Originally published on Mortgage Strategy on 7th February 2020

There is a future where mortgage brokers can generate all the business they can hope for and deal with it in a way that robo-advisers can only dream of.

While many businesses worry about where they will get their next customer from, some experience the opposite, as tech-savvy mortgage brokers often receive more business than they can handle through effective social media and smart online engagement.

Those who have invested in a digital media strategy to generate new business may then find that they can’t necessarily cope with the success that it generates. So how do you maintain a consistent and engaging client experience when business is flooding in through the door?

Each customer expects to be treasured and treated individually – and above all they want a fast response. They typically don’t know or don’t care if you have a rush of enquiries, or if you have an appropriately qualified representative to qualify them further. Potential new clients are after immediacy and reward for their engagement – speed is the key.

Given the investment that some brokers have put into this process, the last thing you want is dissatisfied customers expressing their displeasure through the same social media channels that captured their interest in the first place. The focus on client acquisition and engagement needs to tie in with the client journey throughout the process of getting a mortgage, even if you do become really busy.

Most brokers would likely say that the ideal solution is a person who can deal with every customer the moment they appear. This ideal member of staff would qualify every lead before simply passing across to advisers the really valuable potential clients who want to borrow now and who want the ‘right’ sort of loan that you deal with.

However, even if you have support people in your office whose job it is to do this, the chances are they wouldn’t be able to cope if you were suddenly inundated with a flood of enquiries.

The optimum solution is software that can do this very thing for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Software that can source facts about the customer and qualify the leads for you. This is not a pie in the sky idea. Such software does exist and has an interface that can make your new leads feel valued while giving them the immediacy they seek.

And the best thing about software is that it doesn’t take days off! The best solutions can also cope with the ‘feast or famine’ new business issue that many brokerages face.

This solution enables your new customer to input their details and then ensure these details flow directly into your Fact Find. It will then automatically conduct criteria, eligibility and product sourcing checks, before going on to generate a verifiable, trustworthy report so both you and your qualified advisers can see which customers to progress straight away. It will also identify which leads are worth picking up later.

Being able to do this would be beating the robo-advisers at their own game. Any adviser who has this facility has nothing to fear because they have the automated front part of the process twinned with an attentive face-to-face process at the back end, making sure the customer gets the best of both worlds.

Technology of this type effectively moves brokers a step ahead of the robo-advisers by collecting client information and then combining criteria, eligibility and product sourcing into one simplified interaction.

This removes a huge amount of dependency on the adviser to complete the fact find as the client will do that themselves. Self-populated data can also be more accurate. This leaves the broker to gather soft facts, focus on creating a durable relationship and provide advice efficiently – all in a fraction of the time it currently takes.

David Bennett, commercial director, eKeeper