How Will Improved Technology Affect the Specialist Mortgage Industry?

Improved technology in the mortgage sector has made the mortgage application process more streamlined and efficient. But, how has this technology affected the mortgage industry, namely the businesses of mortgage brokers who rely on a human touch to connect with and retain their customers?

While human interaction is still needed in the mortgage industry, certain technologies have become more popular and replaced some aspects of the mortgage process. By digitalising transactions such as mortgage calculations, mortgage comparisons and underwriting, many have mixed feelings about just how automation may play a role going forward. 


According to the Broker Beat survey from Masthaven Bank, 66% of mortgage intermediaries think that the best use for the newer technology lies in the simplification of the mortgage application process. This may be true, especially since 78% of brokers that work in the specialist mortgage lending market claim their clients have expressed dissatisfaction with manual-based mortgage processing. As the industry becomes more automated, clients may find more satisfaction with the process, thereby allowing brokers to retain more clients if the process becomes more likeable.


A decent amount of brokers in the specialist lending market, 26.7% to be exact, report that they believe automation could play a positive role in reducing the amount of wasted effort in the mortgage application process. 


However, 91% of brokers in the specialist mortgage market reported that they felt the market should not be threatened by newer digitalised means. They believe that most cases are too complex to be taken care of accurately by automated means and claim that the underwriting process is a bespoke and personalised service that is very much needed when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. 


The managing director at Masthaven, John Hall, had this to say: “It is exciting to see that both customers and brokers are embracing new technology to help make the lending process at smooth as possible. The industry has long been aware of the issues associated with outdated technology and paper-based processes, and it seems as if we are finally turning a corner.”


With that said, nearly two-thirds (63%) of mortgage brokers think that it is unlikely that new robo-underwriting technology will fully replace the human aspect of the mortgage application process. 


Most brokers believe that the technology that will have the greatest impact on the mortgage application process and the market as a whole is that of affordability calculators. About one in three agreed on this point. After calculators, 21% believed Robo-advice would have the largest impact, followed by 18% who believe it will be APIs. 

Another technology that was cited was live chat technologies, of which 13% believed would have the greatest amount of impact. Of those surveyed, almost one in five said they are already currently using the technology and a further 13% claim they have plans to use it in the future. 


The bottom line


New technology in the specialist mortgage industry has for a while now been well on its way to being more commonly used. While some believe automation can never fully replace the need for human interaction when it comes to the mortgage application and underwriting process, others seem to look forward to some of the advantages the technology can bring. In all, the new technology will make much of the process of getting a mortgage easier and more satisfying for customers.

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