It’s always lovely when the values you promote as a business are recognised publicly, so there was open delight at Oportfolio when the company’s founder, Oliver Whitehead, was named Best Overall Adviser at the recent Primis awards ceremony.
It was Oliver’s third year of success at the awards, which recognise and celebrate the best UK mortgage and protection advisers and are organised by Primis – one of the biggest networks of financial services brokerages in the UK.
His award this year saw him retain the Overall Adviser award he won in 2018, a year after being named Top Mortgage Adviser in 2017.
The accolade serves as a ringing endorsement for the very simple principle that underpins Oliver’s approach to Oportfolio, a business he started 11 years ago following a decade in financial services, running his own mortgage brokerage and as a Director at Alexander Hall.
Oliver said: “Ultimately what we strive to do is look after people in the same way we would want to be looked after ourselves. It’s that ethos of wanting to help people and to go the extra mile in doing it.”
In the end, this month’s award is the ongoing reward for a seed which was planted back in 1998 when Oportfolio first opened its doors and welcomed its first client – that the values and ethics that the company is built on should run through the veins of everyone who has ever worked there or will ever work there.
Building a company in your own image is no easy feat and, as Oliver himself observes, providing high-quality service has become something of a dying art for many companies. But by doing things the right way from the start, the process has got easier as the business has grown and its client base has increased.
There’s also the fact that Oliver insists that the first contact the company has with a potential client is as good as the last contact. He makes a point of responding personally and immediately, wherever possible, to an initial query. You might think that’s obvious, yet this proactive approach isn’t as common as you might imagine.
What that translates into in most cases is a sense in the person on the other end of the phone that they’re being looked after and are in safe hands.
“I know that when people get in touch with us, what they’re really looking for is reassurance. They simply want some love and to know that the people they’re talking to not only know how to help them but actively want to help them.
“In the end, that’s what my business has always been about – the desire to help people and to do that in the right way.”
Oliver concedes that his own determination and commitment to deliver a consistently superior level of service is partly behind not just the awards success, but also Oportfolio’s continued growth and high client retention rates.
“That has to be a part of it, yes,” he admits. “although you can never completely replicate yourself in other people.
“But experience and knowledge also play a big part. The whole team here is completely aware of the process that lies behind applying for a mortgage. We know it can be an anxious or worrying time – but our job is to take that worry away, to reassure them that with our help it won’t be as stressful as it may seem to them.”
Knowing the market inside out and understanding which banks will be prepared to lend what amount under what circumstances is a big part of being a successful brokerage, of course. But it’s where circumstances aren’t straightforward that is where Oliver expects Oportfolio to earn its stripes.
“That’s where the hard work is done,” he says. “In finding solutions to the problems we come across so that the people we’re helping still achieve what they set out to achieve.”
All of which means that the awards that currently sit on Oportfolio’s shelves are much appreciated by Oliver and his team – but are really symbols of the hard work done in the past, and a reminder that the same level of commitment to the great service is required today, tomorrow and beyond.
To find out more about our friendly and professional mortgage service, fees and what we can do to help make sure you’re not paying over the odds for your mortgage, why not visit www.oportfolio.co.uk or give us a call on 020 7371 5063.
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Oportfolio Ltd fees are payable on application. We charge a broker fee for property purchases of £495 and a remortgage/further advance fee of £395. Our product transfer fee is £295.