In a world where networking is highly valued by individuals in many different industries, there is a curious upsurge in the use of Internet tools in the mortgage industry. While opinion is divided, statistics speak for themselves, showing that screen sharing and other online tools are becoming popular means, which mortgage brokers can leverage to improve their offering to clients and thereby increase turnovers.
These days, a consumer can buy anything online — from music to health products, groceries, cars and clothing. Financial institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of being a click away from their target audience, hence the online upsurge in availability of payday loans, credit cards and insurance. Would this be true for the mortgage lending industry? Let’s look at what the facts have to say.
1. Mobile Technology Drives Growth
With mobile technology constantly growing and becoming more widely available, consumers expect quicker access to available solutions. This is demonstrated by the fact that the UKMortgages application, which was launched by Mortgage Brain in 2012, has been downloaded well over 81,000 times. It has also been accessed and used more than 826,000 times
It has resulted in consumers viewing broker contact details more than 43,000 times, resulting in an increase in low-cost lead generation for the company.
2. Despite Online Availability, the Mortgage Broker is Still Needed
Like many other players in the financial services arena, mortgage brokers have had a bad rap in the past. Instead of working through a mortgage broker, many clients have opted to go directly to lenders for a loan. However, with credit laws and lending policies constantly being tightened or changed, it is becoming more difficult for applicants to present approval-worthy applications. When they are declined, clients are left with no choice but to contact mortgage brokers for assistance.
Lacking the capital and the infrastructure of big financial institutions, the individual mortgage broker can use screen sharing to fulfill a number of important customer service-related functions at a fraction of the cost, and without the hassle of traveling to see clients.
Our company recently spoke with Ian Symmonds, director of Surrey-based Easy Street Financial Services in the UK, who uses Mikogo to meet with clients who are not keen to travel. When Symmonds and his team receive calls from potential new clients, they can instantly invite them over the phone to a screen sharing session and proceed to present and discuss mortgage options with the visual aid of their proprietary mortgage advice software.
3. The Market is Ready
Robert McLister from Canadian Mortgage Trends recently published an article which highlighted astounding statistics related to clients’ openness to using online tools in the financial services arena, and specifically where mortgages are concerned. The study was originally published on Business Wire and stated that:
- 47% of home buyers surveyed used technology to save money.
- 92% felt that technology saved them time.
- 90% had a positive experience.
- 71% used technology to submit applications.
- 94% of applicants still communicated with their service provider telephonically.
- 86% of recent homebuyers were comfortable sharing personal information online.
And the most promising statistic from the survey:
93% of respondents felt that working remotely enabled them to save time, energy and money on things they would’ve had to do in person, had it not been for the technology at their disposal.
Discussion: As a mortgage broker, how do you see your role changing with regards to the market’s desire for more streamlined, online systems? As a customer, have you engaged with mortgage lenders or other financial institutions via modern online communications?