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How Trail made Claire McArthur’s mortgage advisory more profitable and easier to run

Claire McArthur is a Pukekohe-based mortgage advisor who services the wider Franklin area. She focuses on securing mortgages for first home buyers, investors, commercial property owners, people that are building new houses and those who are self-employed. With a background in people-oriented corporate roles, when she decided to venture out on her own and enjoy more of a work-life balance, the shift to becoming an advisor ticked all the boxes.

“I don’t want to grow a huge empire, but I would like to have myself and one other advisor and a part time office manager… Giving me the opportunity to step away from the hands on stuff of daily administrative tasks to actually spending more time with clients. Because that’s what I’m really good at which in turn should generate more revenue so that I don’t have to work as hard.”

We joined Claire’s journey in September 2019, and have been working together ever since. In this case study, we take a closer look at how Trail has transformed her business and given Claire the space to plan, grow and spend more time advising clients.

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Claire McArthur, Claire McArthur Mortgage

“It’s been so intuitive and a lot of fun.”

Key benefits that Claire has enjoyed from using Trail:

  • Less time spent filling in paperwork
  • Higher quality conversations and relationships with borrowers
  • Better conversion rates - more leads are becoming clients
  • Serving repeat customers is a breeze
  • Easier to forecast revenue and know where her efforts need to be focused to generate better results
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The problem

Before adopting Trail, Claire was spending too much time on admin and not enough time advising clients

“I would meet with a client, then I would always email my application pack through to them. We’re talking about a ZIP file with four or five attachments in it, one of them being an application form which was not that user friendly. I get that it was a form that was designed to appeal to a wide range of people but for first home buyers it was a bit overwhelming.”

When you’re at this stage in the onboarding process, one of the most important factors for converting leads into income generating clients is making it easy for people to do business with you. After all, who really wants unnecessary complexity in their life?

Claire understood this issue intimately, so instead of expecting people to fill in the forms on their own, she would help by nurturing them through the process.

“Inevitably they wouldn’t touch it because I would give them the option of saying ‘look don’t do that, I will fill it in with you when we meet, but if you could [do it before we meet], it means I’ve got a bit more info to work with’. My conversion rate of getting applications filled in was very low, so when I met the client, instead of talking about what their goals were and setting up what we were gonna look to do, it was more about sitting down and filling in laborious forms.”

Although clients enjoyed Claire’s attentive support, it ultimately meant that less people would become customers and those that did become clients would have to wait longer for accurate advice and approvals.

To put it in other words, inefficient processes were creating friction and slowing down her efforts to grow the business.

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The Solution

Trail helped Claire to regain her work-life balance and provide a better service to clients

When Claire discovered Trail, she immediately understood how it could make the loan application process a breeze.

“I can have a conversation with someone and they can be filling in an application within minutes, which means that I can give them feedback way faster.”
“For me at this point, that has been a real game changer because it means I can have more quality meetings with my clients”

Imagine how Claire must have felt knowing that one handy app could transform her business from a labour-intensive operation into one that can bring her work-life balance aspirations to life!

“This is the stuff that I dream of, but would never be in a position to develop.”
“Coming over to Trail has really simplified that and my uptake of clients filling in information prior to my initial meeting has just skyrocketed.”

By bringing all of her client information together into one central location, Trail has helped Claire to take charge and have a clear view of what’s happening in every part of her business.

“Instead of having a manual list, post it notes, a spreadsheet and a CRM system, I have now got all of that in one place. Which has been really neat.”

Considerations about changing systems:

When Claire was considering whether to make the move to Trail, there were a few conditions that it needed to meet. For starters, it had to be good value for money.

“I wasn’t necessarily going out looking for the cheapest option but in the back of my mind, I thought there had to be something that was better than what I was using... I’m all about that if there is a benefit then I’m happy to pay and it has quickly proven to do the job. The cost efficiency of it is pretty awesome.”

Moving from her old systems to Trail needed to be stress-free and straightforward.

“It was also really important that whatever system I was using, that if I was gonna take on a new one, that there was gonna be a reasonably easy transition process, and some support around that. And also knowing that if I get stuck or need help, I can ring and get help. You guys have proven to deliver on that. Any issues I’ve had, you’ve been willing to help.”

And finally, it needed to be easy and intuitive to use.

“When I tested it myself and got a couple of family members to fill out the fact find on their end to see what I was getting and get feedback from them as well… it was basically a no brainer.”

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The Result

Life in the fast lane - outcomes that Claire has enjoyed from using Trail

Here’s a look at the most valuable benefits that Claire has experienced from shifting her CRM system to Trail:

Higher quality interactions with borrowers

“I started using Trail, processing loan applications, collecting customer data, and was going ‘wow this is really cool’. My uptake of customers filling in information was much faster. I am having more quality conversations because I am getting more information up front before I see my clients.”

“Eight times out of ten, the customer has uploaded the documents that I have either approved or fired back and said ‘I need something else’. And so I can methodically work through all the customers' details.”

By getting applicants to enter their information directly into Trail and removing inefficiencies around data entry, Claire is now able to place more focus on providing quality advice during her meetings with clients.

“It’s been way easier. Because I think again, the customer has effectively pre-populated half that data for you.”

Clients find it easy and enjoyable to work with Claire through Trail

“It’s been so intuitive and a lot of fun. And customers actually enjoy it as well. You can see them logging in every day checking to see if something has magically changed.”

When using Trail, Claire and her customers have also enjoyed how quickly it processes information.

“The performance of the system is really good. It seems to handle the speed and volume of stuff that we’re doing as well.”

Serving repeat clients is a breeze because all of the details are already in the system

When borrowers come back to top up their mortgages, all of their existing data is saved in the system. This makes the process of applying extra funding or changes to the loan easy and straightforward.

“It’s really cool to see that when you close off an opportunity, it automatically then updates their address to their new address, and it’s storing all of the existing current loans and the structures so that you can automatically pull it into the new application… It means that I can look after my repeat customers way more efficiently.”

This was a big thing for Claire because it meant she could deliver an excellent service to existing customers without doubling up on things that she had already done in the past.

Lenders love receiving applications created through Trail

By simplifying the job for staff at the bank, Claire has been able to receive better service once applications are submitted.

“I do believe, based on feedback from some of my service providers that they really appreciate it as well… Loan application processing times are much faster.”

The loan structure recommendation function is useful

With Trail, Claire is able to confirm her clients loan structures online and ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is kept in order.

“It’s really neat and quite powerful knowing in writing that my customer has confirmed what their structure is and just hitting a button saying ‘I have confirmed what Claire has said to us’.”

Easier to forecast income and know where her efforts needs to be focused

“Looking at my pipeline, it’s been much easier to track where I’m sitting in terms of projectioning income and how much is sitting in my pipe and how much is at the different stages. To say ‘you actually need to spend a bit more time this week moving those new leads through the next stages of the pipe’.”

This has helped Claire to bring on more leads and transform her upcoming opportunities into paying customers.

“I genuinely believe that I have got so much more deals in the pipe that I need to work on because my conversion is so much higher in terms of getting customers engaged and completing information.”

Are you ready to take your advice business to the next level?

Our belief is that many of today’s problems can be solved by embracing technology and using automation to make life easier. That’s why we created Trail - to help you make more money with less effort in your advice business.

With so many benefits to using Trail, what are you waiting for? Book a demo now and try it risk free for 60 days!

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