It comes after new mortgage brokerage, Dwell Mortgages, said part of its proposition was to combine price comparison services with both telephone and Whatsapp messaging. Therefore, increasing communication channels between brokers and their clients.
This raised concerns among brokers who warned that the use of Whatsapp could potentially force brokers to work longer hours for their clients because of the increased accessibility mobile technologies automatically offers.
However, a poll run by Mortgage Solutions found these concerns were unfounded with only 30% of brokers worried that chat software like Whatsapp would mean clients would be more inclined to contact their broker any time.
While 70% said new technology was unlikely to drive longer working hours for advisers, Colin Chapman, director of Genesis Financial Services, said brokers should be open to all service improvements driven by technology.
“Technology is going to advance and you have to embrace it or get you will be left behind,” said Chapman.
“I don’t think anybody would expect to speak to their broker in the middle of the night about their mortgage but, in some respects, there does need to be a differentiation between business hours and personal life and that’s down to the broker and client to discuss together,” said Chapman.
Simon Collins, product technical manager at John Charcol, agreed and said: “Brokers who deal with a large volume of clients daily already allow their clients to contact them via Whatsapp and Skype, so what Dwell is proposing to do will not be a detriment to brokers.”
However, Collins said that even with their increased availability, brokers would not be able to do anything substantial until the next working day aside from offer reassurance.
“Yes brokers are using different communication tools to speak to their clients, but the rest of the mortgage market isn’t.
“What brokers can do for their clients outside of business hours is very limited. All that can happen is they can be made aware of their client’s concerns and the focus on it the next day,” said Collins.
Collins added that though brokers may extend the times they are available to their client, he could not see the rest of the market, including lenders and solicitors, following suit.
Ultimately, brokers agreed that being available is expected when working in this industry and if that meant using online instant messaging tools that could potentially expand their working hours then so be it.
“If you are work in any sales environment you should be used to having to go that bit further and experiencing times when you have to work after hours.
“It is the fabric of the profession, but you can stipulate when you are available and your clients will understand that,” said Collins.