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People’s Champion finalist 2018: Habito

Could this virtual mortgage advisor that uses chatbots to find users the best deal win your vote for People's Champion?

Start-up name: Habito
Founders: Daniel Hegarty
Started in: April 2016
Based in: London
Business description: Free online mortgage-broker chatbot

Shortlisted categories:

Innovative Business of the Year, and Consumer Business of the Year

The Habito story:

The process of applying for a mortgage can be hellish, as anyone who has had the misfortune of going through it will know.

Habito founder Daniel Hegarty encountered the frustrating experience himself, but instead of becoming disheartened, he saw a way of de-stressing the process through the ingenious application of artificial intelligence.

Had he not gone through the experience himself, he never would have come up with his game-changing virtual mortgage business, Habito. 

Despite the UK having the largest mortgage market in Europe worth a whopping £1.3 trillion, the industry has largely been overlooked in recent years despite huge technological advances in other areas of the finance sector. Hegarty’s business intends to change this.

Differentiating itself from traditional mortgage advisors, Habito has a custom-built sourcing platform that gives customers access to over twenty thousand different products from over seventy individual lenders.

Their friendly chatbot is more than happy to discuss your needs as a mortgage applicant and search through all 20,000 products in an instant to find those best-suited to your needs. And, of course, if you require a more personal or complex service, Habito has 106 actual human staff to assist you.

Habito succeeds in significantly cutting down on the man hours needed, streamlining its mortgage advice platform whilst enhancing the quality of customer service. And it all comes at absolutely zero cost to users. In response to the FCA’s Financial Advice market review, Habito decided to make its digital mortgage advice totally free for homeowners and homebuyers in order to “democratise the mortgage market and make it affordable and accessible for everyone.”

In measuring Habito’s success, the numbers speak for themselves.

To date the company has processed over £1bn in mortgage applications and helped nearly 150,000 people. In terms of future plans, Hegarty and his team are committed to continuing to develop and improve their AI technology in order to further streamline their efficiency and reach new heights of exemplary customer service.

Why Habito made our shortlist:

Habito has demonstrated innovation in taking cutting-edge AI technology and applying it in a democratic, egalitarian manner to the traditionally staid mortgage brokering industry.

The business has succeeded in revamping what is perceived as a stressful experience and, by continuing to improve its efficiency and customer service, is keeping the end-user at the heart of everything it does.

Where to find out more about Habito:

Website: www.habito.com
Twitter: @habito 

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