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COVID-19 rocks broker sentiment: survey

by Malavika Santhebennur4 minute read
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on mortgage brokers and their businesses, with many demanding more targeted government support.

Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of mortgage brokers have found that the restrictions imposed in Australia due to the coronavirus outbreak have “had a major impact” on their business revenue, according to a new poll conducted by digital lending platform HashChing.

Just two-fifths of brokers do not think that the lockdown has had a major impact on their business revenue (find out how broker revenue has been impacted by COVID-19 in Momentum Intelligence’s COVID-19 survey, set to be released this week).

Furthermore, 63 per cent of mortgage brokers said they did not feel well supported by the government’s support initiatives, such as the JobKeeper allowance, and said they required more targeted support.

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While HashChing CEO Arun Maharaj welcomed the government’s funding packages designed to assist businesses, he added: “Brokers are, however, understandably apprehensive about whether this funding will go far enough.”

With 65 per cent of mortgage brokers surveyed believing the current social distancing restrictions would remain in place for at least six months, Mr Maharaj said 67 per cent of respondents said they were “ready to roll” with working remotely, or teleworking, while 27 per cent said they were just beginning to.

“While this is a promising start, a positive and committed attitude to teleworking must remain in order for the industry to stay afloat,” Mr Maharaj said.

“I’d strongly encourage all brokers to do their due diligence in getting set up and comfortable with working and communicating with customers remotely.”

Mr Maharaj noted that transitioning to a fully digital operation often took years, but brokers were being forced to do this in a matter of weeks or months.

“It’s a significant challenge, and one that is no doubt placing a lot of pressure on mortgage brokers who, like many other professionals, are already reporting a significant loss in revenue,” he said.

On a positive note, 77 per cent of those surveyed believed mortgage broking can all be done online in a compliant manner, while only 8 per cent said face-to-face contact is an integral element of the service.

“Mortgage brokers can, and will, weather this storm as long as the right support mechanisms are put into place,” Mr Maharaj said.

Keep an eye out for the May issue of The Adviser for an in-depth look at how brokers have transitioned to working remotely for the foreseeable future in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

[Related: Leading broker reveals how he is working remotely]

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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

AUTHOR

Malavika Santhebennur is a content specialist at Momentum Media, focusing on mortgages and finance writing.

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