January 18, 2023

‘Smart Technology’ a trigger phrase that is being used more often… but what does that actually mean, and what does it look like?

Originally published on Mortgage Solutions written by Miranda Khadr

Being a mortgage broker is not exactly a regular nine-to-five.

All advisers will have their own tales of working through the night or over weekends in order to help their clients access the funding needed for a purchase or refinance, whether it’s a first-time buyer getting onto the ladder or an investor trying to beat a deadline on a buy-to-let deal.

The reality is that this is a job that can easily take up all of the hours in the day if you allow it to.

This is obviously far from ideal. Brokers are only human, and devoting such lengthy hours to tasks outside of the core advice process can lead to burnout, impacting not only a broker’s mental health but also their ability to advise properly.

Working around the clock

Part of the challenge is that when it comes to being a mortgage broker, there is far more involved in the job than simply identifying the right mortgage for a client.

For example, with some clients there is an element of pastoral care, of helping them through a process which can be incredibly stressful, particularly if they are new to home ownership.

The last couple of months will have seen brokers have to carry out these duties far more regularly, with worried clients facing the prospect of significant jumps in the interest rates on their homeloans, and with it the size of their repayments.

That will have meant phone calls, emails and meetings in person with stressed borrowers; concerns over how they might deal with such lofty repayments; or debating whether to pull the plug and pay an early repayment charge on an existing deal in order to remortgage early.

The advice can be challenging enough for a regular borrower, but when they have more complex circumstances it can prove even more testing and time consuming for brokers.

Freeing up broker workloads

If brokers have a complex case, it could easily take days to go through the criteria and product ranges of the various lenders in the marketplace in order to work out the best deal open to the client.

It doesn’t have to be like this, though. That’s where technology can be such a crucial tool, taking on some of the heavy lifting.

With a system like Provide Finance, brokers can make use of a platform designed to free up time, to help them swiftly identify and connect with the best lenders for the client. At Provide, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort building a platform that delivers exactly what brokers need, based on their feedback, rather than relying on a ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Utilising technology in this way allows brokers to devote more of their time to what they do best, actually advising clients on their options and the issues to bear in mind at a time of rising interest rates and high inflation. Technology can’t take over the personal element which is so vital for the role of the mortgage broker, the conversations that get to the heart of what a client needs from their property finance.

In fact, it’s that personal element, playing the role of ally as much as adviser, which draws so many borrowers towards using a broker in the first place.

Technology takes the strain

By making use of technology, brokers can remove some of the load bearing down on them, and ensure they are better able to provide that personal touch. It can make life easier for brokers.

What’s more, by improving broker efficiency, it can even free up some space in the schedule for brokers to hunt down new business or do the background work needed in order to diversify into other areas of the market. The smart use of technology today can help brokers today, but also lay the foundation for a more successful future.

Complex cases, by their very nature, will always involve more time and effort from a broker than a straightforward vanilla case. And over time, we are only likely to see greater numbers of borrowers fall into that complex category.

But by adapting to that change, and tapping into the right systems and partnerships, brokers can reduce their workload dramatically, allowing them to devote their energies more productively elsewhere.

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