As a specialist digital services supplier to regionals including Furness Building Society, Mansfield Building Society and Leek Building Society we were invited to deliver a project for BuildStore, the UK’s leading specialist in homebuilding finance solutions. One of the main focuses of this project was the development of a new online portal for BuildLoan, an intermediary arm of BuildStore.
This portal, Unicus, is BuildLoan’s new mortgage platform that facilitates brokers’ transactions for their self build, custom build, renovation and conversion customers.
BuildLoan offer a specialist type of lending that can present huge challenges to clients, brokers and lenders. Prior to Unicus, there were a number of considerable challenges for brokers that stemmed from inaccurate information, provided to them from traditional sourcing systems, affecting the quality of information provided and in turn the advice offered to their clients.
Working with the team at BuildStore, we first reviewed the current process. Using workshops we began to gain insight into the current system.
This discovery indicated a breakdown in the process of traditional sourcing systems that produce specialist product offerings and tailored solutions for customers. We additionally wanted to review the user functionality and services offered on the platform.
With this data and insights, we could build a system that would cater for self and custom builders’ finance needs matched to lenders’ products and criteria. A system that simplifies the previous approach and streamlines the application and funds release processes for lenders, intermediaries and clients.
We then put together High Level Architecture for Broker and Direct journeys to clearly show the user journey through the portal and visualised the user interfaces considering the BuildLoan brand and adding content and imagery.
The result - The new Unicus portal is designed to make the process of handling self and custom build mortgages easier, providing the products and guidance needed, along with robust evidence of research. The portal enables Brokers to login to submit business, access cases, obtain an update on progress and see what is required 24/7, with current product list and key information available as well as a new Knowledge Hub packed full of useful information, alongside a broker desk on hand during working hours, to answer any questions and guide through the new system.
“Unicus is beneficial for everyone involved – the broker, the client, the lender, networks and mortgage clubs and our own staff, as it offers a comprehensive portal with full end-to-end visibility coupled with first-class resources and information.” Julian Foster, chief operating officer at BuildLoan*
Alasdair McDonald, head of intermediary mortgages at Furness Building Society, commented*, “BuildLoan’s Unicus platform is a major innovation in the way self and custom builders’ finance needs are matched to lenders’ products and criteria. Unicus simplifies the application and funds release processes for lenders, intermediaries and clients.
“The launch of Unicus by BuildLoan comes at a pivotal time for the self and custom build sector, which is expected to grow significantly with the backing of various Government initiatives including Help to Build.”
* BuildLoan launches self and custom build broker platform - financial reporter