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Robo-advice is about giving customers what they want – Matt Lowndes

by: Matt Lowndes, managing director of Coreco
  • 20/09/2016
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Robo-advice is about giving customers what they want – Matt Lowndes
We may not all like it, but robo-advice has made its mark on the mortgage advice market. Coreco's Matt Lowndes explains why it is important for mortgage brokers to recognise and adapt to shifting consumer behaviours.

In the past seven days I have attended the British Mortgage and Protection Senate and the IMLA Great Mortgage Debate and the buzzword has been ‘digital disrupters’.

So is a computer going to replace the human? To say it won’t ever happen is naïve. It might.

Elon Musk has Californians sitting in his battery powered driverless cars, EasyJet has online check-in and fully automated self-service bag drop machines and Sainsbury’s let me pay and check out myself. The last two examples show the consumer is ready for change and that’s the important point here; the consumer is adapting and in some instances driving the change.

We all know the nonsense we have to undertake to carry out a mortgage transaction – it is farcical. Data capture, paperwork, identification, budget planners and stamping numerous documents. This isn’t how it is meant to be, surely?

The competition is working hard to take a slice of the mortgage cake and making things slicker, easier and above all faster.

So who is the competition? Start-ups like Habito, Trussle and Dwell or Santander with their 30 minute remortgages service? Ultimately, the customer will decide who the winners in this particular battle are, or if they are happy to fill out a 20 page paper document then great. But I bet they’d actually rather use drop downs, pre-population, electronic verification and budget planners that automatically categorise their spending habits.

My view is that technology is here to help and assist the customer journey, I’m not that bothered at the moment if an AI super computer is quicker at sourcing a mortgage than a professional mortgage broker, but I am bothered about the service that underpins what we do as an industry. It’s a £220bn market and in lots of places it is a cumbersome and unwieldy beast and that has to change.

Digital Darwinism means we need to adapt. We might not die, but I don’t want to take a chance on Coreco becoming a Blockbuster or Kodak. We are spending on our technology platform with the sole intention of making life easier for our clients and that of the great people we have at Coreco who provide it.

So let’s all give the customer what they want. Professional advice backed by brilliant, innovative and outrageously good service.

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