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Tech won’t make brokers obsolete, says futurist

tech tech
Reporter 6 minute read

The finance industry’s adoption of technology will not diminish the value of services provided by brokers, according to Deloitte’s chief edge officer.

Speaking to The Adviser, Peter Williams, the chief edge officer at Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge, stated that the increased use of automated technology will not undermine the importance of the services that brokers offer their clients.

Mr Williams claimed that fostering trust and developing relationships with clients should be prioritised ahead of the implementation of new technologies.

“Whenever I talk to financial institutions saying, well, you could [utilise] all the AI machine learning, virtual reality or the latest wonderful tech trend, but if you don’t [fundamentally address] what you’re doing about trust, advice and relationships, who cares?


“I think that the role of the mortgage broker is really that [of a] trusted adviser.”

The chief edge officer also noted the benefits of the personalised support offered by brokers which caters to the needs of individual clients.

“[Clients] want somebody who is acting in [their] interest, who [they] can pick up the phone to if [they] need advice, or if [they’ve] got a question, and who can also get [them] the best deals,” Mr Williams added.

The chief edge officer’s comments echo those made by author, broker and High Trust mortgage sales training specialist Todd Duncan, who has previously told The Adviser that brokers should be focusing on improving culture and building trust if they are to succeed, as the dominance of technology means that “the trust barometer is really suffering”.

Speaking at The Adviser’s US Study Tour in San Francisco last year, Mr Duncan outlined that brokers should therefore stop branding themselves as brokers, but instead market their companies as “professional mortgage practices”.


“I would even move away from being a broker,” Mr Duncan said. “I would rebrand myself, I would rebrand the way that I operate. I want to position myself as having a professional mortgage practice, and I want this to be my brand.”

Mr Duncan concluded: “I think you need to begin to look at what you’re doing in the marketplace to have unadulterated, unequivocal, rating-supported, compliance-driven trust.

“Because if you have high trust, you shorten sale cycles. If you have high trust, you lower loan expense. If you have high trust, you accelerate the referral networks that are available to you in your marketplace that are just screaming for this kind of solution. And if you don’t have that, then you have nothing.”

Better Business Summit 2018

Learn more tips on how to future-proof your broking business at The Adviser’s Better Business Summit 2018, partnered by NAB.

Visiting Brisbane (15 February), Adelaide (22 February), Melbourne (1 March), Sydney (8 March) and Perth (15 March), the award-winning event provides brokers with straight-talking, practical advice to help drive and grow business.

The Adviser’s Better Business Summit in Brisbane will centre on the notion of trust and how technology can enhance the customer experience.

Find out more about the agenda for the Better Business Summit or visit the Better Business Summit and Better Business Awards for more details.

[Related: OPINION: What does a broker do?]

Tech won’t make brokers obsolete, says futurist
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