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Episode 46: Modernising Mortgages and Disruptive Marketing with Nathan Blissett, dwello

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In this episode of the SME Growth Podcast, Dave Parry chats with our guest Nathan Blissett, a former professional footballer turned successful mortgage advisor. Nathan shares his journey of transitioning from the football pitch to the financial world and starting his business, dwello mortgages.

You can listen to the full episode here.

From football to the financial world

In the podcast, Nathan discusses how he stumbled into the world of football and always knew that it was a short-lived career. With a business degree in hand, he seized an opportunity that came his way while playing football in the park, setting his path in motion.

When Nathan bought his first house, an exceptional mortgage advisor guided him through the process. This encounter planted the seed of a new career path. Fast forward a few years, during the downtime due to COVID, Nathan decided to pursue the necessary qualifications to become a mortgage advisor, securing his future in the industry and leading him to found dwello. Nathan now strives to provide comfort and security to clients during one of life's most significant decisions – buying a home. His mission is to create those "yes" moments for his clients, in line with the ethos of the mortgage advisory profession.

The financial industry and regulation

In the podcast, Nathan also sheds light on the highly regulated nature of the financial industry, explaining the steps required to become a mortgage advisor.

Nathan explains that he began his career in the mortgage advisory field by working as a self-employed advisor under a company called AFP in Shrewsbury. The director of the company, Gary Harper, mentored and trained him, enabling him to learn about the technical aspects, client interactions and compliance requirements.

He highlights that while completing the required qualifications, such as the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP), is essential, it doesn't fully prepare you for the practical aspects of advising clients on a daily basis. To become a competent advisor, you must learn on the job, mastering the technical nuances of different lenders, understanding application criteria, and developing relationships with Business Development Managers (BDMs).

Mortgage market disruption and targeting a young audience

Nathan explains dwello’s marketing and business approach. dwello is disrupting the mortgage market by targeting a specific, younger demographic and differentiating itself from traditional mortgage companies. The brand's approach is built on being disruptors and striving to be 1% better at absolutely everything they do, focusing on aspects like communication, tenacity and research.

dwello's unique approach is immediately evident in its branding, which stands out in a market known for its traditional and somewhat drab image. The company's website is designed with a youthful, one-page layout, in contrast to the information-heavy websites common in the industry. The goal is to connect with a market that includes individuals in their early 30s, company directors, and young families, who value a fresh and modern approach.

The company's focus is on providing advice and assistance to first-time buyers and those seeking a more hands-on mortgage experience. dwello aims to build relationships with clients entering the market, making their mortgage journey more accessible and appealing. Additionally, dwello specialises in addressing the needs of business owners, particularly directors who pay themselves through dividends, offering a tailored approach to solving their unique mortgage challenges.

Lead generation through disruption

In the podcast, Nathan and Dave discuss how dwello has implemented a unique approach to lead generation by offering free mortgage advice sessions within companies. These sessions are seen as an employee benefit and provide an opportunity for employees to receive mortgage advice during work hours.

The aim is to make the mortgage advice process more accessible, especially for individuals who find it challenging to engage in mortgage-related discussions during their limited free time outside of work. The approach is in its early stages but has shown promise in generating leads and providing a solution to a common problem.

By engaging directly with potential clients within their workplace, dwello aims to make the mortgage advice process more accessible and enjoyable for its target audience, providing an alternative to traditional mortgage advisory services.

Future mortgage market predictions

Nathan notes that the market has gone through a period of adjustment. He mentions that various lenders are competing aggressively for market share, offering the lowest interest rates and most favourable terms. The market has seen an increase in applications and completions, with a focus on property valuations.

Regarding the future, Nathan predicts that the market will stabilise, and by the end of 2024, interest rates should reach around 4%, which may become the new normal. He also discusses the availability of fixed-rate products, with a preference for two and five-year terms. Additionally, tracker rates have made a comeback, attracting residential customers who desire a mix of low interest rates and flexibility to switch in case of rate spikes.

Nathan also reflects on the role of the Bank of England in controlling inflation through interest rate adjustments. With the possibility of more tracker rates in the market, the Bank of England may regain some influence over consumer spending and inflation control.

Marketing Strategy Insights

Nathan shares insights into dwello's marketing strategy, highlighting that he is at the forefront of marketing efforts. They have been working with a local PR company, JPR, to increase their presence in newspapers and online publications. They've been actively using platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook for brand awareness and are considering investing in SEO and website optimisation (Website 2.0) to further enhance their online presence.

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Spotify: 

Apple Podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-46-modernising-mortgages-and-disruptive/id1654715808?i=1000634253800

For all other platforms:

 https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/wellmeadow