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‘Do I want to replace humans in the advice process? Certainly not’ – Home of Mortgages

by: Michael O'Brien, director of Home of Mortgages
  • 28/01/2019
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‘Do I want to replace humans in the advice process? Certainly not’ – Home of Mortgages
It may be hard for people outside our industry to believe, but being a mortgage broker is a great job.

 

I wouldn’t say it is the application of the mortgage, liaising with the lender or certifying identification that generates such joy.

The joy comes from helping clients achieve their goals, be it their first step on the ladder, a move to a new family home or assisting with the incorporation of a buy-to-let portfolio – solving problems is what we do well.

Like many of my industry colleagues, I am an avid believer in clients receiving the very best advice.

A good, experienced, mortgage broker is perfectly able to offer outstanding advice by collating a detailed fact find, having an in-depth understanding of lenders’ criteria and by using a decent sourcing system.

This isn’t about to change. However, if you have the ear of any millennial client, the way we are interacting has changed.

There is no getting away from it, technology has changed the way we do everything, from communicating with each other, shopping or going on holiday.

 

Launching FinTech proposition

Bringing this back to our mortgage industry, I am aware of several good mortgage broker firms, including Mortgage 1st, Affinity Mortgages and Ladder Mortgages, which are all in the process of or have launched a model that integrates tech to their proposition.

We have been busy working on similar developments at Home of Mortgages and will be launching our own take on FinTech for the mortgage industry later in the year, which is very exciting.

Having said that, do I want to replace humans in the advice process? Certainly not.

I am pleased to say the like-minded brokers above share the same values.

Our industry will benefit from tech by being able to process applications more quickly.

We will have faster access to available data such as Open Banking, HMRC feeds and credit data, all of which will enhance the user experience.

 

Amazing conversations

I became a mortgage broker 15 years ago and over this time I have enjoyed some amazing conversations with my clients.

Although similarities exist no two cases are ever the same.

Between my team and I, we are conducting thousands of client interviews resulting in many more solutions being presented.

Using data drawn from these client fact finds and the conversations I hear every day in my office, I can say with confidence that relying purely on robo-advice will not be in the best interests of the consumer.

To be clear, there has not been a single advised purchase transaction carried out to date, in-which the mortgage arranged has not had advice from a human.

This does not mean it’s not coming.

 

Advice is king

In my experience, good mortgage advice does not come from a decision tree.

It comes from understanding criteria and processing scores of soft facts such as the need for short or medium term disposable income, future work and personal plans, and in some cases the extended family’s financial situation.

Tech has its place in enhancing our user experience. It excites me how this will change our industry over the coming years.

Applications will be processed faster and user experiences will be enhanced.

However, when putting customers at the heart of the transaction, advice is king, so I for one, will be banging the industry drum to ensure clients are aware of the benefits of obtaining advice from experienced, human mortgage brokers for a long while yet.

 

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