Sarah Tucker, Founder & Managing Director of The Mortgage Mum is interviewed by Nationwide Building Society
What inspired you to set up The Mortgage Mum?
I was inspired by the school run. When I started meeting other women on the playground I realised how difficult it is for women who have children to work flexibly around the demands of their families. I found a variety of women and situations - I found stay at home Mums who felt unsatisfied, and unfulfilled, but didn’t want to give up the flexibility of being there for their children. I found other Mums who were doing jobs they hated in the evenings or in school hours just to fit it around childcare and others who were paying a FORTUNE in childcare to allow them to work in their previous roles – and they were sad they missed out on so much. I felt incredibly lucky to have the balance I enjoyed. A career that was thriving that I could successfully do from home; and a commitment to my children that I would drop them off and pick them up from school every day and never miss a special occasion! I could see there was a gap and a need, and I could also see that women like to deal with women. I didn’t realise when I became a mortgage broker while being a Mum that I was creating a blueprint for women in the future. I know this role inside out and I know the juggle these women face while studying for their CeMAP and then while working as a broker, so I feel qualified to mentor them throughout the process.
I gather you’ve had a lot of interest, what do you think is driving this over the traditional routes into this industry?
I think it’s largely down to the flexibility we are offering but I also believe the branding helps. Our brand is very aesthetically pleasing, which was important to me from the beginning. I want to show people that mortgages don’t have to be grey and dull. They can be super exciting, and even trendy. We help to change people’s lives and give them their homes! Our job is a privilege. People are quite literally letting us into their homes.
I also think women are driven to this route because they know we get it! I am a Mum with 2 young children – I am doing the job and this is a real, tangible career. It is not a fad! These women see that I am doing live videos in my sweatshirt and jeans straight from the school run and they can picture a space for them to perhaps do it too. If women can see it being done they are going to trust the brand. And when women are enthusiastic about something, they talk! Word has spread so quickly, we are pretty blown away by the attention we have had so far.
How do you think the mortgage industry might change in the next year or two?
I think technology is going to change our roles dramatically. With the introduction of affordability systems and criteria hubs we are going to be spoilt as brokers, but we are also going to be in competition with the internet. It is going to be more important than ever to provide real value to our clients and to form a strong recognisable brand that is trusted. The Mortgage Mum has worked online since we started – we do Facetime appointments, video call meetings, screen sharing via Teams; and it works amazingly well with customers and internally. Technology IS our friend; it just requires us to change, adapt and move with the times rather than sticking to our old processes and ways of doing things.
How does singing on National Television compare to presenting your brand?
What a question! Very very different; yet similar in the sense of vulnerability. Stepping onto The Voice stage took a lot of courage – to put myself out there and allow myself to be seen, not knowing how it would go, was at points terrifying; but ultimately absolutely incredible and the most amazing thing I have ever done. It gave me courage to continue to put myself out there – The Mortgage Mum was pitched and set up after I had done my blind audition (but it was a few months before it aired). I had the idea a while ago but it took for me to put myself through the terror of that blind audition and come out the other side to realise that I do have a voice, pardon the pun, and I could make a real change in the world I am in. We took the plunge and set up The Mortgage Mum before the show aired and announced it in early 2019. Presenting my brand still gave me all the same nerves and sense of vulnerability as The Voice – this brand and concept is, in essence, me. It is again allowing myself to be seen on a larger scale. However, as with The Voice I am so happy that I pushed myself to do it.
Do you still have ambitions to pursue your singing?
Absolutely. I will never stop singing, it is truly my passion. However, I have many passions and The Mortgage Mum is one of them. I see the value in what my platform can give to me and many other women in the mortgage industry right now. The music industry is a complicated world and one that is difficult to stay in; even with a great opportunity like The Voice. I always have singing things going on in the background, which is the equivalent to my batteries being charged – it fuels me and gives me more energy for The Mortgage Mum and my children. I am also showing the women who join us that not only can they have a career they love, and balance, but they can, and should, also follow their passions and do more of the things that make them happy!
6. Given this will go to print early in the new year how are you with New Year resolutions, did you make one this year and did you keep it?
I always make New Year resolutions. In fact, I do a New Year vision board every New Years Eve. I definitely achieved a lot of my goals this year; not all of them, but life has unexpected twists and turns. I do believe in goal setting as a concept; however I have realised this year more than ever that it is so important to also be flexible and allow other opportunities to cross your path.