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Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

Neal Jannels

March 30, 2020

Neal Jannels is the managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS)

A while ago I overheard an expression that I hadn’t heard in quite some time.

‘Why keep a dog and bark yourself?’

I wasn’t sure of the exact context behind this but suffice to say that I did get the message, and it also got me thinking a little more about this particular phrase.

So much so that I turned to Google for the origin, which led me to the passage below.

‘Don’t do a chore that should be done by someone you hired to do it. A literal example of the expression would be a homeowner who buys, trains, and maintains a guard dog, but stays up all night in case of intruders. Jonathan Swift in Polite Conversation wrote this exchange between a woman of quality and her servant: “‘Good Miss, stir the Fire.’

‘Indeed your Ladyship could have stirr’d it much better. [To which the woman replied] I won’t keep a dog and bark myself.’

This got me thinking about what virtual dogs I might have and if they are barking sufficiently?

As a tech provider, our focus is on systems and solutions constantly doing the heavy lifting when it comes to administrative burdens and a variety of time-consuming tasks/functions – or as you might say – dogs barking on our behalf.

And why is this so important in the modern intermediary marketplace?

Well the advice process remains more important than ever for a variety of borrowers, which is obviously great, but time really is money for intermediary firms.

Especially when it comes to inputting data, non-automated client updates and the rekeying of generic information.

A recent survey from Openwork suggested that nearly three out of four advisers (72%) believe the numbers of advisers across the profession will fall in 2020.

It’s a harsh reality but much of this will come down to which ones best utilise technology to successfully streamline their processes and use this saved time to generate more business.

The adviser and tech space is constantly changing. For years we have been screaming for more innovation and the tech space really has come to the fore in recent times but it remains in the hands of individual firms and advisers to ensure they have access to the right systems and solutions for them.

Looking forward – in a similar vein to adviser numbers – there will be lots of partnership arrangements between tech firms and not all will survive.

The ability to choose a provider with plug and play will become standard, and it will be those tech firms with the right product and strength of relationships within the industry who will continue to rise to the fore.

It’s all about working smarter, not necessarily harder. In many ways’ dogs are like technology.

In order to get the best out of them you have to invest time and energy into forming a good relationship, not to mention implementing the right levels of training on a consistent basis.

Having said that, it’s a process where patience and understanding will prove hugely beneficial and rewarding.


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