We recently announced the appointment of Edwin Halakooei as our new Product Engineering Lead and we thought that you’d like to get to know a bit more about him and his role at Smartr365.

Smartr365: Hi Edwin – first of all, welcome to the team!

Edwin Halakooei: Thank you! I’m really enjoying getting stuck in.

Smartr365: Can you tell us a bit about your day to day role at Smartr365?

EH: I’ll be leading the platform’s engineering strategy, working to improve practices and processes to ensure the platform delivers maximum value for our users. As part of this, I’ll be overseeing our new ‘You Asked, We Built’ commitment.

Smartr365: Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about the ‘You Asked, We Built’ commitment?

EH: It’s Smartr365’s commitment to continuously improve the platform in line with user feedback collected directly from our user base. We have installed a feature which allows brokers to directly feedback on features they’d like to see improved, or even built from scratch. We then implement these for the entire platform.

It’s really exciting. We’re leading the way in changing the ‘one size fits all’ blanket approach that has been applied to mortgage tech for the past few years. I believe that what we’re doing here will revolutionise the industry.

Smartr365: So that’s how we’re moving forward as a platform – on the other side of the coin, what do you see as the main challenges currently facing the mortgage industry?

EH: Most brokers are facing challenges caused by their tech. Too many firms are using outdated legacy systems or spending hours on tasks that can be performed in a matter of minutes with the right digital systems. Once the industry moves to a full tech approach, I think a lot of these challenges will be reduced.

Smartr365: And where do you see the market heading in the longer term?

EH: Towards tech, hopefully!

Working from home has laid a strong foundation for more tasks to be carried out remotely and digitally. While some of the solutions we’re seeing at the moment won’t hold up when we’re back to normal regulations, it has shown the industry what could be.

It’s likely we will see far more robust ID verification solutions and secure document transfer processes becoming available in the next few months, and we’ll be at the forefront of that charge.

Smartr365: What about when you’re not at work – tell us a little about what you like to do in your free time.

EH: I love to travel, and I have an ever-growing list of places to visit when travel restrictions return to normal. I used to live in Kuala Lumpur, so I’ve travelled through a lot of Asia in the past. I hope to go to Egypt next to visit the pyramids, and St. Lucia is pretty high up the list too!

I’ve also used the lockdown to test out my home gardening skills. I actually developed an e-gardener app to help more people stay on top of their plant care. It’s just a bit of fun, but I’ve found my plants are flourishing with a bit of help from AI.