The head of Domain Loan Finder, the JV mortgage operation between Domain and Lendi, has revealed that the platform is considering rolling out a face-to-face broking option.
The platform, which launched in July last year, is a venture between Fairfax-owned property portal Domain and the parent entity of mortgage platform Lendi, Auscred Pty Ltd.
While Lendi started in 2013 as an online and phone-based broking business, the head of the joint venture, Rob Towey, explained that it is also considering offering a face-to-face option off the back of customer demand.
While Domain Loan Finder had primarily been a phone-based and online service, Mr Towey revealed to The Adviser that the “model has certainly evolved”.
The Domain director revealed that while the vehicle was first developed so that Domain users could utilise the platform while looking at properties online, some users still prefer to discuss their finance options with a person face-to-face.
“We’re exploring now the capacity to provide face-to-face options for the customer if that is what they want,” the director said.
“We’re very much here to service what the customer’s requirements are. [Getting a mortgage can be] a stressful process and it’s quite an involved process. There are segments of the market that, in order to build the trust and rapport associated, want to meet with us face-to-face, [so] we will work with them on that level.
“Even with our phone-based team, we have had many times where our customers have said they want to meet for a coffee or face-to-face or want to come into the office and sign documents, etc. and we just respond to what our customers’ needs are.”
Mr Towey concluded: “So, our primary operating model is to service people over the phone and leverage the technology that we have, but… we are at the stage now where we can start entreating the idea of whether we need to set up a face-to-face operation in parallel. So, we are at the very early stages on that front.”
The Domain director of transactions added that the platform was now looking to recruit more brokers to service the deals being submitted, which he revealed involved “thousands and thousands of new customer accounts being created every month”.
“The biggest challenge we have at the moment is keeping up with the influx of opportunities that we are getting, so we are on a big push now to think how we can scale our broking operation over the next six to 12 months to match up with that demand,” Mr Towey said.
Domain Loan Finder currently has a team of qualified, salaried mortgage brokers — which the platform calls “home loan specialists” — from a range of background, including ex-bankers, former independent brokers and new-to-industry entrants.
“We’re absolutely looking to scale the business, and I think where we have seen people have the best experience with us and the best success, is those that are very interested in delivering the end outcome for the customer.
“What we find is that people who have a level of attachment to that process of giving the customer the end result they want in a new home, they tend to have a lot of success. So, we are very interested in attracting people who have genuine desire to help people and obviously have the necessary acumen to provide the service side of things that come along with being a broker.
“We really want people who are highly qualified at the process, great at helping people, able to be productive enough to write a certain amount of deals but never sacrificing on the quality aspect of things.”
[Related: Media group eyes $2bn in broker commissions]
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