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Meet Camilla, the founder of our double Gold award-winning mortgage advisor office!

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

You might have seen on our socials recently that Beewise FS Ltd won Gold in the most elite categories at the 2022 ESTAs Awards – Best Mortgage Broker in the South West, our home region, and Best Mortgage Advisor Office for the whole of the UK!

As the ESTAs are based solely on customer feedback, winning was a huge honour – nothing means more to us than amazing service and helping our clients however we can. And, this was a huge coup for Beewise as we’re a small business that’s only been running for just over two years.

We caught up with Beewise founder and managing director Camilla – AKA our Queen bee! – to find out what this meant to her.

Firstly, huge congratulations! How did it feel when you heard your name called?

Over the moon to have achieved something so big in such a short space of time! The whole team at Beewise work hard to help each and every client, so being recognised for that was a very proud moment for all of us.

To have won Best Mortgage Broker in both our region and the whole of the UK felt like a dream come true, especially since this is the first time we’ve entered these awards. It was also lovely as lots of brokers from other mortgage companies congratulated us afterwards, so we had support from our own industry too.

What made you get into mortgages?

I’d worked in a few roles where I didn’t really feel challenged, and after getting my first mortgage when I was 18, friends kept saying I’d be good in that kind of area – estate agency or mortgage advice. So, I applied for a mortgage advisor position in a high street company and after just 3 years was promoted to regional manager, training and supporting other mortgage advisors in the South West!

I’ve always loved helping people, and helping others buy their own home is so rewarding. It’s such a stressful process, so being on hand to guide people through that gives me real job satisfaction.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I wanted customers to have a more personal level of service, as when you’re part of a corporate company there tends to be a one-size-fits-all approach. By that point in my career I knew the industry inside out, and felt confident I could offer something more to people.

At the beginning of 2020 I was due to return to work after having my daughter, but going back to that office environment after maternity leave made my decision easy – I decided to embrace a different way of doing things to benefit me and my customers.

That’s when Beewise was born, just before the pandemic! In some ways it seemed like bad timing, starting a mortgage broker company as the country went into lockdown. But in others it couldn’t have been better, as I was able to adapt to clients’ needs quickly and embrace change in a way corporate companies and banks couldn’t.

Tell us the best and worst parts of running your own company…

The best is the work/life balance. Running my own business means I can be flexible with my hours, which benefits clients as much as it does me. Most people I speak to have a full time job, kids, or a busy lifestyle, so being able to offer evening and weekend appointments around bedtimes and childcare works for everyone! I also love that I’m able to offer colleagues the same opportunity – four in our team of seven have young children, and all our team members were unhappy in corporate environments that felt restrictive to a customer-focused way of working.

The worst part is I never switch off! Because I’m so passionate about helping people, and because it’s my business, I usually have one eye on my phone – although my daughter does a very good job of distracting me when she’s around!

Is there any advice you’d give to other small businesses?

Firstly, customer service is key. You have to be consistent in your approach and make sure the whole team is delivering outstanding service at all levels. For us that means same day response times, out of hours appointments, and expert advice throughout the homebuying journey, right up until a client gets their keys.

But fundamentally it’s about listening to and understanding people’s needs, offering your services in a friendly, approachable way, and acknowledging and answering queries in a reasonable timeframe. If you genuinely care about helping people, that’ll come through in everything you do.

Also, take time to be part of your local community – there are so many ways small businesses can help each other out. We sponsor a couple of local football teams, and have recently started supporting local employers with mortgage advice, working with them to help employees as part of a benefit scheme.

And finally, what are your future goals for Beewise?

Top of the list has to be winning Best Mortgage Broker in the South West and Best UK Mortgage Advisor Office again at the 2023 ESTAs! We’re also looking to grow the business in the next year, keeping our ethos of outstanding customer support at the heart of all we do.

I’m definitely buzzing for what’s to come – if we can achieve this in our first 2 years, there’s no limit to where Beewise could be in another 2 years time.

If you’re looking for award-winning mortgage & protection help, get in touch with your local Beewise FS Ltd advisor here or call 01934 204841. And, click here to check out our 185+ 5 star customer testimonials!

With evening and weekend appointments available, we’re here to make mortgages and protection easy to understand and as stress-free as possible.

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