Virgin Money launches new app to help first time buyers onto property ladder

Virgin Money UK plc has launched Home Buying Coach, a new tool designed to simplify the home purchase process and help first time buyers on to the property ladder.

The app is available in the App Store and Google Play to download and follows a successful four-week beta trail with Virgin Money customers.

It’s launching in collaboration with Life Moments, a leading provider of platforms and tools to improve customer experience and generate data insight. The tool builds on the work Life Moments has already carried out via FirstHomeCoach, which has so far helped over 100,000 first time buyers.

Key features of the app include:

  • A tool to calculate precisely what each user can afford, over a range of buying timescales
  • Generation of a personalised plan, timeline and saving goals for each user
  • An in-app digital coach, which starts conversations, asks questions and delivers prompts to encourage the user into action
  • Guidance on every step of the home buying process
  • Links to details of Virgin Money’s mortgage products suitable for first time buyers

Simon Wallace, Head of Mortgage Transformation at Virgin Money, said: “The mortgage and home buying space is crying out for innovation. Many first-time buyers continue to report an unnecessary level of difficulty and stress around the process.

“It is for this reason we’re delighted to launch Home Buying Coach. Users will have access to expert insight and coaching, as well as tools to calculate what they can afford, when they can afford it and how they can get there. We want to take the pain out of the process for First Time Buyers, whether they end up with a Virgin Money product or not. We know from our own research that buyers tend to be happier than renters – both in terms of their finances and in general – and so we see this new tool a valuable part of our customer offering.”

Simon Wallace continues: “The app is a product of Virgin Money’s wider digital transformation strategy, through which we aim to maximise customers’ control over their finances. Using technology, we want people to be able to access and make decisions about their money whenever, from wherever.”

Ben Leonard, CEO and Co-founder of Life Moments added: “Our collaboration with Virgin Money is a great example of how the financial services industry can truly delight consumers. By combining a clear purpose, digital innovation and customer-centric design we have created a modern helpful service at a time when people need guidance more than ever. We look forward to developing the concept further with the Virgin Money team as their digital transformation vision comes to life.”

Recent research from Virgin Money into the impact of home ownership on happiness and financial security found that 81% of homeowners feel happy about their housing/living situation compared to 61% of private renters. The survey also showed that 57% of homeowners felt happy with their household finances, compared to 44% of private renters.  Virgin Money commissioned Britain Thinks to survey over 4,000 UK consumers during May 2020.