55Plus Equity Release is an award winning provider of lending services. They help clients free up capital from their homes to go on a dream holiday, make home and garden improvements or boost their retirement income.
Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, they support homeowners across the UK.
Business owner, Jan, was introduced to us by referral and was looking for a way to track and manage leads, ongoing cases and completed cases for multiple advisers working remotely across the country. As a financial services company, 55Plus Equity Release is required by law to track information and carry out reporting for Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) compliance.
Jan was (and still is) growing her team and the existing processes involved a lot of time-consuming admin.
How we helped
It was clear that 55Plus Equity Release needed a time efficient solution that fitted with all their requirements (including FCA compliance), not an off-the-shelf software package that would require a host of changes to existing processes.
We started by spending some time understanding the full process and compliance requirements for an individual to go from initial enquiry through to signing a lending agreement. Firstly, we came up with a quick solution, where we built a Microsoft PowerApp, allowing them to collate information from all advisers in one place. This allowed Jan to finally get an overview of all cases.
The next stage was to design a bespoke web app to fully support the client as they continue to grow. This new CRM (customer relationship management) system offers far greater functionality and allows the software to flex with the business’s changing needs.
Jan can now manage the business’s entire workflow within one, streamlined system, replacing the previous crowd of separate documents. The new system integrates with IRESS (Integrated Real-time Equity System), allowing advisers to request and access quotes from within the web app, it also integrates with QuickBooks for accounting and SharePoint for storing case related files. This saves the advisers’ time on each case while also saving Jan time on reporting, both for internal and FCA purposes.
The initial Microsoft PowerApp system was brought online very swiftly, immediately reducing admin and saving time for staff, and the bespoke web app followed within 4 months. Getting the interim solution in place then helped us to get to grips with the needs and priorities of different user groups, to better inform the specifications for the bespoke solution.
We are continuing to work with 55+ Equity Release to develop new features as industry or business requirements evolve, so they know that their system will always fit their business, instead of having to change how they do business to fit the software.