What is the main purpose of Smartr365 and what was your aim when founding it?
In addition to founding Smartr365, I established Capricorn Financial Consultancy, a large brokerage firm that I have run since the age of 25.
My experience at each firm has given me a unique insight into the market, from the perspective of both adviser and client, and that has influenced my aims for Smartr365.
The ultimate goal for Smartr365 is to build a platform for all advisers that automates large parts of the homebuying journey. It is surprising to see how much of an adviser’s time is spent on admin, and how little is spent advising customers, so streamlining this process was a key aim when founding the company.
Mortgage technology platforms can streamline some of those time-consuming processes, allowing advisers to focus on providing true value to customers
From a client’s perspective, buying a house is the largest investment and commitment they will make, so reducing unnecessary stress while they navigate a major life decision has been a large focus throughout my career with Smartr365 and Capricorn Financial Consultancy.
What has been your greatest challenge in the business, and your greatest success?
My greatest challenge has been bringing together key parties such as lenders, product providers and distribution partners. The mortgage space is such a tightly integrated and regulated industry; you cannot effect change in an industry like ours without collaborating with all the key players.
However, our greatest success is that we have been able to deliver on this, as demonstrated through our partnerships with leading industry players such as Experian, Legal & General and Nationwide, while still keeping the customer front of mind and delivering a slick, easy-to-use service.
Although the industry is structurally sound there are definitely operational changes to be made
We continue to challenge ourselves to improve in all areas while always retaining an obsessive focus on the needs of our customers — mortgage advisers and their clients.
To those who may fear the advances in technology within and outside the industry, what would you say?
Mortgage advisers are typically very good with people. They strive to form lasting relationships and advise clients on the most important financial decisions throughout their lives. Unfortunately, much of their time is spent on admin, which is not very enjoyable and also has low intrinsic value — albeit historically it has been an essential part of the adviser’s job.
Any career that allowed me to build, work hard and improve would be ideal for me
Mortgage technology platforms such as Smartr365, alongside wider artificial intelligence advances like ChatGPT, can streamline some of those time-consuming processes, allowing advisers to focus on providing true value to customers.
Is there anything you would change about the mortgage market?
The mortgage market is in a good place. It is a thriving and competitive industry, full of high-quality, motivated and ambitious advisers. Strong and effective regulation has seen advisers operate with the utmost integrity and take absolute ownership of their work, as they should.
It is surprising to see how much of an adviser’s time is spent on admin, and how little is spent advising customers
However, although the industry is structurally sound there are definitely operational changes to be made. There is an excess of paperwork and processes, plus duplication of data entry and lengthy lead times — all of which can be addressed with technology.
At Smartr365, we want to remove the heavy lifting to elevate the adviser, and nurture the relationships they build with their customers by creating a frictionless end-to-end experience.
If you weren’t in your current role, what other career would appeal to you?
I enjoy the process of founding and building companies alongside a talented team to achieve something special. So I think running a business is a career I would always like to have.
The ultimate goal for Smartr365 is to build a platform for all advisers that automates large parts of the homebuying journey
I am also intrigued by Kaizen, the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, so any career that allowed me to build, work hard and improve would be ideal for me.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Focus on the process and the result will take care of itself.
Year established: 2017
Address: 1 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9YN
Smartr365 is a market-leading mortgage platform with almost 4,000 users and 60 employees. It has major investors such as Experian and Legal & General. Smartr365 has a goal to revolutionise the mortgage industry while elevating the adviser as a key part of the process.
This article featured in the May 2023 edition of MS.
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The post One to One – Conor Murphy, chief executive and founder, Smartr365 appeared first on Mortgage Strategy.