“Half-hearted” lenders may be responsible for brokers’ apathy towards technology (analysis)


Some brokers avoid using the lenders’ technology systems as the technology channels can be unreliable or even inconsistent.

Speaking at the Mortgage and Protection Event in Salford last week, Jeremy Duncombe, Managing Director of Accord Mortgages: warned that many brokers overlook the technical solutions put in place by lenders to speed up the process.

He urged brokers to adapt to the technology lenders had invested in rather than relying on outdated methods, warning that otherwise, lenders would have to pull business development managers and the like off the road and instead hire centralized call centers in order to do so Process broker inquiries on the phone.

However, brokers have criticized the lenders’ approach to technology, arguing that all too often they have no choice but to get in direct contact with the lending teams.

I cannot rely on web chat

Lenders are failing by adopting a “half-hearted” attitude towards broker technology, according to Samantha Bickford, executive director of The Mortgage Girl.

She found that lenders take a different approach to web chat, with some only offering criteria information and no updates on specific cases, which means she has to call the lenders team anyway.

She added, “If case updates and web chat are really effective, it can definitely improve a broker’s workload. A short message to a BDM on web chat can give you the answer you need. Furness is a great example of how this works. ”

Scott Taylor-Barr, financial advisor at Carl Summers Financial Services, agreed that lender systems differ in terms of both quality and reliability, adding that lenders often do a poor job communicating with brokers about these systems.

He continued, “Web chat is great when it’s actually on. Not all lenders use the same quality of staff to fill the web chat that you often get over the phone, creating trust issues with the information you get. “

Lewis Shaw, founder of Shaw Financial Services, criticized lenders’ web chat services, arguing that it can take them a long time to actually connect, with often conflicting answers.

He continued, “When I usually call a BDM or credit team, it is to get an answer to a question that cannot be easily phrased in a few lines in the web chat.”

Answer the phone

Stuart Powell, Managing Director of Ocean Mortgages, noted that all too often BDMs just want to inform brokers about the latest criteria changes, arguing that often brokers simply want a quick answer to a client question and are looking for the way to get it, be it a call to a BDM or a web chat.

He added, “Mortgage BDMs should be available to brokers over the phone and web chat for half of their work week rather than being on the go.”

This was echoed by Shaw, who said lenders would be better served if they gave up web chat services and instead had more staff available over the phone. He continued, “Lenders have been trying to revise a solution to a problem they created by introducing web chat.”

Human contact is essential

Shaw praised the Halifax, Accord, and Mansfield Building Society, saying they excelled at allowing brokers to always speak to an actual person at the lender for help on a case.

He continued, “Yes, technology is essential, of course, but don’t forget that brokers have myriad roles, constantly looking at screens and rates, working things out, advising clients, negotiating with real estate agents, writing reports.” Lawyers and answering e-mails in a way only Sisyphus understands; It’s easy to miss, but in this increasingly technological age it’s important to have human contact. “

Jane King, Mortgage Advisor at Ash-Ridge Private Finance, noted that lenders’ technical systems are generally fine when the case is simple, but when a case has more complex issues they will struggle which means they will Has no choice but to call the lender to move things on.

She continued: “If a case falls slightly outside the criteria, just a phone call is the only way to find out if it is worth filing a claim. The technician won’t tell you, it has to be an underwriter. I have several examples in which web chat gave me a completely different answer to my BDM and the BDM tends to be the better source of information. “

No consistency

More advanced systems are hit and miss, according to Taylor-Barr. Since not all lenders are registered with certain platforms, it ends up being easier to go straight to the lender’s own website.

He also warned that future systems will have to be adopted by a greater proportion of lenders, who all agree to the same standards, for future systems to become more prominent among brokers.

“The platform has to be robust and someone has to take responsibility for the data and spending – many brokers will have had heated debates when an IT system gives the lender conflicting information, but it’s not anyone’s fault; The lender will blame the IT company and the IT company will blame the lenders – the broker has to sort out the mess with their client, ”he continued.

Jamie Thompson, founder of Jamie Thompson Mortgages, asked how well lenders have informed brokers about the technology they are developing and suggested that BDMs might actually prove more effective at getting the message across.

Thompson added that having dozens of additional systems that every lender has one doesn’t really help brokers, and urged lenders to come up with solutions that actually cater to the brokers’ needs.

If your questions are answered correctly and quickly, it is far more powerful than some new technology and can attract a lender to the business as the broker has the confidence to place the case with them. Hats off to the lenders who actually offer it, ”he concluded.

to save time

However, it was clear to other brokers that some lenders are significantly improving their processes.

Rob Gill, managing director of Altura Finance, said his firm has started using integrations with lenders to complete applications, which has both saved his advisor time and reduced the risk of re-entry errors.

This was confirmed by Rob Peters, Director at Simple Fast Mortgages, who said: “For us, the lenders’ online chat capabilities are a fantastic way to get in touch with the lender quickly while providing an accurate audit trail of the inquiry and resolution in the event that a challenge arises at a later date. “


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