With business now driven by technology, it’s not enough for brokers just to have a website; they need a mobile presence as well, writes Brett Spencer
HAVE YOU ever asked yourself, how does a consumer find the ‘perfect’ home loan?
The answer should be simple: they come and see you, a broker.
But the reality is really very different.
Put yourselves in the shoes of the borrower and assume you know nothing about mortgages.
Now ask yourself the same question again.
Is the answer the same? Inevitably not.
In 2013, more home loans will be sourced online than ever before, and brokers need to have a digital presence to capitalise on this trend.
I’m not just talking about websites either; I’m talking about the world of mobile digital media applications for phones and tablets – the stuff we are all being told is the future of information gathering.
Most consumers are tech-savvy enough to conduct their research online using Google.
From there, a vast majority would be redirected to myriad comparison sites such as Infochoice, Mozo and RateCity, all of which are nothing more than glorified traffic directors.
Consumers will spend an average of six to eight hours looking for a home loan, trawling through close to 50 different websites before ‘thinking’ they have found the perfect loan.
Despite all their labour intensive online research, however, it is unlikely that they have found anything close to the ‘best deal’ for them.
Borrowers need a broker to provide them with the right advice and to help them navigate the maze that is obtaining a home loan.
But how do they find you?
The answer is anything but simple. In fact, here we have a conundrum.
Borrowers need to find the right product information as well as their local broker in order to find the perfect home loan for them.
In addition, they need to have access to a single repository of mortgage data that doesn’t provide so much information that it confuses, but offers enough to encourage the would-be borrower to seek out a broker for assistance.
Mortgage brokers need to participate in online platforms that specifically target consumers who live online and consume their information from their mobile devices.
Brokers are failing to capitalise on the digital revolution that has been gaining unstoppable momentum. And by continuing to focus only on their websites as a source of lead capture, they will continue to fail at providing service to the consumer.
Brokers need to embrace lead generation platforms such as MortgageFinder that target borrowers through their preferred method of information gathering, like their mobile device.
Borrowers are using information repositories like MortgageFinder on their tablet or phone instead of surfing the web to find their home loans, and brokers need to embrace this type of mobile technology if their business is to succeed.
While most aggregators are still focusing on their back-end CRM systems, some – such as AFG and Liberty Network Services – are already releasing new point of sale tools for their members, such as eFind and Spark.
For brokers, the next round of technology enhancements must focus on the customer’s experience – since they are more tech-savvy than you at the moment and they use better technology than you do.
Successful brokers will adapt to changing technology to source their next customer. The rest will be left in the Dark Ages to play a constant game of catch-up.
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