Five star service
There’s so much to think about when looking to buy a house: deposits, interest rates and where do to go to find a mortgage to suit your needs? In short, you need an expert.
Someone you can easily talk with. Someone who won’t bamboozle you with jargon. Someone impartial.
CCC Mortgages began trading in February this year and has already clocked up 14 five star reviews. It’s growing reputation is based on both efficiency and approachability.
BTN quickly warms to the affability of Charlotte Callaway, Director of CCC Mortgages. She’s made us coffee and we’re settled in her office. She’s approachable with an easy going demeanour.
It’s also clear that she really knows her stuff which is a big tick in the box for anyone in this line of work.
We’ve started the interview early in the morning and Charlotte has a busy day ahead of her. BTN can hear a regular gentle pinging sound as email enquiries start to build up on her computer during the course of our meeting.
‘Word of mouth’ recommendations
In a single fortnight, 20 potential clients contacted her for help and advice. All of them were ‘word of mouth’ recommendations.
Her success comes down to service. Standard mortgage brokers are predominately nine to five. Send an email outside of office hours and you could be in for a wait.
If you send it a message at five o’clock on a Friday evening then prepare for a finger tapping weekend of expectation. The old adage of feeling like you’re a number comes into play.
‘My aim is to break that stereotype and be there for my clients,’ explains Charlotte. ‘When they get home, they can contact me.’
‘It’s not about wearing suits and being formal, it’s about approachability, ease of use, availability, confidentiality and clarity.’
‘My clients are supported and comforted. I will be there from start to finish so I can deal with Estate Agents for them. I can be the middle person for the finances and hold their hand through to the day they get their keys.’
‘In other words, they don’t need to worry about contacting different services but they can go through me. They don’t have to freshly approach things by themselves as I can guide them through the maze.’
‘It’s about the client and truly listening so you can learn about their lifestyle, feelings, wants and needs.’
‘It’s not about fitting someone into a box, it’s about being completely adaptable and tailoring a product for them.’
Charlotte goes on to explain how you can often garner a lot of golden pieces of useful information by simply listening to what brokers, advisors or bank managers may be willing to share with you during your meetings with them.
But, she adds, you should also be cautious about seeking advice from ‘those in the know’ who might not be qualified to guide you through the complexities of finance – and the plethora of paperwork which accompanies it.
‘Don’t be inclined to believe information which people give to you, unless they are an expert and a lot of financial advice can be accessed freely in a consultation. Don’t make any assumptions as you don’t know which way things are going to go.’
Charlotte has built up an impressive CV having started in financial services some 10 years ago. Setting up CCC Mortgages during the recent lockdowns was no mean feat and her client dedication has seen her ‘can do’ reputation spread across Plymouth (and beyond).
‘It’s all been down to word of mouth. How to get it right, if you tell someone you’re going to do it in a certain way then that’s what you do. It’s a case of always being honest.’
To become fully qualified, Charlotte had to pass the gruelling CeMAP qualification. For the uninitiated, the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice is a ‘full on’ course which she undertook with the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
Charlotte describes it as ‘arduous’ and the first book she studied was between 600 to 700 pages in length.
That was back in 2016 and she was fully qualified within the year (gaining a distinction). Fast forward to the present and her hard work ethic is paying dividends for her clients.
‘Rome wasn’t built in a day and I strive for nothing but the best and that means a different approach to business. I aim to take on a team of advisors as I continue to expand. The feedback has been positive.’
‘People may think something looks to be unobtainable but I’ve changed their perspective and have helped them through difficult circumstances.’
‘I find ‘out of the box’ ideas and solutions that other people may have overlooked. If it can be done then I will find a way.’
It’s apparent that Charlotte takes a real ‘human approach’ to business and is always looking out for her clients.
Aside from mortgages, she’s fast becoming a ‘go to’ business for protection insurance. It’s a real safety net for people who suddenly find injury or illness means they can’t work.
‘Protection insurance is the most important part of the business,’ she explains. ‘People sometimes think they’re invincible until it happens to them.’
‘People don’t see the impact that sickness and accidents can have on their family, especially if someone has young children with a traditional household style with a single breadwinner, what happens if something happens to them?’
‘Will the family be able to provide finance for 12 months or longer? If you prepare when things are good then you can relieve the burden if things go bad.’
‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing but with insurance protection you need to be thinking ahead.’
Thinking ahead is something which Charlotte is always doing to make sure she keeps on top of the latest market developments and to ensure her clients can get the best possible deals.
Before we say our goodbyes, BTN notices a copy of Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 hit book, The Secret. It’s resting on the mantlepiece in Charlotte’s office.
It’s been a pivotal book for many business leaders as it looked at ways to attract success into your life. We get chatting about its positive messaging and deeper meaning.
‘The goal is to follow the approach of The Secret and to act as if you’re the person that you want to be. I want to make my mark and do something different and make a success out of it.’
‘It’s a case of blood, sweat and tears. If you believe in something then push through for that belief.’
And with that level of drive and determination then CCC Mortgages is the perfect business to back you up as you embark on those big life decisions.