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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

Why brokers should be embracing technology, not fearing it

Maeve Ward

In a world where everything is done at a touch of a button, why should mortgages be any different? Some brokers are fearful of technology.

Perhaps holding a belief that by embracing new digital capabilities, they are somehow sealing their own fate to be replaced by computers. But I believe that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Technology does not mean that a broker is cut out of the equation, if anything, it should allow brokers more time to do what they do best: advise and interact with the customer, which is a good thing.  

At the moment, there are some fantastic systems on the market for brokers. MortgageGym provides a platform for brokers to receive potential customers who are pre-qualified for a mortgage based on their credit and income verification. Then there’s Trussle, an online broker that allows customers to own the majority of the journey with advice being provided via phone, chat box etc. Finally, there is Knowledge Bank, the UK’s first mortgage criteria search system for intermediaries, a one-stop shop for all things criteria related. This is a fantastic resource that allows a broker to search one site to ascertain a lender’s criteria – beyond the rate – as opposed to visiting multiple systems. Lenders and brokers are also looking at ways of integrating their platforms to provide actual decisioning to provide a speedier and clearer service for customers. 

While I fully advocate these systems, it still takes brokers time to dip in and out, rekeying information each time. Ultimately, customers want quick and accurate decisions and brokers want speed and ease. Therefore, if we could put all these systems together, customers could get decisions quickly, brokers would save time by not having to visit multiple sites – which means recommendations could be more fluid and instantly allow them to speak to more and more customers – and, in time, maybe see them diversify into other areas allowing for more holistic advice. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet, however, I don’t think it will be too far into the future before this does happen. 

Technology does come at a price, and the market is moving towards more digital capabilities, so my fear is that those who see embracing and developing new systems as a ‘cost’ – and not an ‘investment’ – risk being left behind, overtaken by those looking to pioneer better technological systems to provide better outcomes for customers. 

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