Pete Thomson is sales and marketing director at The Mortgage Lender
BT may have said it first, but the telecom giant’s advertising strapline ‘it’s good to talk’ couldn’t be more relevant for today’s mortgage market and its desire to achieve certainty during a period of economic uncertainty.
The UK financial sector is leading the way in embracing technology.
We’re surrounded by talk of artificial intelligence, chatbots and humanoids.
Despite this growing digital world and the availability of online loans, bank accounts and insurance, one thing remains constant in the mortgage market and that’s the fact that most consumers and brokers like to pick up the phone, or meet face to face and talk to a real human when they’re brokering an application.
According to recent research by IRESS, 83% of mortgage brokers admit to calling a lender between three and six times per application. It’s a statistic that may surprise many with the assumption that in today’s techno age brokers should be speaking less and logging on more. But it’s not surprising to us.
What’s more, it’s an assumption that’s reflected in the number of lenders that offer service information for telephone service levels.
In fact, as few as a third (33%) of lenders provider this. One being us, The Mortgage Lender.
But why is it so good to talk?
Applications can be done online from start to finish, right.
It’s during these calls that we not only support brokers to place their business, but we also talk to them about the things that matter to them and their customers.
Certainty is a word we hear frequently and daily. Brokers tell us they want it and their customers tell them they want it too. And in turn, that’s what we strive to deliver.
Insight helped establish The Mortgage Lender a year ago when we launched and it is insight that continues to help shape every part of our business as we evolve to meet ever changing demand.
So it’s good to talk for us – it means we can create products and services that deliver brokers and their customers the certainty, competitive products and personal service they crave.
And the benefits for brokers are clear too – they get a lender that understands the challenges they face, that provides the support they need, when they need it and ultimately generates them business.
It’s impossible to place a value on these seemingly simple interactions, but for us the insight is invaluable and perhaps would never be possible in a purely digital led world.
That’s not to say I’m anti-technology. Absolutely not.
But I don’t think it’s a straight substitute.
We regularly canvas opinion from a range of industry contacts at mortgage clubs, networks, specialist distributors and brokers. It’s also the reason why we asked the industry to #ChallengeTML and we give brokers confidence because 98 per cent of our offers are on the same rate as a successful decision in principle.
While we know it’s good to talk, we also recognise that it’s not so good to be on hold.
That’s why our average telephone waiting time during May was just 22 seconds.