In recent years, the Intermediary market has seen great developments, nowhere more so than in terms of technology. It’s transformed the mortgage industry both for the consumer and for brokers. After all, if they so choose, a customer can now borrow the funds they require entirely online, without ever even meeting a broker.
You may have already invested in a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM), an accounting system, an email marketing system, a sales or lead generation system and a sourcing system or you may still be considering your options for some of them.
What do they mean for the way you do business? We’ve summarised some of the advantages and what you need to consider under the four S’s.
Technology is there to speed up the process for you and your customer. It should streamline your operations and workflows. A good CRM system, for example, will help you with case tracking, client management and reporting. It will also issue you with timely prompts to make sure you contact your clients at the right time.
As for the customer, technology enables them to upload their documents and simplifies the fact finding process. It helps them feel part of what is happening as they can track exactly where their application is up to.
Service more clients
Industry figures indicate that mortgages from FinTech lenders are completed approximately 20 per cent faster than those from other lenders. The extra time freed up by technology will enable you to serve more clients. It also means the time spent in front of your customer can be spent doing more useful things than just collecting data. As a result, many brokers have been able to scale up their operations more quickly, opening a second or third office.
The automation of record-checking has not only significantly speeded up the mortgage process, it’s also made the whole underwriting business less labour-intensive. At the same time, technology has enabled lenders to use more sophisticated methods to check the borrower’s income and assets.
Technology will also encourage your clients to self-serve which, again, will free up your time. Make sure you give them as much information as possible in convenient, accessible formats on their laptops, phones or tablets.
Use the technology to show them price comparisons and offer them greater choice. This isn’t cutting you out of the loop - it’s enabling you and the customer to spend your time wisely and to work smartly. If anything, it identifies you as an industry authority and as providing a service.
Your role is to take any friction out of the mortgage application process for your customer. Take a step back. View the process independently. How does the customer experience it?
Think about what could potentially be causing your customers frustration. Is there duplication in the number of times they have to enter their details? Do the various options sound confusing? Is your documentation full of jargon?
From your point of view, are you frequently composing the same type of email to lots of different customers? Would a template help? Do you find yourself struggling to find a customer’s details or discover that records have not been updated or shared across the business? The technology can eliminate duplication, improve productivity and increase efficiency.
It will also enable you to better tailor your offering. A good sourcing system takes all inputted criteria relating to a client into account and then makes suggestions as to the most appropriate product for that client. This enables you to create a niche. You may, for instance, be doing some marketing which targets first time buyers or individuals who may have had difficulty getting a mortgage before. An email marketing system will also allow you to personalise your mailings and create greater impact.
One final point; you may have selected your systems but it’s no good having the best technology in the world for each separate function if they don’t speak to each other. Pay attention to the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to make sure your accounting package can be integrated with your CRM. Discuss with your software provider what you need the system to work with.
The significance of all these advances in technology for the Intermediary market means brokers have more opportunities to shape their strategic direction and add real value to their proposition. Ultimately, it means they can work in a quicker and more streamlined way and focus on their business priorities.