Technology in the mortgage market

27/07/2020

What are some of the ways it’s being used currently and how might it affect your business in the future?

The word ‘technology’ holds a different meaning for us all, to some of us it might be the smartphone in our pockets, for my parents’ generation it was being the first on the street to own a TV. I can remember the first time I saw a touch screen laptop and I was staring with amazement!

No one could foresee just how much technology has become a part of our world, a part of our culture you could say.

So how is it, in 2020, a time when more of us reading this article would have booked our last holiday online rather than by visiting a travel agent, and the era of contactless payments from your watch, and fingerprint ID - that the subject of technology remains prevalent enough for me to spend a sunny afternoon sat here writing about it?

With robo advice grabbing headlines and search engines nipping at the heels of many an industry; is it any wonder that as mortgage professional we could be left wondering how we can support our clients and communicate in line with their preferences? Whilst also remaining true to our professional duty to know your customer and give good quality advice to people.

Characteristically I take a simple and stripped back approach when discussing this with our brokers. I was asked to speak on this topic a little while back at an event, the event was postponed, however I think that what I wrote for it back in February still rings true today, so I’ll share my thoughts below:

Technology in the mortgage market place, to me at least, is about the ‘and’. Give your customers the wonder of ‘and’ such as:

"You can communicate with me face to face AND you can speak/see me via video link"

"All cases are manually underwritten, which gives you the opportunity to speak to an underwriter about the complexities of your case AND your client’s circumstances"

"You can email me AND you can call me"

"You can track your progress online AND you can trust in me to keep you up to date"

The list can go on and on. On my travels as a Business Development Manager (BDM) and through my conversations with brokers, I come across examples of technology being used every day, from people adopting digital fact finds to end-to-end journey mapping.

For me, integrating technology into your business is about giving your clients the choice to interact with you in a way that works for them and brings them comfort. Life is busy. Not everyone can make a mortgage meeting during the day, some can't make a meeting during the evening either for that matter! My question is, how are you embracing the tools you have available to support your clients?

The brokers I work closely with contact me in all kinds of ways, they can call/email/text/WhatsApp me, send a criteria question over voice note whilst walking to their office. Whatever works for them, I’ll do my best to accommodate where possible.

Embracing technology doesn’t have to mean ploughing money into robots and giving Steve your friendly admin support the heave ho! Technology has to work for you and support your way of working, and support your clients.

For Skipton, our focus is on using automation where possible to do the basic tasks that free up our people to do what they are great at, and what they enjoy! Our underwriters have more time to manually underwrite cases and speak with brokers because they aren’t, for example, spending time instructing valuations. This is all thanks to Alfred, say hello to our friendly valuation robot who instructs valuations within 30 seconds of receiving a full mortgage application.

At Skipton we have invested in technology such as open banking and auto income verification. We continue to keep the customer and broker at the heart of our proposition by giving many options on how to interact with us. Broker Web Chat is the quickest way to speak with us and get a case update or criteria questions answered, with an average wait time of just 30 seconds!

Fantastically, in June we were able to celebrate Skipton’s first same day offer, where a case was submitted, valued, underwritten and offered, all within a day. Happily, I am able to share that there have been many more same day offers since!

I’ll close with this, as the current climate has shown us, no one knows for certain what the future holds, or where customer demand will take us. If we have the opportunity to cover as many bases as possible and do what we can to be as easy to interact with as possible, whatever you or your customer prefer – I think that’s about as prepared for the future as one could hope to be.

Rachael Hunnisett
Business Development Manager – London & South East
Skipton Intermediaries
July 2020

All information correct at time of publish.

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