CompaniesAug 7 2020

Bringing holistic values to mortgage advice

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Bringing holistic values to mortgage advice
Sam Cattell, founder of Mindful Mortgages

“Holistic” may be a word more commonly associated with medicine than mortgages, but at Mindful Mortgages, it’s how founder Sam Cattell describes her firm’s approach to advice.

For Ms Cattell, building long-term relationships with clients contributes to the firm’s holistic approach: “We see our clients as a whole, we don’t just talk facts/figures and focus on the mortgage. Their future dreams and aspirations are important to us too.

“We love finding out what makes them tick, because not only does it mean we can really be specific and tailor the mortgage to their needs, but we also effortlessly build a genuine relationship with them that goes deeper and lasts longer.”

Part of building longstanding relationships with clients means a mortgage may not be on the cards straightaway, with clients sometimes advised to build their savings, or improve their credit history, for a few more months.

Ms Cattell also said: “We always say, buying a home is generally one of the biggest purchases we make. You want the person looking after you to be someone that you not only trust and respect, but someone that you connect with.”

Indeed, while initial discovery calls have recently been taking place by video call or phone, Ms Cattell says meetings at the company’s office are usually encouraged.

Based in the Leicestershire countryside, Ms Cattell described the office location as a conscious choice to reflect her company’s brand: “I wanted to work in a place that, as well as welcoming guests, had the opposite feel to a bank/shop/office – so the sofas, coffee machine and playroom for children are all very much a part of what we have to offer.

“I have had numerous clients turn up, visibly nervous, admit to feeling overwhelmed and concerned about the topic of mortgages and money, and then they leave smiling, feeling excited and supported. I think the location and warm welcome has a huge part to play in that.”

Establishing Mindful Mortgages in 2017, Ms Cattell said she was motivated to create something that felt “aligned” with her values.

She said: “I want to be an inspiration to other mortgage advisers to show them you can bring your own values and ethos into the industry, as long as it benefits the clients and works for you – it means a possible future landscape of more diverse brokers for the clients to choose from”.

The firm’s perspective is also reflected in its approach to protection, which the company refers to as ‘wellbeing’ on its website.

“There is still very much a stereotype around protection as it feels ‘salesy’, as it is a type of insurance,” said Ms Cattell. “We spin this around. We focus on the potential value that it can bring to the client”.

She added: “It’s about that value, not an insurance sale, and that comes through when we chat to clients – it’s about their future financial wellbeing”.

This year, Ms Cattell is one of four finalists in the Midlands for ‘Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

According to the organiser, central to the success of the eventual award winner will be a “sustained customer experience and satisfaction that makes them stand out from the competition”.

For Ms Cattell, her different approach to mortgage advice is one she would like to see more commonplace across the industry: “I personally would love to encourage more mortgage advisers, and in particular women, to look at ways of offering our service in more diverse and unique ways.

“I think the industry has found it hard to find the right balance between offering a professional service in a regulated world and not losing the individual’s personality.”