LendInvest

Salesforce gives us a framework to better understand our customers, communicate with them, and enrich our insights. It enables our teams to know what each customer wants to help make effective and efficient decisions.”

- Arman Tahmassebi, Chief Operating Officer, LendInvest
 
183 employees.

195% increase in core profits

during April 2020-March 2021
 
 

LendInvest brings digital disruption to property finance market with Salesforce

 

Getting married, having a baby, moving house. By common agreement, three of life’s most stressful events. Perhaps it’s because we have so much emotion invested in each event.

LendInvest wants to remove some of the stress associated with buying a property. “Property finance is one of the last opportunities within the financial services industry to use technology to transform processes,” said Rod Lockhart, CEO, LendInvest. “We want to make the process frictionless.”

LendInvest is an asset management platform, which provides finance for specialist property deals, including buy-to-let, refurbishments, and green renovation projects while providing investors with the ability to access property finance assets at scale.

LendInvest’s premise is built on digital disruption: stripping out delays and inefficiencies in the traditional approach to property finance, and establishing a superior level of customer experience, both for investors seeking access to the asset class, and for borrowers looking for attractive products and pricing.

“If you can integrate the multiple parties involved in the property lending process, if you can take advantage of digital, then you can create a much better experience for customers,” said Lockhart.

Salesforce is one of the building blocks of LendInvest’s transformational approach. Its new, short-term loan application process uses Salesforce Community Cloud and Sales Cloud to dramatically reduce the number of steps taken by a customer to gain approval and release funds. By integrating with LendInvest’s proprietary Loan Engine, and a host of external databases, the application strips out duplication and strengthens data integrity. “What would take traditional lenders weeks, we can do in hours,” said Lockhart.

 

Bringing clarity and decisiveness to a data-driven enterprise

Lending has always been a data-driven enterprise. It requires lenders to gather a great deal of information about borrowers. LendInvest, which works with a network of 6,500 mortgage brokers, has relied on Salesforce since day one.

“Around 30% of our borrowers are repeat customers. We have thousands of data points on each, and we don’t want to treat them as strangers,” said Arman Tahmassebi, Chief Operating Officer, LendInvest. “Salesforce is our CRM. I’ve worked with Salesforce in every company I’ve worked since 2004. It is central to our customer relationships.”

Tahmassebi said the platform qualities of Salesforce, the ease of integration, flexibility, and scale, mean the engagement has grown in recent years.

“Salesforce gives us a framework on which to better understand our customers, to communicate with them, and enrich by adding our own or third party integrations. It enables our sales teams, our underwriters, our brokers, to understand what each customer wants to make effective and efficient decisions.”

LendInvest uses Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud to manage the end-to-end short-term loan applications incoming via brokers. This kickstarts an application for the customer, triggering an opportunity in Sales Cloud. Service Cloud in tandem with Sales Cloud is used to manage credit checks via a seamless case management process, and to track and stay on top of missing assets. By having all their data in a single tool, LendInvest can manage the entire workflow, from application to compliance checks to approval. There is a full, digital audit trail. The app integrates with the Land Registry, credit bureaus, and valuation data.

“Because we are a specialist lender there remains the need for human expertise. The advantage of Salesforce is that we are quicker to process the administration, and the human expert steps in with the correct information to hand,” Tahmassebi explained. “It is not a ‘computer says no’ process.”

LendInvest then uses Pardot ’s marketing automation to manage newsletters and communications with brokers. This delivers daily updates on new products, events and opportunities to new and existing partners within the LendInvest ecosystem.

“This type of automation means we can optimise how we nurture customers through our sales funnels,” explains Precious Ene, Operational Systems and Change Manager, LendInvest.

Tableau is used for financial analysis and to help create a 360° view of customers. “Data is at the heart of our business. Tableau enables us to gather up millions of bits of data and make better decisions” Tahmassebi adds.

 

Accelerating agility to deliver innovation to market

LendInvest has around 180 employees in the UK, one third of which work in tech or development. Naturally, there is a huge appetite for developing their own, bespoke solutions, said Ene, but business value must be the priority: “For me, the idea of agile means how quickly you can reach an answer or an outcome. If implementing a third party system gets us to that outcome quicker, if we can customise the tool and have it adopted broadly, then it becomes a much easier decision.

“The advantage of Salesforce,” she continued, “is the drag-and-drop functionality, the ease of creating data structures, and the ability to apply rules and validation to this data. If I have a plan, and I know what I want to create, I can do it in five minutes. Salesforce puts the power in the hands of the end user. That dramatically reduces lead times.”

This creates a workplace culture where LendInvest teams are encouraged to test or adjust new ideas. There is no bureaucratic change management process. “Cloud-based, fourth-generation coding language, the API integration layer… if we want to try something new I can just sit in a room with one of our developers and give it a go. Salesforce makes it incredibly easy to use the platform the way you want to use it,” said Ene.

Thriving during an unprecedented period of upheaval

LendInvest reported a 195% increase in adjusted EBITDA in the 12 months to 31 March 2021, perhaps the most challenging home finance market in recent memory. Volume levels have reached an all-time high. “This success was thanks in no small part to the company’s ability to operate remotely. We immediately found ourselves at an advantage to our traditional competitors because our processes were already designed to work digitally. Other lenders had to scramble to get systems in place. We operated as normal,” said Lockhart.

Importantly, Lockhart added, LendInvest’s loanbook is more certain. More robust, up-to-date data means its lending is less risky. The investment in Salesforce mirrors LendInvest’s other tech choices. The business is a user of Google Workspace, Monday.com, and Concord contract management.

“We favour best-in-class solution providers, but we need the ability to scale and integrate. The flexibility of the Salesforce platform really differentiates it,” Lockhart said.

For LendInvest, the future will be to continue to explore profitable opportunities in the specialised lending market. The insight from Tableau and the flexibility of the Salesforce allows the business to move quickly and with confidence, said Lockhart.

“We operate in scenarios that are complex, where technology sometimes struggles. The key is being able to integrate with the internal and external systems that make your data – and your decision making, stronger. Salesforce gives the ability to make those integrations, to build out an application, and to interface directly with the customer.”

 
 

Keep exploring stories like this one.

Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

Ask about Salesforce products, pricing, implementation, or anything else. Our highly trained reps are standing by, ready to help.