Co-Founder & CEO, Homewise
Through their transformation from a startup to an established technology leader, Intuit has continued to include their entrepreneurial spirit in everything they do. They believe that technology can help power prosperity for all Canadians. For Intuit, everything starts with the belief that people deserve the opportunity to prosper.
The Intuit Prosperity Accelerator has curated an inaugural cohort of leading tech startups. These solutions are positioned to help solve specific financial challenges that Canadian consumers and small businesses face in the wake of COVID-19. Homewise provides future homebuyers and home owners with the easiest way to get the best mortgage possible. With a five-minute application process, tailored mortgages from over 30 banks and lenders, and human support, this is a well-rounded service to support Canadians. Best of all? Homewise is completely free of cost for all prospective homebuyers and home owners. Co-Founder and CEO Jesse Abrams took the time to talk more about the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator and the ways that Homewise can help Canadian homebuyers.
Can you provide a bit of insight into the collaboration process with Intuit?
Our collaboration started with an online application — we saw the program and knew that it would be a great fit for Homewise. There was a series of interviews to make sure we had what they were looking for, and fortunately, we were one of the companies chosen for the program.
Highline Beta has been a game-changer for us. As a startup, it’s not easy to develop strong partnerships and learn from large companies, but they have been a maven helping us along the way. Especially in developing a relationship with a top company like Intuit. Highline and Intuit are just as excited about fintech innovation and collaboration as all the startups involved in the program, even though they’re the big voices in the room. They pass on a ton of wisdom to us, to ensure that we strategize and execute with excellence.
Homewise is differentiated by combining data intelligence technology with human advisors. How can these different forces be balanced?
Many tech companies are looking to completely erase the human element, but mortgages are massive financial decisions that necessitate extra support. We automate the processes that humans shouldn’t be doing, such as searching the market for options. Essentially, our technology makes the process fast, transparent, and easy. A human advisor explains the mortgage offering and guides clients through the process. We use this balance to find the best tailored options based on data, and support homebuyers with our advisors – all with the goal of saving them time and money.
How have you seen the mortgage industry change due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The pandemic has pushed technology forward in so many ways and the mortgage industry is no exception. We’ve had our best six months since COVID-19 hit as more people are seeking out digital services. I don’t think that, at the end of the pandemic, people will be rushing back to the old ways of doing things. Buying a house is a huge milestone and it’s essential that prospective buyers have full trust in the process. The industry might move to pure tech in ten years, but for now, the human experience is essential. What makes this so interesting is that tech companies are starting to add humans into these processes. The early marketplace for fintech is big — the people that want to do everything digitally. But to access the laggard’s market, it’s essential to bring human interaction in to engage your customers.
Homewise is completely free for clients. Can you provide more insight into that business model?
We want to empower homebuyers by implementing a free model, because we don’t get paid by the clients, we get paid by the lenders. It’s a phenomenal experience — offering value to our clients without asking for anything back. You can apply online in five minutes, never have to meet someone in person, get the best product, save the most money, and have it all for free — it’s really having your cake and eating it too.
Why does the personalized touch matter?
The scary things about mortgages are that they’re exceptionally confusing and they’re the biggest purchases that people will make in their lives. Very few people understand even basic mortgage terminology. A personalized mortgage is essential in making sure that you aren’t just making the right decision for today — you’re making the best decision for yourself a decade from now.