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Keeping up with the digital disrupters – Flavin

by: Paul Flavin, director of Zing Mortgages
  • 26/09/2017
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Keeping up with the digital disrupters – Flavin
I was on an EasyJet flight recently and their in-flight magazine included an article on Mortgage Gym which has just won substantial backing to develop an integrated search engine with several of the main banks.

This would allow a customer to go online, complete a form and, if suitable, instantly be accepted for a mortgage with one of the said lenders.

It’s the latest in a series of deals showing that the new wave of brokers looking to disrupt the market are generating significant interest.

Habito has raised £27.5m in the past nine-months to develop their robo-advice service while Trussle have also had major funding for the same development and have raised enough awareness for Mortgage Advice Bureau to agree a deal working with the company.

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to see this is going to impact the work that your traditional broker would expect to pick up. So as traditional advisers, we need to ensure we prove our worth, more now than ever.


This can be done by:

  • Making sure that you stay in touch with your clients. Make those 90-day phone calls. It really works and is basic practice for the most successful advisers. Just touching base with your customers keeps you in their mind and often results in more referrals.
  • Ensure that there’s a value to the service you can offer your client. This is done through increasing your knowledge, allowing you to offer options to your clients in a way that a computer never could. Unfortunately, this does involve a little effort on the part of the broker.


Here to stay

We need to accept that robo-advice is here to stay but, as is the case with all technology disrupters, only the strongest will survive. Think back to VHS verses Betamax, or Facebook compared to the many other social media sights that launch.

Once a winner is established their position is maintained by purchasing any start-ups looking to threaten the status-quo. There’ll be a great deal of money thrown at becoming the winner of this particular race and it will definitely disrupt our industry.

However, this will happen at the cost of good old-fashioned advice that many clients need but, they need to know what they are missing out on by opting for an online offering.

We need to make the customer aware of the true value of traditional mortgage advice and this can only be done by improving in the areas mentioned and also improving as advisers.


Awaiting Google

The days of simply order taking are rapidly disappearing and advisers need to up their game if they don’t want to be replaced by a computer algorithm.

Once this challenge to our way of working has truly bedded-in to our daily lives we can settle back and wait for the real disrupters to arrive at the party.

In a world where data is king who else knows more about the person on the street, their lifestyle choices and buying habits than the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook. A pairing of these mega data stores with financial institutions will take a great deal more than an occasional phone call and annual review to survive.

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