The regulator’s interim report into the mortgage market found 30% of borrowers fail to find the cheapest mortgage for them.
As a result, it called for more efforts to make it easier for consumers, at an early stage, to identify which mortgage products they qualify for, to assess and compare those products and, ultimately, to take out a mortgage.
The FCA also wants to make it easier for consumers to assess the strengths of different mortgage brokers and says it intends to work with the broker sector to develop metrics to help consumers compare brokers.
What concerns me is that we already know there is a problem in the mortgage market surrounding customer inertia.
We know there are borrowers who are aware that better deals are out there but are also aware they cannot access them because of criteria changes following regulatory shifts.
This is a major issue and one that needs to be addressed. But that’s another topic for another day. Because, we also know there are borrowers out there who are paying way over the odds for their mortgage simply because they haven’t taken the time or made the effort to find out if there is a better deal available to them.
So what can we do to fight this problem? I believe technology can play a major part.
This is the smartphone generation. For today’s generation of buyers and indeed most second steppers now looking to move up the property ladder, technology is king.
As brokers it’s no longer enough for you to send a letter or email letting your clients know their deal is about to expire.
You need to invest in technology to allow you to take that to the next level.
- automated texts;
- making use of social media to highlight the costs of not remortgaging (short, sharp warnings with real figures tend to grab consumer attention);
- ensuring your website is mobile-friendly so borrowers who are not already clients can see what you are about without having to be at a computer;
- offering webchat;
- an easy to use mortgage calculator and straightforward sourcing that allows clients to see new products as and when they’re launched.
These are all ways in which you can use technology to engage with you clients and attract new ones.
Clients will remain disengaged with mortgages if the market fails to move forward.