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Are you constantly looking for ways to improve?

While this is in essence a good thing – vital, even, when it comes to running a business – you should perhaps be wary of making big changes to your approach.

Conor Murphy is CEO and founder of digital mortgage platform Smartr365 and Capricorn Financial Consultancy, described as the largest mortgage brokerage in London.

His approach to managing a company which lends itself to £2.5 billion per annum alongside a startup with a vision to digitise and automate the mortgage journey is to iterate every day.

“I believe in the Japanese concept of ‘kaizen’, or constant improvement,” he tells TechBlast. “I aim to enhance what I do every day. 

“It’s not about where you start but where you finish, so I don’t dwell too much on huge changes, and instead focus on how I can make small gains each day.”

Legal & General backing

Founded in 2017, Smartr365 employs a team of over 40 professionals and developers. It connects advisors, estate agents and home buyers through a single cloud-based software platform. 

It closed its fourth funding round at the end of March, which included backing from Legal & General and a ‘major fund’. Prior to this, it received early-stage investment from NewModel VC and two other rounds of funding from Legal & General.

“The mortgage market is thriving in terms of demand and output, but so behind many other sectors in terms of tech adoption and usage. A shake-up was long overdue,” he explains.

“The origin of the mortgage market can be traced back to the 12th Century, with documents from 1190 suggesting the start of a system that resembles that which we know today.”

Smartr365 is trusted by more than 3,500 UK brokers to deliver services including management of digital ID verification, document-signing and house viewings. 

He says the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the long-overdue shift to digital.

“We have a busy and exciting pipeline of developments in place for the rest of the year, including product enhancements, and partnerships. Due to this, we expect to welcome our 8,000th user by the end of the year,” he says.

Managing business growth

Advice

So what advice can he offer fledgling tech startup entrepreneurs?

“You need to have a clear vision of what you want and a strong strategy for how to achieve it,” he says. “There will be tough times along the way, so you need to be prepared for that. When these happen, you need to have enough belief in what you are doing to grit your teeth and keep going. 

“You also have to love what you do and have faith in the process. If you are only interested in the end result you will quickly lose interest. You have to enjoy the journey.

“It’s also important to surround yourself with great people who believe in your vision and have the skills that you lack. Listen to them and allow them to lead.”