However, technology should be used in partnership with the personal touch that brokers can provide in order to boost business development and provide better outcomes for their clients.
With many brokers facing an uptick in remortgaging because of rising house prices and reduced affordability, changes to the ways brokers work are essential if they are to keep ahead of demand.
Approvals for remortgaging rose to 48,200 in February according to the Bank of England. This is the highest level seen since February 2020.
Technology can provide brokers with a simple and effective way to manage relationships, but also help them track and manage upcoming regulatory updates, customer demographics and types; increase data security and enhance the efficiency of the mortgage process – saving both money and time.
A 2021 survey of 2,001 US borrowers by ICE Mortgage Technology on borrowing and lending found that brokers are well aware of the benefits that technology can bring to them. All but one per cent of brokers believe that technology can help improve the mortgage application process, while 70 per cent think it will reduce the time to close, and 67 per cent think it can help minimise manual data input.
So, how can brokers use technology to navigate an increasingly complex market?
Enhancing the human touch
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions many people will make in their lives. As a result, prospective buyers need guidance and expertise from human advisers. Technology should therefore make advisers’ lives easier and help make the mortgage process more efficient while amplifying, not replacing, that human touch.
With such a competitive housing market, buyers are often in need of swift mortgage application processes to make sure their purchase goes through without any hiccoughs. As a result, it is vital that brokers embrace technological developments so they can provide their customers the service they need without compromising on security or breaching regulation.
To help brokers retain and encourage new business, technology can help automate key points in the mortgage and remortgaging process. For example, automated emails at key stages in the mortgage journey can provide customers with information in a timely manner when they are coming to the end of a fixed term rate. This helps develop customer relationships and can support client retention.
The role of AI and machine learning is also becoming ever more prominent in the adviser space. Several fintech firms have launched AI-powered mortgage brokerages, including Nuvo, which claims to be the first ever full AI-powered mortgage broker in the UK. However, the human touch will always be vital and a hybrid approach is much more suitable in order to provide broker clients with the best possible service.
The importance of strong client relationship management
Not only have mortgage brokers had to adapt to flexible working and the rise of virtual meetings, but the use of customer relationship management (CRM) systems has become pivotal to providing customers with a bespoke personalised service that suits their needs.
CRM systems are now responsible for providing brokers with real-time information on both lender and market updates, whether that be details on the latest products for their clients or to keep up to date with regulatory changes that might impact them. They also allow brokers to communicate via messages, exchange, and transfer documents securely and complete elements of the advice process online.
Digital identity verification is the future for brokers
A step change is taking place in the intermediary industry away from traditional paper verifications.
As part of this growing trend, brokers are increasingly using systems like Experian’s Electronic ID Verification System (EiDV) to improve the customer due diligence process. These systems can help brokers meet requirements for Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism legislations too.