HLP Reallocations

HLP Reallocations: Solving a 20 Year Problem

Role: Design Lead

Home Line Plan (HLP) Reallocations is a mortgage product provided by RBC. Using this, customers can leverage their equity like a credit card for large purchases. The rules around HLP are fairly complex and has been a knowledge hurdle for decades often frustrating advisors, this caused a multitude of issues for fulfillment.

We were tasked with redesigning an easier experience for advisors to streamline the process, thus cutting down any issues during fulfillment.

The Problem

  • The research team conducted initial interviews to get a feel of the problems advisors faced.
  • Advisors found performing reallocations complicated.
  • There are several systems used for reallocations, thus advisors had to jump around.
  • The complexity and detachment of the systems used to complete a reallocation elongated the process. (Generally takes 5 – 21 business days)


  • Once the initial information gathering was completed we decided to run a workshop to get a clearer picture of the landscape of what made this process so difficult.
  • We invited both subject matter experts and mortgage advisors to take part in this workshop.
  • We asked them to list out different components and steps involved in an HLP and asked them to brainstorm their ideal experience.
  • They were also ran through a journey mapping session to understand the pain-points from multiple points of views.
  • These sessions gave us enough understanding of the complexity to start sketching.

Sketching and Testing

  • After multi-day research session and workshops, we were confident enough to start sketching and testing.
  • Because of the complexity we first starting with the most basic use-case which was the customer using their house’s equity for a renovation and then transferring that equity into a new mortgage. (I’ll spare you the details)
  • We then tested this with mortgage specialists and advisors through printed prototypes.
  • Once we received feedback and our next iterations employed the technique of “Battle Testing”; a technique used to test every complex configuration in order to see if we could break the design.
  • We found that advisors had no trouble going through and understanding the prototype.
  • Surprisingly the difficulty that advisors had was nomenclature.
  • For future iterations and testing, we focussed on making sure the experience shared a common language that all advisors can identify components with.

Final Design and Outcomes

  • After sketching and iteration, we were able to settle on a design that made it easier for advisors to complete an HLP Reallocation.
  • The final design incorporated every flow the advisor had to go through into one place and automated many of the information gathering processes.
  • Due to the reduction of complexity and errors the process time was reduced from 5 – 21 days to 1 – 5 days.
  • Advisors found great satisfaction and relief in the tool
  • My team received an achievement award for solving this very complex problem.