1 – All in One CRM Systems.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems are integrated software solutions used to manage interactions and relations with clients. The ability to see all client data in one place enables mortgage brokers to track the status of the deals they made, the amount of commission received, the products each client has, and upcoming anniversary dates.
Historically, mortgage brokers logged their interactions by hand or manually created their spreadsheets and calendars (for the more tech-savvy brokers). For brokers with a large volume of clients, finding one single document amongst cabinets worth of client information was daunting. Additionally, these outdated methods occupied valuable time and resources that mortgage brokers could have utilised in other areas, such as speaking to potential clients.
Around the early ’90s, an increasing number of firms introduced computing systems into their processes. However, during the early days of CRM, information regarding what makes a good CRM system was limited. As a result, each organisation had to create their own software, which at the time only larger firms such as banks and building societies could afford. Furthermore, the brokers who joined these larger firms had to surrender their commission to access these time-saving systems, meaning the average broker would risk falling behind their colleagues if they didn’t pay up.
Nowadays, many CRM systems are available to improve the productivity of brokers. Some are single benefit CRM’s that specialise in one area, whereas other CRM’s are larger in scope, meaning brokers can often have everything stored conveniently in one place. Picking the correct CRM can be complicated, but joining an existing network with an established CRM system takes away the huge cost of entry. Additionally, joining a network enables brokers to run their business while keeping most of their commissions.
2 – Communication
The last 18 months has hit the world in a way many of us could not have imagined. The shift from the office to home working would have previously sparked the end of many careers, especially those within the mortgage industry.
The inability to meet clients face-to-face for almost 2 years has meant brokers have had no option but to turn to other methods of communication. The likes of Zoom and Skype aided the transition by facilitating meetings amongst colleagues and clients, with many organisations shifting to permanent online operations. Combining this with the rise of well-established CRM systems, the days of meeting every client face-to-face may be over.
Now, mortgage brokers can take client details without ever having to leave the comfort of their home, and decisions can be made in a matter of hours or days. Additionally, when lenders contact brokers to request further information, brokers can promptly relay this to their clients. Compared to previous provisions, where clients depended on mail services to exchange documents, the online way of working continues to benefit how mortgage brokers work.
At present, swift and reliable communication is a cornerstone of brokers’ working life. Being able to communicate with almost anybody at any time of day has opened the doors to clients that would have been very difficult to interact with previously. For example, a broker can now complete a large deal for a client who could be sat on a beach in the south of Italy armed only with their mobile phone.
3 – E-signs
The first signatures trace back to the ancient Egyptians around 3000 BC, who used images and symbols to convey ownership, which has remained constant throughout history. In the last 5 millennia, someone would have to turn up in person to add their signature to a document, whether this was a fingerprint, a stamp, or a name. However, this has all changed with the introduction of e-signs.
Now, you can sign a document in Berlin without ever having to leave your flat in Gloucester. However, despite using this technology throughout the last couple of decades, signing your name with a keyboard and mouse has often proved challenging. In 2021, almost everyone now has access to a touch screen smartphone, allowing for more accurate signatures to be sent.
For brokers, this means that there is no longer a need to travel long distances or ask their clients to travel a long distance to scribble a line at the bottom of a document. Therefore, ensuring you have access to an established e-sign system like DocuSign is a must in this day and age.
4 – System-Level Interactions
We discussed CRM’s earlier, but ensuring the CRM can link to other systems is a game-changer that not many networks have yet incorporated.
With the right CRM, brokers can input and send client details to lending software such as 27-tec or Source, to find the correct mortgage for the client. Once established, another click of a button will pre-fill these details into the lenders’ application form. The broker can do the same thing to ensure the client has adequate protection to improve the clients’ journey further.
All the tasks required as a broker can be completed more effectively when everything is interlinked, freeing up time for the broker to find new opportunities, increasing their potential turnover. However, networks that do not offer interlinking systems are hindering the profitability of their appointed representatives. Therefore, finding the right network with the right systems in place could be the difference between extra time with your clients or the continuous task of manually filling out the same information day in day out.
5 – SmartSearch
Many lenders now are checking client’s information via SmartSearch. Ultimately, this removes the need for clients to send through ID’s and proof of address to have their ID checked. Instead, SMART system searchers provide lenders with all required client information, including their name, address, linked addresses and linked names, whether they have any exposure to political persons or have engaged in any monetary crime.
For clients, the benefits of SmartSearch include no longer needing to send documents to a destination they may not be familiar with and will no longer worry about who has sight of their identity documents. For brokers, there is no need to wait until a customer can send in these documents. Instead, a SmartSearch will provide everything needed to verify their clients, and brokers can start looking for the correct product.
Many more significant technologies have advanced within the financial services sector over the last few years. However, finding the correct network that utilises these advancements is more important than ever before. As mentioned earlier, brokers now have the opportunity to do most of their work without leaving the comfort of their own homes, opening up their client base from local to national. By utilising these growing technologies, providing a mortgage for a client 300 miles away without ever meeting them has never been easier.
Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you and your company thrive within the Cornerstone Network, and how we use the latest technological advancements to improve the customer journey.