"The first six months of advice were really difficult"
Elliott Benson (pictured) started his own firm, Sett Mortgages, in September 2021 with the aim of making the entire property buying and mortgage process as stress-free and easy to understand as possible.
He certainly meant it when he said he wanted to make the process plain and simple. Its complexity, after all, nearly made him quit when he was just starting to provide mortgage advice.
Benson entered the mortgage industry via estate agency in 2014. That was also by chance, he said.
“I was working in Costa Coffee at the time next to a branch of a large corporate estate agent, and the manager was a regular customer,” Benson related. “He invited me in for an interview one day.”
He got the job, jumpstarting a career in the industry that he eventually came to love. He spent four years in estate agency, taking different roles including negotiating, valuing, and sales managing.
“I then took a short break from the industry to think about how I wanted to progress and was always interested in the financial services side of the business,” Benson said. “I always wanted to have my own business, and being an advisor in an estate agent, it felt very similar in that you were in charge of your own diary, had your own client bank, etc.”
He took the CF1 and CF6 to be able to start advising in 2018. This was when he became overwhelmed.
“The first six months of advice were really difficult,” Benson shared. “At times, I wondered if I should just go back to Costa. There is so much to learn, and you have to learn it very quickly.
“But once the first six months had passed, the role just felt completely right. I had great success in my first year and was awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ due to the amount of business I had done. I was also awarded ‘Mortgage Services Consultant of the year’ in my area during my second year of writing business.”
In the final year of his corporate career, Benson had grown the mortgage business in the branch where he was based to the point where he was writing one of the highest levels of purchase mortgages in the company. Wanting to fulfill his lifelong dream, he decided to leave and set up a company of his own.
“Due to my background in estate agency, I have a lot of property experience,” Benson said. “I love working with first-time buyers, especially as I can hold their hand through the whole process. With me, they don’t just have someone to submit a mortgage application, they have essentially a personal assistant for their purchase.”
Since setting up Sett Mortgages, he has loved being able to take the business in the direction he wants to go and, again, make it as easy as possible for clients to buy houses.
“I had the busiest month ever for the business in October last year, and am planning to expand to Manchester this year,” he proudly said. “I think there will be tough times ahead for the industry, but things are looking more positive with fixed rates starting to come down, and clients I speak to still have a desire to get on to the property ladder.”
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