The founder of broker rating website Brokermatch has said that it will be removing all the “placeholder” profiles of brokers following industry feedback.
Earlier this week, The Adviser broke the story that brokers are being called on to review and verify their online profiles on a new website that is set to officially launch this month, which will enable broker customers to review their broker experience.
The “independent” review website Brokermatch.com.au – developed by Sarah Barnett, a former consultant with a speciality in behavioural analytics – aims to bring all reviews of brokers into one place.
It intends to collate “verified” reviews for all mortgage brokers in Australia via the online website.
The site had already been pre-populated with the names of thousands of mortgage brokers ahead of its official launch via a mass marketing campaign in late June.
However, following the story, Brokermatch was reportedly contacted by several brokers asking for their profiles to be removed. As such, the website founder has said that it is now removing all the “placeholder” profiles.
Speaking to The Adviser, Ms Barnett said: “Brokermatch is resolute in our desire to make it easy for more customers to find the right broker, for them. We stand by our belief that customers deserve transparency, and of course we know that, increasingly, customers read online reviews to make a buying decision. We predict that traditional word-of-mouth will not sustain growth in the industry.
“We are however making a change to the website for the foreseeable future, by removing the ‘placeholder’ profiles of all brokers in the industry. Automatically including all brokers has so far proven to be a distraction from our purpose.”
Ms Barnett reiterated her call for brokers to sign up to Brokermatch.com.au and create their own profiles. She also thanked those who had already done so.
“We thank those brokers who’ve already signed up for their support and trust. We look forward to supporting you in your efforts to build your brand online and to shine the light on the great work you do,” she said.
“To the many brokers, aggregators, lenders and other industry professionals who are getting behind Brokermatch and recognise that it fills a gap in the industry we thank you wholeheartedly, and are buoyed that you share our vision – or at least an open-mindedness to it. We ask that you spread the word amongst your peers and encourage them to also join Brokermatch.”
Ms Barnett concluded: “We are doubling-down on our efforts to improve the product and deliver our value proposition of making it easy for more Australians to find a broker.
“We will look to partner with like-minded people who are aligned with our mission to create a single source of truth for customers looking to choose from Australia’s 16,000 brokers.”
While the review site offers a free-for-life version for brokers, it is expected that a premium version of the site will be rolled out on a subscription basis later this year.
[Related: New broker rating site to launch]