Sparkybit develops the Broker Portal and the core Salesforce CRM workflows for LendInvest
LendInvest is the UK’s leading platform for property finance. Since starting out in 2008 the company lent more than £3 billion in mortgages and has helped to put thousands of new or improved homes into the UK housing market. LendInvest’s mission is to make property finance simple. The company held its IPO in 2021; it has 10 investors including JP Morgan and National Australia Bank (NAB). LendInvest has raised $2B of the total funding amount.
Client’s context: Digital future for the property market
According to Allied Analytics LLP, the global property & housing finance market was valued at $4,520 billion in 2021, and it is projected to reach $33,298 billion by 2031, growing CAGR of 22.3% from 2022 to 2031.
As the market grows, and the COVID impact cannot be erased, the value of related digital services cannot be underestimated. LendInvest, the leading marketplace platform for property finance in the United Kingdom, is one of the brightest examples of leading digital experiences for customers. As LendInvest works with a network of 6,500 mortgage brokers, to manage its client relationship the company relied on Salesforce since day one.
For the last 3 years, Sparkybit performs as a dedicated Salesforce consulting and engineering partner for LendInvest. In this case study, we reveal how the cooperation evolved from an ad-hock development to the launch of the Broker Portal from scratch.
The Challenge: from Salesforce customization to disruptive digital products
Being one of the TOP world CRM systems, Salesforce covers countless business needs. However, when it comes to custom processes determined by specific domain practices, Salesforce customization becomes the TOP priority.
For a long time, Salesforce has been the core environment for customer relationship management at LendInvest. “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 at LendInvest.
To operate with such enormous data via Salesforce, LendInvest decision-makers started searching for a reliable partner to help them extend their Salesforce team. LendInvest required a team who would be able to understand complex requirements, design and provide solution architecture and last but not least develop and deliver disruptive digital solutions to meet the most urgent market needs. This was the time LendInvest and Sparkybit started cooperation.
Chapter 1: Existing Salesforce CRM amplification and migration to the new instance
Being one of the most innovative players in the property market, Lendinvest delivers the future of simpler mortgage lending via customer-centered digital products. As Salesforce was an integral part of this vision, Lendinvest teams had a huge variety of ideas on how to ensure the best value at each step of the end customer journey. This is why during the first time Sparkybit engineers worked ad-hoc: customized basic flows, integrated specialized services, added features, and constantly ran assessments for the system to work smoothly. Such an approach provided an immense operational advantage, as we were quick to meet end users’ needs, which is the key to fruitful customer relationships.
As time passed and the company’s Salesforce had grown drastically, an old Salesforce instance code base became hard to extend and support. Migration to a fresh Salesforce instance was a well-timed project, as it allowed us to add brand-new functionality and consequently cover LendInvest’s actual business requirements. Sparkybit arranged the whole migration process, including data migration and real-time data sync, and implemented relevant Salesforce analytical tools and CRM flows.
By the end of the project, the team from Sparkybit’s side grew significantly. This became possible, as both sides invested much time and effort into communication, routines, and performance. The process was not as easy as it seems: LendInvest has extremely high standards while approving engineers, which include not just hard skills, but excellent English as well. Besides, with the growing team and increasing complexity of the product, Sparkybit introduced strict and automated processes for Continuous Integration and Continues Delivery, which enabled the faster delivery and stellar quality of the product.
Peter Wallis, the VP of Technology at Lendinvest, emphasized that Sparkybit worked hard on the engagement to ensure mutual trust was built, which has been essential to achieving high levels of productivity and delivery.
After LendIvest held its IPO, Salesforce has become one of the core operational advantages for LendInvest to focus on. One of the initial goals was to rebuild the company’s entire Salesforce structure and launch new digital products for the end customers. Hence Salesforce development passed from ad-hoc tactical actions into a strategic instrument for good.
Chapter 2: LendInvest Broker Portal creation & launch
As brokers and borrowers are LendInvest's core segments, the company has always invested much in ensuring the best services for them. Buy-to-Let process is one of the key components of customer experience for such clients.
Buy-to-let mortgage is a mortgage arrangement in which an investor borrows money to purchase property in the privately rented sector in order to let it out to tenants.
Sounds like a bunch of bureaucratic steps, doesn’t it? Exactly, as it used to take much time and patience for a borrower to go through the whole process, and for a broker to evaluate each deal and give it a push.
This is why LendInvest got a clear vision: digital transformation of the application process would make a huge difference for the customers.
Surely, going digital meant a 100% engagement of the Salesforce engineering teams from both Sparkybit and LendInvest.
Sparkybit advised and cherry-picked talented Salesforce engineers, admin & QA people who built and launched the product core CRM workflows, needed to assess the mortgage applications and reach a borrowing decision. Migration to a fully cloud-based data platform, advanced data orchestrating and analytics, and a user-friendly interface were also included in the scope.
The project resulted in the Broker Portal, a digital product that made the mortgage application process fast and seamless for all the participants. It enabled brokers to submit bridging inquiries and applications digitally directly into Salesforce. Besides, borrowers got access to automated and semi-automated applications, which saved much effort and provided transparency on each request. Since the portal’s launch, it became much easier to both apply and manage every deal via the Salesforce end-user interface.
Automation cut off unnecessary and time-consuming steps of manual verification, which included the internal team’s communication with brokers or borrowers to get application-related information. Now, with the Broker Portal launched, precious time for communication with customers is spent more on building relationships, not paperwork, and bureaucratic routines.
The outputs of LendInvest & Sparkybit cooperation
LendInvest customers have easier access to property finance services via Salesforce-based digital products;
LendInvest teams have a wider range of tools assisting them in providing better customer care and building relationships;
Yearly-proven mutual trust and deep honest relationships with the Client
Ongoing projects and ambitious mutual plans;
Successful Salesforce customization and third-party integrations
Successful migration to new Salesforce instance;
Development and successful launch of an innovative mortgage application product, the Broker Portal ;
The constant growth of the Sparkybit Salesforce team working for LendInvest;
Positive references from LendInvest converted into new Clients for Sprakybit.
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