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Box room to boom for NE financial advisors

Jordan Sanders (left) and Paul Gray have grown their business massively during an incredible two years

A business which started in the box room at one of its directors homes, has enjoyed an incredible two years of growth.

Jordan Sanders, from Belmont, County Durham and Paul Gray from Hartlepool, quit their financial advisor jobs in 2016 to go it alone. Starting their own financial services business – 313 Financial Limited – they began offering a mortgage brokerage service from the spare bedroom of Paul’s home.

Today, the business – which is now run from offices at Whitfield House, on the Meadowfield Industrial Estate, in Durham – is looking to recruit three more members to its already seven strong team.

As well as offering independent mortgage advice and organising applications, the business can source and arrange home, life and health insurance policies and has a specialist who works with customers to set up wills, trusts or powers of attorney.

Jordan says: “It has been an incredible two years. Paul and I had good jobs and plenty of experience in the sector when we decided to start 313 Financial but felt that our ambitions – and the way in which we both worked diligently with our clients on a seven days of the week basis – was something unique and that we could build a business and a reputation upon.

“Applying for a mortgage can be a stressful and complicated time and ensuring the client is updated at every step of the process is imperative to us. With a lot of our new business coming from customer recommendations, I feel that our communication and level of customer service has been one of the key reasons for our success. It was a huge risk but we were both confident that we could offer something different.”

Opening for business in February 2016, Jordan and Paul were busy almost immediately. By May, they had taken on their first admin employee and moved into a less cramped, rented office space.

By the July – just five months after starting the business – a second admin employee was taken on to help manage the increasing workload, before an additional financial advisor joined in the August. Before the end of the year, 313 Financial took on its first apprentice and moved along the corridor into a larger office.

By the middle of last year, Jordan and Paul had approached and secured work with a number of estate agents and housebuilders. This, alongside a growing portfolio of clients seeking services following word of mouth recommendations, further grew the business and saw another financial advisor join the team.

Paul says: “We were getting an increasing number of messages from friends of clients via social media and we decided to recruit a specialist Social Media team – The Social Co – who have been fantastic. There can be no better advert than people seeing our name for the first time, solely because one of their friends has liked or reviewed us and been really happy with the service we delivered. We have seen a huge spike in new clients approaching us from these platforms.

“With two years having now passed, we are seeing repeat work with existing clients coming through and this, combined with an increasing amount of new approaches, means that we will be looking to take on another two advisors and to add a new member to the admin team this year – taking our number up to 10 staff. We will also be exploring options for larger business premises in the new year”

“We look forward to growing the business yet further and helping an even greater number people to make the right financial decisions, whilst also creating more training and employment opportunities in the region.”