Leading aggregator eChoice has revealed that it has seen broker numbers surge 27 per cent in a year, which it partly attributes to ongoing investment in its business platform.
According to the aggregator, broker numbers rose from around 275 in September 2015 to more than 350 in September 2016.
Blake Buchanan, general manager of aggregation at eChoice, said that “ongoing investment” in its business platform had been “one of the key contributors” to its rising broker numbers.
Highlighting the recent expansion of eChoice's partner program, which aims to provide brokers with “a one-stop shop of services to assist borrowers when moving”, Mr Buchanan added: “In order to operate efficiently in such a dynamic market, there is a pressing requirement for brokers to not only be tech-savvy, but embrace what innovation can do for them — as their ongoing ability to be nimble and mobile is critical to ensuring prompt service delivery.”
Noting that the broker channel now arranges more than 50 per cent of loans in Australia, the eChoice aggregator GM said that it was “imperative” to deliver solutions that provide more to customers and streamline brokers’ business activities.
Mr Buchanan concluded: “In recognising the need to plan for ongoing industry growth, new enhancements have been made to our FLeaTS proprietary system which will significantly improve our brokers' ability to manage borrowers' needs, as well as further reducing their administration load.”
For example, The Adviser reported last week that AFG, along with non-major banks ING DIRECT and Macquarie, was testing a 100 per cent digital home loan service with iSelect.
The news was met with mixed reactions from brokers. Some defended their business models, which had been built on “personalised customer service and trust”. Others claimed a completely digital service would compete with ‘face-to-face’ mortgage brokers.
AFG’s Mr Hewitt addressed these concerns, explaining that the aggregator is working with iSelect to help break down what is a “clunky and time consuming application process that has hardly improved in my 25 years working in home loans”.
“Our belief is that their ultimate success will be for the benefit of all brokers,” he said, adding that iSelect are to be congratulated for their “courage, investment and perseverance (almost six years) in trying to break convention”.
[Related: Fintechs ‘on the front line’ for brokers]