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Sourcing systems trying ‘to be too clever’ ‒ analysis

  • 05/04/2023
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Sourcing systems trying ‘to be too clever’ ‒ analysis
Sourcing systems must focus on providing brokers with more accurate information, and stop trying to do too much, intermediaries have argued.

This week Twenty7tec announced that it was enhancing the affordability side of its Source module, just the latest example of sourcing system providers looking to boost their propositions in order to appeal to greater numbers of intermediaries.

And while brokers welcomed the innovations made by sourcing systems, there were warnings that in trying to be too clever ‒ and overlooking the basics ‒ these platforms are actually making life harder for advisers.

Trying to be too clever

Lewis Shaw, owner of Riverside Mortgages, said that while sourcing systems are a “vital tool” in mortgage broking, the majority of systems try to be too clever.

He explained: “These days sourcing systems are trying to work out criteria, affordability, age limits, loan limits and everything in between. The problem is that the data is only as good as those who input it, and they are human.”

Shaw suggested that the technology is trying to solve problems that don’t exist, and are forgetting to focus on the basics. 

“That is where almost every CRM and sourcing system is and fails today, simply because it’s built by teams that haven’t done the job,” he concluded.

A one-stop shop

A quality sourcing system should effectively be a one-stop shop CRM, argued Adam Smith, founder of Alfa Mortgages, meaning it should allow straight through processing of a case, the ability to pull through the client’s credit report, and apply this to the lender’s criteria.

He also suggested that proper support for users is crucial: “As tech progresses, any system that does not incorporate this will be left behind in the dust.” 

Brokers should not have to ‘hotwire’ sourcing systems

Steven Morris, advising director at Advantage Financial Solutions, said that the key was for the system to not exclude anything that might be relevant.

However, he suggested that every system he has used has done this to some extent, meaning that brokers are having to ‘lie’ to the system in order to get the fullest list of options, which they can then check themselves.

Morris continued: “Sourcing systems need to go back to basics. Only product parameters such as LTV, rate length and type, loan size, repayment type should cause exclusions. Anything else, like criteria or affordability, should be optionally bolted on and ‘eligibility’ highlighted rather than excluded or included. 

“Sourcing providers need to know that good mortgage brokers are having to hotwire your systems and work around them.”

Accuracy is everything

Sourcing systems are the “lifeblood” of any mortgage adviser, argued James Vince, managing director of Castle View Finance. 

Vince welcomed the enhancements made by platforms over the last year, but cautioned that reliability is down to how accurate the lender information is. 

This was echoed by Katy Eatenton of Lifetime Wealth Management, who said that a sourcing system is only as good as the data it holds, and warned that when rates are changing as frequently as is now the case, it can be hard for systems to manage.

She added: “I had an issue two weeks ago when a sourcing system removed a product a week earlier than the lender did, which caused havoc when trying to provide comparative documents and sourcing lists.

“I still rely on my experience, knowledge and lender websites when making a recommendation.”

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