Habito triples growth after following ‘North Star’
Online mortgage broker Habito has tripled its growth in its third year and increased headcount by 167 per cent.
The company services the UK and created the world’s first robo-adviser for regulated mortgage advice, meaning consumers could find and apply for a mortgage entirely through the internet.
Habito is due to hit £2 billion of mortgage submissions in half the time it hit its first £1bn since April 2018, and now has 170 employees.
Founded in 2015, the company has celebrated its third year in business by implementing a culture handbook for employees, as the CEO believes it is vital to the business.
The culture involved transparency over company figures, inviting in guest speakers and sharing positive feedback from customers with all staff.
Daniel Hegarty said: “We couldn’t possibly achieve what we need to achieve if we didn’t nurture and feed our culture; it’s our foundation and our North Star.
“We have four values which have existed from day one and are as true now as when the business started with just three people in my kitchen! They are ‘Empathise with Purpose’, ‘Build Better Things’, ‘Be 100% Responsible’ and ‘Have Backbone’.
“Employee perks are not a substitute for culture, but we do reward team members with prizes when they demonstrate going above and beyond living that value at work.
“Painting motivational words on a wall in a meeting room isn’t culture – and I think Financial Services at one point in time, believed it was.
“Tech firms have also had a bad reputation for seeming to have a ‘growth at all costs’ mentality – including to the detriment of any positive internal culture, and some CEOs have certainly behaved in this way – but I think it’s unfair to judge a whole industry.”
Speaking of their fast growth, he added: “The fact that getting a mortgage is a hellish experience is a pretty universal truth.
“Whether you’re a first time buyer trying to get on the property ladder, a family needing to remortgage to create space within their home, a couple wanting to relocate to another part of the country or a buy to let landlord wanting to get the best possible deal, getting a mortgage, typically has posed challenges.
“There wasn’t an established big brand in mortgage broking – it’s a market that’s very fragmented and dominated by doing things the old fashioned way.
“We’ve focused our attention and investment into customer research, product testing and hiring great people to provide whole of market advice.”