Ishaan Malhi: Real Estate Renegade

Sunetra Senior Monday 01st May 2017 17:34 EDT

Ishaan is part of that North-East London start-up movement, enhancing modern tech and also its good name. The CEO and Founder of Trussle – the UK’s first online mortgage broker – Ishaan makes the normally arduous process of securing a mortgage as straight-forward as ordering a cup of coffee. “Trussle aims to preserve all the excitement of purchasing a new home without the stress of finding the right mortgage for it. We provide a clear and sage, friendly service, and see you through the entire process. Where other brokers and broker sites might not be as accessible and perhaps even obstructive, Trussle eases your concerns both emotionally and financially, keeping you connected every step of the way.” The conscientious company was actually borne out of Ishaan’s own frustration with finding a first home, where the additional fees and many protracted phone calls led him to draw the conclusion that: “the real estate industry was still very backward and unnecessarily complex.”


Thus, merging his background in real estate, finance and technology with later experience working with and investing in early-stage tech companies, Ishaan came to the natural place of founding the trendy Trussle: “the combination of my professional experience and personal disappointment led me to solve the problem I faced first-hand, using technology as my tool.” The online mortgage brokers have already won Prop Tech start-up of the year, been named on Tech City’s Upscale website as one of their 33 exclusive companies, and rates excellent on Trustpilot as decided by customer opinion. “From the social recognition to customer satisfaction,” Ishaan added, “everything keeps us motivated to carry on and solve the next issue.” And Trussle are particularly proud to be specialists in a lifestyle market, as opposed to just another Financial-Tech company with an outreach limited to the corporate world. Ishaan specifically stated on the subject: “we understand that getting a mortgage is more than a financial transaction. We look beyond the monetary aspect, realising the emotional part that it plays in people’s lives. We try and treat our interaction with customers as a relationship rather than a transaction. We are also very progressive. Your typical mortgage brokers won’t have developers, marketers and designers to the same extent that we have. We are trying to re-invent a mortgage process from scratch, which means looking at every aspect of our brand in equal measure. Currently, there are around 15, ooo high street brokers helping you navigate through 10, ooo products from over 90 lenders. We have developed an algorithm and an intuitive interface which allows consumers to easily navigate through this process at any time of the day from any device to find the most suitable mortgage for them. Combining our technology with first-class customer service ensures that our consumers will have the best of both worlds.” In this way, Ishaan’s  company moves forward, not just existing, but thinking on the edge of technology; rightly treating the industry as a platform that should make a deep difference to people’s everyday lives. “The best part of the job,” Ishaan aptly finished, “is getting the positive customer reviews. Getting the perfect home is both a big financial decision and a very sentimental experience so it’s really something to get that delicate balance right.”

Tell us a bit more about the business model?

We don't believe in paying fees for advice so we are completely free to use. Also once you successfully complete on your mortgage, we will continually monitor it for you, automatically alerting you if there's a better deal available and switching across, so you don't pay more than you should.

 Do you feel that business is in your blood?

I was raised in a family of entrepreneurs so have always been exposed to start-up business, be it technology or textiles and that has certainly had an influence on me starting my own business. After just 2 years in the investment banking world, I realised that the corporate world was not for me and left to work with, for and invest in early-stage technology businesses. During my time working in Venture Capital, I was going through the mortgage process and with that mind-set realised the industry was ripe for disruption. That - in combination with my background and aspirations - is what led me to starting Trussle. 

What do people tend to look for when buying a home?

Certainty! People do have a lot of questions and anxiety during this emotional endeavour so what they really benefit from is outside certainty and reliability as an anchor. It can be a daunting process, from figuring out what you can afford to where you are in the purchase journey. People want clear communication and honest management of expectations from start to finish.

 What are your future plans with Trussle?

We’ve been delighted at how fast we’ve grown in such a short space of time. Just over a year since launch, we've grown to 25 people, raised £6m in venture capital and have signed partnerships with household brands such as Zoopla, uSwitch and Revolut to name a few. We're constantly thinking of ways to make the process faster, more convenient and more straightforward and will work closely with lenders and regulators in the industry to get there.

Can the customer meaningfully confide in you?

Despite being predominantly online, well over 100 people have rated our service 5* on popular reviews site, TrustPilot, and we've even received a box of chocolates from some customers! Ultimately our vision is to secure you the right mortgage in just a few taps but for such an emotionally and financially sensitive transaction, we'd like to retain the human aspect to those that still want it. We'll always have a friendly customer success team on hand to discuss your questions and believe this approach ensures consumers of all shapes and sizes will always confide in us.

Finally, what’s been the most challenging part of being a tech start-up?

Focus is the one thing that can often make or break early-stage businesses because by definition, we are so resource constrained. It's exciting to have ideas upon ideas but prioritising, executing and learning from right ones is the biggest challenge.

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