Forget banks and mortgage advisors, Ishaan Malhi is building an "infallible" way for you to get the best mortgage for you.
Ishaan Malhi was stumped, one of his customers had just told him the one thing he never thought possible.
They had found a better mortgage elsewhere.
“We were like, what? How can that have happened? Because that’s what our whole product is built around,” Malhi told The Memo.
Trussle, Malhi’s product in question, is an online mortgage advisor, which he proudly states is better than any other advisor on the market.
Say you’re a first time buyer, or have a property that you’re looking to save money on your mortgage, traditionally you would ask a (human) mortgage advisor for help with choosing which bank to borrow this terrifying amount of money from. They would consider your age, income, savings, etc, and make a recommendation about which mortgage they think is best for you.
The problem Malhi saw was that these human advisors aren’t perfect. These advisors simply can’t consider every housing loan on the market, as these can change on a daily basis, and often make mistakes because of this.
Trussle, on the other hand, is built on a database that covers every single product on the market, tens of thousands which are updated every day. This is combined with a layer of human knowledge from Trussle’s team of in-house mortgage experts.
In a few clicks you can find the best mortgage offer that suits your salary and savings, and then talk to Trussle’s mortgage experts to start applying for it.
Similarly if you already have a mortgage but your circumstances have changed, the service will then help you to save money.
“We’re continually checking that you’re on the best rate, giving people an incentive to keep their details up-to-date,” says Malhi.
“You’ve just had a promotion and your salary has just gone up by £10k, maybe you could switch rates. Click here to switch.”
Trussle is designed to keep you on the best deal, at any time.
Even property giant Zoopla, which helps people to find houses online, saw the huge potential of Malhi’s idea earlier this year and invested in the company.
Malhi’s shock when his customer found a better deal elsewhere was because, while people might prefer other human mortgage brokers, Trussle’s system was supposed to be, in Malhi’s own words, “infallible”.
There simply shouldn’t be a better deal on the market, unless something had gone badly wrong.
In the end it turned out Malhi had nothing to worry about.
The customer had been wrongly advised (by a human) to apply for a cheap mortgage that wasn’t suitable for the flat he was buying.
“He’d been told to apply for a Coventry Building Society mortgage, but they don’t lend against properties with more than 10 stories in London, that’s just the group’s policy,” says Malhi.
It’s exactly this kind of time-wasting and human error that Trussle is designed to avoid.
“At the moment it’s like Tony in the office shouting to Bob, ‘Hey Bob, Nationwide are going to 85-years-old with their mortgages now’. That’s literally how mortgage brokers works, and there’s so much room for human error.”
It’s well-known that buying your first house is the most expensive, challenging and stressful thing you’ll ever do, and adding in human error just makes matters worse.
Malhi designed Trussle to flip that process of finding a mortgage on its head, letting computers do the heavy lifting of whittling down your options and then bringing in human advisors to guide you through the more nuanced parts.
“We like to say Trussle is enabled by technology, powered by people.”
Strangely while so many aspects of our lives have been totally transformed by technology, Malhi says we’re still reluctant to let tech into our finances.
“Technology has automated many other things in our lives, like booking flights or buying stuff, but searching for financial products online still freaks people out,” he says.
“It’s a bit of a shock for people on the high street, because they’re so used to walking into a bank branch.”
But Malhi’s making progress. Earlier this year online property giant Zoopla invested in Trussle, and in the coming weeks the fruits of that investment will start appearing.
Malhi showed The Memo a sneak peak of early plans to start integrating Trussle’s mortgage expertise and advice into Zoopla.
The designs we saw included putting links directly to Trussle’s one-click mortgage service at the top of every page and next to each property in Zoopla’s search listings (although these designs are still in flux).
The idea is that you will find a property you like on Zoopla, check the price and click on Trussle to get the ball rolling with your mortgage application.
It’s the first step towards the dream of buying a house with one click.
And when is this all coming? “Soon” is all he will say.