However, not all broker firms have the backing of fintech or larger companies to build their technology potentially leaving them further behind in the evolving financial sector.
So, this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: Does the acquisition of broker firms widen the technology gap between those companies and smaller brokerages which aren’t tech-led? Do you feel pressure to bolster your technology?
I feel that while the larger brokerages may be moving towards robo-advice and full automation, it actually offers brokers with an opportunity to fill the gap that is left behind.
We still have access to the whole of market, the software we use still allows us to complete research within an acceptable timeframe, and we offer a personal service that cannot be matched. We already use services such as Criteria Hub and our network provides with a CRM that has portal access.
Our service level agreements are already more competitive that most large brokerages who may take a couple of days to respond to their clients.
We don’t feel under much pressure at all to further advance our technological offerings. Most of our clients want secure, easy to use technology that is reliable and provides them with the service they require.
If you speak to any client, they would much rather have someone available at the end of the phone to speak to, over dealing with a live chat facility that can lead you around in circles.
We continue to attract customers who may not have the simplest scenarios who need an expert to point them in the right direction and hold their hand through the whole process from start to finish.
The arrival of Covid has certainly fast tracked our own digital advice process. Where it hasn’t been so easy to visit clients face-to-face we have had to re-assess how we conduct business in a slick, user friendly and of course compliant capacity.
Our own introduction of a client portal has allowed us to do just that, with positive feedback from many new and onboarding clients.
Operationally, we have been aware of the growing appetite for digital advice.
But as a business that prides ourselves on relationships and the longevity of clients, our focus has been not to compromise on service even with the implementation of digital “help”.
In terms of pressure, I feel personally that there is still strong and buoyant demand for personalised rather than robotic advice.
But in a year where most of our interactions became digital, it seemed the opportune time to implement state of the art technology that has vastly streamlined our internal process and the external client journey.
Any broker firm that invests in tech to assist their offering will be able to offer clients an improved experience and improve the broker’s day to day tasks through automation.
By improving customer experience and freeing up time in a broker’s day, tech helps users deliver an improved service while focusing on winning new business and expanding their client offering, ultimately widening the gap between those using tech and those who are not.
During the pandemic, technology became a critical part of broker businesses and many feel that technology enables them to provide better advice.
As more brokers improve their customer’s experience through investment in good tech, pressure is increasing on smaller broker firms to keep up by improving their digital offering.
We are now seeing the pace of technology adoption among brokers increase dramatically as they enhance and evolve their propositions to meet an array of customer expectations and preferences in order to win and retain business.
While we are seeing more brokers adopting digital technology to best position themselves for future growth, firms with simpler tech processes can still succeed by providing excellent customer experience using the tools available to them and ensuring they have access to the best mortgage products on offer.
There are also customers still who prefer traditional business models, including face-to-face meetings and manual ID checks.
In the competition for new business, it’s important that brokers can deliver for both types of clients, and those who are experienced in traditional processes will succeed by offering a simple and efficient customer journey tailored to customer preferences.