The opportunities for future advances in sourcing technology are vast. The key requirement going forward, however, is maintaining a simple yet effective approach to making it easier for all parties in the mortgage process to conduct business.
Lenders will always invest in their own platforms, enhancing their functionality and speed of service.
Sourcing systems, to complement this development, will look to enhance the client and broker experience through a two-way exchange of information and documentation. The role of technology should be to enhance the broker/client relationship and to drive through increased efficiencies in the end to end mortgage processes.
IRESS, for instance, are driving this through their Lender Connect service that uses their experience of integration to connect to both IRESS and non-IRESS broker platforms at the same time as connecting to an aggregated set of lender services. This will enable the reuse of data from broker platforms with lenders. It is developing to a point where information and documentation from the lender platform can be shared back into the broker platform.
This kind of development will save significant amounts of time by reducing how long brokers spend rekeying the same information across multiple lender portals.
The lender-broker experience
Sourcing services will continue to connect the lender with the broker but without driving huge change in the core processes that already exist. If lenders continue to develop in areas such as open banking and automated income and expense verification, brokers will be able to make more use of those services through automatically passing data in and automatically receiving data back.
As well as supporting increased broker business efficiency, this will speed up processes through ongoing lender investment in automation.
Dedicated client and broker portals
Further investment in client portals will continue to create a better experience for a broker’s clients and continue to exploit electronic sharing of information between client portal and broker portal and, of course, vice-versa.
With third-party services developing, it will be possible for clients, through authorisation, to have their information collected electronically and for that information to form a key part of the fact-finding process. The key here is to look at how sourcing platforms can help remove duplication of effort between the broker business and the lender business. For example, how does the sourcing provider look to use a universally accepted open banking partner and process that satisfies the due diligence needs of both the broker and lender businesses, thus removing the need for a client to experience the same process twice in applying for a mortgage?
Similarly, allowing clients to scan and attach documents for the broker that can be seamlessly used and electronically passed into the lender service will increase the speed of the service from application to completion.
It is also possible that the current decision in principle and acceptance processes merge in the future, where limited information is required from the client other than an authorisation to use data from third party services. With the data being accurate and comprehensive, it is likely that the current practice of having a pre-application and post-application decision could be removed. In the short term, the sourcing platform will make use of the services deployed by lenders and the data captured by brokers to increase workflow efficiencies.
Aggregation is another area of focus for sourcing providers, where better management in areas such as case tracking is likely to benefit from lender information and alerts being made available through the broker software. This supports real-time, digital messaging or requirements to both broker and client and at the same time, looks at how the requirement can also be collected electronically and quickly passed back to the lender.
Further third party connections are likely to be considered in areas such as conveyancing, connections to HMRC, the passport office and third party data providers but this will need to be done in a pragmatic and cautious way so that a connection between the requirements of the lender and broker are met simultaneously and with the aim of removing duplicated processes.
Historically, a broker has started from a product perspective and then used a selection of filters to match a client’s needs and this is how many systems work. As products are becoming more complex to match the ever changing customer needs, some brokers are opting to start from a criteria perspective and then move on to looking at matching a product. Systems such as Criteria Hub, which offers criteria based sourcing, are now available. Used in addition to a sourcing system, it means that all routes can be accommodated.
‘We are at the very beginning of the next generation of sourcing systems. The advent of criteria searching is a real game changer. We are going to see criteria, affordability and product come together like never before, giving the broker access to “true” sourcing based on all of the factors they currently have to navigate separately to make their recommendation. This will provide the broker with a much more joined-up experience.’
The next big challenge
The next challenge for the industry as a whole is to bring all these technologies, tools and capabilities together. This is not just the responsibility of the tech companies but of the industry as a whole, including lenders. This focus will enable all technology to fulfil its true potential which will ultimately benefit every person in the sales process, including the most important person: the borrower.
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