Technology has played a critical role in the evolution of mortgage broking. NextGen.Net’s Tony Carn shares his views on empowering brokers through smarter solutions for now and what’s next
The role of technology will only become more relevant to the third-party channel as brokers continue to be the preferred choice for those seeking home loans.
We have already seen how quickly things progress on this front, with continuous enhancements launched to the broker market on a regular basis.
So where can technology take us next when it comes to mortgage processing and approvals?
Right now, there is a clear line between the role of a broker and that of a lender in the approval process.
Brokers prepare online applications, lodge them electronically and provide the banks with all the supporting information they require, but ultimately the final approval decision is in the lender’s hands.
It’s entirely feasible that in the near future, this clear line will be broken down through the use of innovative technology. Technology can enable us to get to the point where brokers provide an unconditional approval at the point of sale.
Technology is already enabling a range of functions at the point of sale, including data checks, credit policy and supporting document checks, and valuation ordering. These tools are now enabling brokers to access
information they require to secure an approval.
Beyond that, we could theoretically arrive at a point where everything required to approve the home loan is captured by the broker and validated at the point of sale. I’m confident that technology will soon give lenders the comfort to provide selected brokers with the authority to approve loans.
This would no doubt be a game changer for the industry on many levels. Just think of the improvements to turnaround times if the power of approval is in brokers’ hands.
Lenders may not give this level of authority to all loan writers for all loan types, but I can envisage lenders getting to a point through technology where they are happy to empower their premium brokers to unconditionally approve certain home loans.
Getting to the point where we have a conditional approval at the point of sale was an achievement in itself. We are continually working towards enhancing our platform so that brokers can access more information and tools that empower them to make decisions promptly for their customers.
NextGen.Net has already introduced smarter solutions that empower brokers to truly own the mortgage transaction. Earlier this year, we rolled out broker ordered valuations through our platform, ApplyOnline. This initiative provides the broker with real control, meaning brokers don’t have to wait on lenders to order their valuations.
Our innovation road map focuses on increasing the quality of all components of a mortgage application at the point of sale: the application, the loan data and the supporting documents.
The quality of the loan package in effect determines how close we can get to straight-through processing and therefore an approval given at the point of sale.
We are also focused on accessibility of services at the point of sale. These include recently rolled out API services that enable a broker’s CRM to complete policy and servicing assessments, and run checks on addresses, ACNs and ABNs. It is services like this that give that extra access and improve the quality of data right upfront.
Ask any broker what their number one tool of the trade is and they’ll no doubt say it’s their mobile phone. I can see in the near future technology enabling brokers to simply use their mobile phone to take a photograph of supporting documents, which is then uploaded, scanned immediately using smart OCR, filed to the corresponding application and verified.
Technology will remove inefficient practices like reworks and missing information requests when it advises brokers of exactly what they need; and as pricing and policy continue to change, brokers will be able to rely on technology to keep them informed of the latest changes from the lenders on their panel.
Of course the ultimate broker benefit of increased ownership at the point of sale through technology is surety. Brokers want to service their customers efficiently and effectively, and take them o the market.
Technology solutions will eventually deliver the surety that the deal is approved and on its way. It’s advancements like this that will enable brokers to ultimately write more business.
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