Carlos Thibaut, chair of the Society of Mortgage Professionals, said: “Technology played a crucial role in keeping the housing market open in the midst of the pandemic. The adoption of technology has undoubtedly been accelerated, and many initiatives are now underway to deliver a better more efficient house buying sector.
“A brave new world of an interconnected ecosystem, with application programming interfaces (APIs) driving data collection from customers to intermediaries and manufacturers is within reach.
“There are many hurdles to overcome, but with all stakeholders engaged we can envisage a world where all the major moving parts of the housing transaction are digitised allowing advisers to spend more time with customers advising, and manufacturers delivering, new and more customised products to market faster than ever before.”
The Fenchurch Street-based trade body also identified the massive number of fixed rate deals maturities as a significant opportunity for mortgage broking businesses incoming this year as a further opportunity, but only if they have an integrated tech solution to identify data and communicate with clients.
Thibaut said: “This seems like an ideal opportunity to drive great business volumes, retain clients and use the opportunity to review your clients’ protection needs (and investments if you have that in your armoury).
“Review your business model, if you couldn’t cope with the volumes in the last year, have you made best use of technology to manage processes and engage with clients? Does your technology do the heavy lifting and through a portal allow your clients to engage with you every day, not just an annual email? If not maybe now is the time to re-evaluate whether your current system support your business ambitions.”
Lender trade body UK Finance confirmed the number of homeowner mortgages whose incentivised rates will expire at any point in 2022 sits at 1.5 million.
CACI data shows £39.6bn of fixed rate mortgage terms ended in January alone, offering a potential remortgage boom for those brokers ready to work their back books and find the clients ready to remortgage.
Analysis of Financial Conduct Authority data last year found that mortgage brokers lose 60 per cent of their clients to direct lender channels when they remortgage.
Changing client behaviour is another key consideration for mortgage advisers in the year ahead, due to dire environmental need, the pandemic or changing working patterns.
He said: “Consumers are behaving differently, tech adoption has probably been accelerated by five years and an Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance strategy is the response of many businesses.
“Now, more than ever before, consumers take interest in how a company serves the local community: do they take social responsibility seriously? Are they doing their bit in addressing environmental concerns?
“As consumers increasingly embrace social causes, they seek to do business with products and brands that align with their values.”
The SMP plans to set out a series of webinars, articles and good practice guidance on these topics over the next 12 months.