This weeks blog is special...
We usually publish our blog on a Friday for your weekend reading pleasure. This week we held off until today for a very good reason…….
November 12th marks a very special milestone in the Foursquare Financial calendar:
Happy Anniversary to us! One year old today!
This blog takes a nostalgic look back at the year that was and our plans for year two. We also look at some ways to help homebuyers who have had “blips” with Nigel Robbins from Magellan Home Loans.
Foursquare Financial Ltd - The Theory
James and Peter worked successfully together at Countrywide PLC, at the time the UK’s largest property group, with James looking after the estate agency team and Peter overseeing the mortgage consultants. After Company restructures over a three-year period James and Peter decided to go it alone - our mission statement was simple: No sales targets, no spreadsheets to fill in, no paymaster general to please. Just a simple vision to ensure our customers and stakeholders came first, and that anything else was a distraction.
Over a pint of beer after a sales conference in August last year, the two decided that the time had come. Let’s do this!
We looked to join a mortgage network that would allow James to help grow the business whilst obtaining his industry qualifications with Peter as supervisor. After all, James was retraining across from the estate agency side. The Right Mortgage and Protection Network seemed the perfect fit, so it was time to plan our little revolution!
Foursquare Financial Ltd – Planning
We began by thinking about branding, what would our business look like? How did we want to present ourselves? Many emails and text messages later, James came up with the first draft. We then went through some serious rejigging (as illustrated) to arrive at the finished product. We wanted something eye-catching, solid and modern, so orange was always part of the plan to give it the lively touch we wanted, but in the end, the grey, black and white came in to give it a more classic feel. We love it and feedback from customers tells us they love it too! Thanks to Rachel Cull at Komodo Signs who designed the finished product along with our first ever batch of business cards!
With branding sorted, we needed a place to work and a plan in place! We started in as humble a way as possible, with our official head office being the spare bedroom at James’ house in Bradley Stoke (pictured below!) Both of us burly blokes (just) about fitted and we also spent a few days a week at Peter’s flat in Newport. Using our extensive network of estate agency contacts to rekindle relationships we contacted trusted and reputable agents who could provide us with customers to service. Take a look at the “Our Network” page on our website to find out about the brilliant teams we have the pleasure of working with.
Foursquare Financial Ltd – Landmarks and a Need to Grow
We haven’t really looked back (we haven’t had the time!). Thanks to all our customers who have helped shape our journey in the last year, but special thanks to every professional introducer we have worked with since we started. Without their faith in us and the steady stream of customers, we wouldn’t have a business today.
The reason our clients enjoy the service they receive from us, and the reason our introducers enjoy working with us is because our mantra is that the customer comes first. Always.
We understand that there are larger organisations in the market place with whom you could entrust your mortgage and insurance needs to but we believe that the personal touch we offer, along with a mentality that every new customer we see helps our business grow, makes us stand out.
There are a few important Foursquare landmarks of note this year:
October 31st 2017 – Foursquare Financial Ltd is incorporated with Companies House.
November 11th 2017 – Peter is released from Countrywide
November 12th 2017 – Peter & James hold their first morning meeting for the first time as an official company
November 21st 2017 – Authorised by our network, The Right Mortgage, to transact business
November 22nd 2017 – First client meeting
November 24th 2017– First policy application - a life and critical illness policy
December 16th 2017 – First mortgage application placed - a remortgage on a Buy to let property
January 5th 2018 – James booked his first industry exam, R01, for April
February 2nd 2018 – Our Website goes live
April 4th 2018 – James passes R01!
April 27th 2018 – James passes CF6 examination - qualified to offer mortgage advice
August 20th 2018 – Moved in to our new offices at Redwood House, Bradley Stoke
September 7th 2018 – James passes his R05 examination. Now fully qualified and able to use the designation “Cert CII (MP)"
14th September 2018 – First ever Foursquare Blog launched
8th October 2018 – Benjamin Walker joins us as Client Manager
October 31st 2018 – End of our most successful month in business
November 12th 2018 – Happy birthday to us!
Foursquare Financial Ltd – The Future
A major communication company once used the strap line “The future is bright; the future is Orange…” and we are pleased to report that in our case that is very true. We continue every day to make strides towards our goal of helping everyone we see to make their dreams of affordable homeownership come true whilst giving stability to families and individuals who want to be protected should the worst happen.
We are constantly evolving our process to ensure our customers can transact with us across any number of different products and services in a way which is convenient for them.
Shortly Ben, our client manager, will begin training to become a mortgage adviser with us. We are keen to discuss roles for any currently qualified mortgage advisors who want to talk about a change in their career for the better.
We are cautious as to how we grow, we don’t want to change the one thing we keep coming back to: making sure our clients’ needs come first.
Our thanks go out to everyone who has helped and shared our journey in year one. We especially want to thank David Florence at Grayson Florence Property and Adam Ovenstone from YOPA in Cardiff, both of whom have been with us from day one and continue to support us.
Here’s to a bright ORANGE future…
From Our Network – Nigel Robbins, Magellan Home Loans
In life, we solve problems every day – some take a great deal of thought and time and others are resolved almost automatically. It’s one of the wonderful things about the human brain and the ability it gives us to pull many different strands of information together, take an overview when necessary and also question and challenge things presented as fact. Computers may be quicker on some permutations but they lack the ‘human touch’.
It’s why, at Magellan, our people make our underwriting decisions. We don’t use credit-scoring or automated processing as homebuyers looking for a mortgage don’t always fit a neat and tidy picture – as the phrase goes; “life happens”!
And when it invariably does, we believe it’s people who can look behind the numbers, understand a pattern of financial behaviour or an individual’s circumstances to see the bigger picture and asses the reality of risk. We believe that underwriting mortgages manually makes for a better decision for your client and therefore, you.
So if you have a client sitting in front of you, or whose case is in the drawer, and they’ve been turned down by High Street lenders or you know there’s a financial blip that means they’re likely to be refused, talk to us. We’ll use a human touch in helping to find an answer.
More from us next week! 😊 Pete & James