An award-winning aggregator has warned brokers that changing consumer preferences are making face-to-face home loan transactions increasingly irrelevant.
eChoice general manager of aggregation Blake Buchanan says consumers are increasingly opting for the convenience of over-the-phone communication to make financial decisions.
Mr Buchanan said the aggregator’s concierge program has seen a rise in the number of loans and other financial arrangements completed over the phone.
“The way service is delivered is already changing, and with an increasing number of consumers working with their existing broker to meet more of their financial needs, we’re likely to see more uptake of phone communication over the more traditional face-to-face option,” he said.
“What is clear is that a digital and analogue service combination provides the best of both worlds for both the broker and client, and there is no one size fits all solution within this framework. Savvy brokers will determine what mix works best for them to suit their business.”
Mr Buchanan said the changing needs of Australia’s increasingly empowered customers are the dominant force behind the continuing innovation of aggregation, and are set to be the biggest influence on its future.
“We’ve proven in our industry that a great broker is about building relationships – not just making transactions – so we need to ensure there are professional and commercial platforms that can sustainably allow us to continue to deliver what the consumer wants,” he said.
“With clients not having to pay for a service that saves them time and money, brokers have a very bright future indeed, providing their aggregator is planning for what’s ahead.”
Mr Buchanan’s comments coincide with a report by Telstra which warns that Millennials have become the leading disruptors in Australia’s financial sector, with their appetite for innovative, real time service presenting significant risks to existing business models.
The Millennials, Mobiles and Money report found that less than half of Millennials surveyed believe they are receiving a true value partnership from their current financial services provider, with two-thirds opting to receive advice on financial products and services via a digital platform.
Queensland-based lender Firstmac, one of the pioneers of the non-bank sector in Australia, was also an early adopter of alternative distribution models, with the launch of Loans.com.au in 2012.
However, founder Kim Cannon says borrowers drawn to the online lender are not the young, digitally-native first home buyers you might expect.
“There are certain people who need their hand held through the loan process and people who don’t,” he said.
“We rarely see a first home buyer or young person come through Loans.com.au. They either go to a branch or a broker because they need that advice.”
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