The Homeworker magazine interviewed Sam Cattrell, founder of Mindful Mortgages, about doing mortgage advice differently. Many of her customers are self-employed mums who value her reassuring and holistic approach.
It says a lot about the way Sam Cattell works and how she approaches her role as a mortgage advisor when she says she might naturally associate herself with a career as a yoga or reiki teacher. But it’s this love of all things holistic and nurturing that sets Sam apart with her mortgage business.
Having moved around a lot as a child and not having had a traditional mum and dad upbringing, it was only buying her first home with her now-husband that she felt that sense of home. “I felt as if we belonged there. I don’t think I’d had that before. That feeling is so powerful,” she says.
She now wants to help others experience that and does so by guiding them through the mortgage process.
“People don’t want a mortgage… They want a home”Sam Cattrell, Mindful Mortgages
“The thing that sets me apart is I actually don’t talk very much about mortgages,” she says. “It’s more about trust. A house is one of the biggest assets you’ll ever own or buy so it’s about building trust in the relationship… I don’t have a sales pitch; I’m not about the numbers and that comes through instantly. People know I’m not just trying to get them to buy something, they know I’ll be by their side.”
A holistic approach to mortgages
She started out working as an estate agent after leaving school but quickly realised she was more interested in the people. On leaving her role, she went into business with a friend who was setting up as a mortgage broker. They built themselves up to be quite successful but after having her first child, Sam made the decision to set up her own business.
“When I thought about it and what mortgages are about: the fact they’re all about your home, helping people have stability and a roof over their head, I knew I could do this my way.”
With fifteen years’ experience, she started Mindful Mortgages, taking a much more person-centred approach to offering mortgage advice and, she says, “Making something quite dull… quite enjoyable.”
“I don’t go on about interest rates or all the jargon… Of course, we do have to go through all the steps and there are documents to explain,” says Sam, acknowledging that it’s a heavily regulated industry. “But you can make it warmer. I try to make it as easy and rounded going through the process. It’s about adapting to each individual and asking: What’s your story? Where do you need to be? What’s going on? Rather than: Do you want to fix for two years?
“If I can find out more about you, I can take what I need and tell you what my advice is going to be. All my conversations are so different but they’re all based on a little digging and getting to know what’s going on beneath the facts and figures. I love getting people the best deals.”
Her ability to access the whole of the market to find the best lenders means she knows who to recommend for her clients’ individual needs.
Helping the self-employed get mortgages
She has expanded in the past two years so her husband now works full time in the business and she employs a second mortgage advisor and a VA. They also have a separate office for client meetings where there’s a space for children to play.
Many of her clients are those in self-employment and mums and a lot of her business comes through recommendations. In the two years since she started the business, she says, “It has rocketed.” She believes a lot of that is down to the connection she makes with people and her belief that: “houses are more than bricks and mortar.”
Putting the mindfulness in mortgages
Her passion for what she does shows through not just in how she talks about her dedication to her clients but in the personal touches she brings such as offering stress packs at the start of the process and welcome packs when people secure their home.
She also offers classes in essential oils and mindfulness courses to complement to provide a truly holistic experience to buying your home.
Her favourite aspect is knowing that she is helping someone through a key time in their life. “People don’t want a mortgage,” she says. “They want a home… I get real fulfilment from my job.”
Web: Mindful Mortgages
In collaboration with Mindful Mortgages
This profile first appeared in The Homeworker magazine.
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