. They now know why they need advice, who to speak to and what the process entails – all before they pick up the phone.

Our industry is changing and my goal is to make sure that clients understand our value. There are different expectations and ways of working but the ongoing value of advice is paramount.

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