The mortgage market has, at times, resisted change and been slow to move, due to the agility of some large-scale players and regulation.
Only recently has innovation started to return, with the advent of new ‘robo advice solutions’ and artificial intelligence which aims to take the pain out of the process.
As new technology continues to drive innovation, the mortgage industry must keep adapting to and embracing the changes in customers’ expectations to create a seamless end-to-end journey.
Technology is getting increasingly faster, giving customers instant access to almost anything at the touch of a button. Spending hours, if not days, trying to arrange a mortgage no longer fits with modern lifestyles.
People also should not have to wait days to book appointments in branches or estate agents when buying a house.
Now it is the turn of mortgage brokers to jump on-board and work harder than ever to make the customer journey easier. It will not be long before digital only journeys will show themselves capable of working within the regulatory framework.
Technology that is integrated with our everyday lives needs to be embraced and championed by the mortgage community.
We all use Skype and Facetime in our daily lives, so why not use it to facilitate the biggest decision of our lives: buying a home and arranging a mortgage?
Customers should be offered choice to use this technology for appointments that suits them.
Freedom Finance is one of a limited number of brokers to pioneer face-to-face appointments over camera.
Camera technology has evolved so far that you can have a mortgage appointment in the comfort of your own home.
There’s no complex set-up process and downloading of additional software or apps isn’t required. The technology deployed is the same as the one that already sits on our mobile phones or tablets.
What’s more, it links to a portal where customers can manage their adviser appointment, choose the appointment type and track progress.
At Freedom Mortgages, we are setting the pace in the UK to utilise this technology to make things easier for customers.
There are additional features that customers can control themselves.
They control the conversation and can choose if they want the adviser to see them or not. They can see all the relevant information on their screens, e-sign any documents, upload the right documents needed for the application and even make notes as they are guided by experts through the process.
A mortgage is a huge decision and customers need to trust their advisor to help them sift through the array of options and get the clarity they need. Modern life is swamping us with choice and often this is creating financial blindness.
For many people, trust is based on visual human contact so we aim to put people at ease by having eye-to-eye mortgage appointments, in a much more modern way.
We will continue to develop our technology and work with customers to further streamline the mortgage process.
We firmly believe that personal human conversation should still form part of such an important transaction.
We believe that using video to offer mortgage advice ticks all the right boxes – ease, trust and value for money.
Brian Brodie is chief executive of Freedom Finance