We spoke to one-half of HashChing, Australia’s first online home loan marketplace, about how they are easing the challenges of the housing industry.
Can you please tell The Big Smoke a little about your background prior to launching HashChing?
Prior to launching HashChing, I worked in the financial services sector for over a decade and added an Executive MBA with Distinction average from Sydney Business School in 2014 to my academic profile. I worked across different business units in banking as business consultant with my last role at Westpac Group focusing on strategic initiatives in Digital banking for retail lending products. I also launched my first startup in 2008 which I successfully exited in 2009.
What is the main problem that HashChing solves for Australians?
Working in financial services for over 10 years and a loyal staff customer to my bank, I thought I had secured the best rate on my home loan until I told Atul Narang my home loan rate over a regular coffee meet. Atul Narang, co-founder of HashChing, on the other hand secured a better rate on his loan through a mortgage broker from my bank without any staff discount – but it wasn’t that easy, having already experienced two bad brokers. With this experience, both of us decided to bring clarity and simplicity to the market with HashChing, Australia’s first online marketplace for home loans.
HashChing is Australia’s first online home loans marketplace that instantly connects borrowers to verified local mortgage brokers registered on HashChing using an AI driven algorithm.
What is the one thing you wish customers would understand about HashChing when first connecting with you?
One thing we wish customers would understand about HashChing when first connecting with us is HashChing is not a lender and HashChing does not employ any mortgage broker. We operate independently as a marketplace with experienced mortgage brokers who are all aligned to industry aggregators, and vetted internally before they are activated. HashChing gets paid by brokers only and the service is completely free to borrowers.
What has been the most technically challenging aspect of taking HashChing to market?
The most technically challenging aspect of taking HashChing to market was getting quality mortgage brokers to agree to HashChing’s strict SLA of getting in touch with clients within 24 hours of the lead assignment, including weekends, and providing a better experience to borrowers. We overcame this by building the right tools in our Broker accessible HashChing CRM dashboard to help them improve their efficiency and productivity.
How do you see HashChing evolving in the market to serve more customers over the next 12 months?
The next 12 months will see HashChing scaling the business further with a target to have 1,000 active mortgage brokers on the platform and $20bn worth of home loan applications by January 2018.
HashChing is also looking at strategic partnerships in other verticals that are closely aligned to the home loan journey. Saving money for our customers is at the heart of our business, and now that we’ve conquered the process of offering the best home loan deals on the market, securing a great deal on home insurance – which is mandatory for property purchases – is our next target. We’re always looking for ways to make the home loan process smoother and more efficient, and by offering a healthy discount from well-respected insurance provider CGU Insurance, we’re eliminating another friction for home loan settlement on behalf of our customers.
HashChing will be soon announcing other partnerships in coming months that will streamline the end-to-end home loan process completely. Follow our social media pages for the latest updates and innovation in home loan space by HashChing.
What is your main piece of advice to aspiring start-up founders and CEO’s?
Running a startup is one hell of ride but totally worth it. One main piece of advice I would like to share with aspiring founders is to focus on solving a real problem that drives some kind of social change and stay committed to it. Most of the time staying committed means stepping out of your comfort zone and going the extra mile to achieve exponential growth. Lastly, start a company not because you want to start a company but to solve a bigger problem you feel passionate about.