The role of technology
David Jones is director of Click2Check
The way forward remains largely uncertain for the mortgage market, and we are operating in a time where any decision should not be taken lightly.
The move to extend the availability of mortgage payment holidays for a further three-months is an interesting one and while this will continue to offer help to those in the most need, it will also put further pressure on some lenders – especially those operating in the specialist sectors.
On a more positive note, the reintroduction of physical valuations has reignited the housing and mortgage market amidst a flurry of interest from potential buyers and provided the keys to unlocking a wealth of pipeline cases.
Behind these headlines, AVMs and desktop valuations will continue to remain prominent in terms of supporting the valuations process and offering an effective automated route. And this combination of the human touch and technology is a good indicator of how all links in the mortgage chain will need to operate if they are to successfully navigate this tricky period.
Technology will continue to play an even more prominent role in all our lives and in transforming the advice and mortgage journey. Especially when you consider how applications are processed, support is offered and closer links are being forged between lenders, advisers, and their clients.
I recently read that Nationwide Building Society’s virtual assistant Arti, which was said to have been updated with new capabilities at the end of March, has provided more than 10,000 responses to mortgage payment holiday queries since 27 March.
Other lenders have also utilised a raft of tech solutions to overcome recent service and pipeline challenges, and it’s clear that artificial intelligence and the tech revolution is changing the relationship between lending institutions and borrowers.
It has also improved the way lenders communicate with each other, how they supply information to borrowers, the intermediary market and vice versa. And this will continue to evolve amidst some highly fluid market conditions
So how can intermediaries use tech advances to prepare themselves for a variety of scenarios moving forward?
We’re in a period where intermediaries need to be forming even closer relationships with their clients. Building a better picture of their current credit rating, overall financial situation and future property requirements really highlights the value attached to the advice process.
Technology can support this process and offer intermediaries secure access to relevant information, affiliations and solutions to meet a range of client needs.
Benefiting from the right systems and online tools will ensure efficiencies and total transparency, allowing the adviser to provide their advice and recommendations on the actual situation and will ensure the best chance of completing the mortgage within the necessary timescale, ensuring total client ownership.
Speeding up the advice process and being in a position to offer a true added-value service will help differentiate proactive intermediary firms from the reactive.
And those who embrace the types of solutions which can generate pre-qualified leads to ensure that the right advice and recommendations are delivered at the appropriate time will surely remain in the driving seat moving forward.