The mortgage adviser completed an agreement in principle with an Oculus Quest headset he purchased for £400 to see how the technology would enhance his day to day activities at work.
He said: “Everybody looking at VR from a fintech point of view is making it all about the customer experience. What I’m looking at is how brokers can use it.
“Technology is driving a lot of things and I think VR will drive the way mortgage brokers work eventually. Whether there’s going to be enough brokers who are willing to sit in their office waving their arms around with their goggles on, I don’t know. ”
The headset comes with handheld controllers and a pointer which can be used to navigate web pages, move files around and enter information.
The user sees themselves sat in a virtual, 3D house in front of a large screen which has a series of tabs including a sourcing system, diary, clock and lender portal. The user can also connect their phone and headset so calls can be made.
Hall said the headset took him “no time” to work out how to use and he was able to access major lender websites such as Halifax and Nationwide as usual.
“The majority of my clients I’ll speak to over email or the telephone so there’s no reason why I can’t do a mortgage application using VR. My clients wouldn’t even know because they wouldn’t be in front of me,” Hall added.
However, he said the idea of lenders developing processes to accommodate VR technology was “questionable” as it depended on how many brokers were open to using it.
“We’ve moved on from a paper-based system because everyone went online, so the next step could be VR,” he added.
Things to consider
Hall said the VR headset could potentially help those with work-related health issues such as repetitive strain injury.
He said: “The keyboard is completely within the virtual world and your hands will be holding the controls. For brokers using a virtual keyboard, that could reduce repetitive strain injury as they’ll be using a pointer rather than a mouse and the joysticks to scroll.”
He also said it could be used as an educational tool, as brokers could watch how other advisers worked by connecting to the virtual realm. Furthermore, Hall said the use of VR would mean a broker may need less equipment while being able to work remotely.
However, he noted that internet security, storage availability and the potential for users to get headaches and migraines would need to be explored.
He also said some functionality issues would need to be addressed as he found certain processes were slower than others and substituting his hands with controllers made him feel “detached”.
Hall said: “In the tech world, once we start moving forward there’s no going back. Somebody somewhere will have to pioneer this.”