"One thing we all agree on is that the option of remote working will become expected, and more businesses will operate this way."
Covid-19 sparked the swift adoption of technology to allow for remote working and business to continue ‘as usual’. As tech development accelerates, more brokers have begun to see the value of a sophisticated tech platform for their business, now and beyond.
If you’re only just beginning to consider bringing tech into your business, you’re already behind. What used to be the broker of the future is now the broker of today, and BAU for brokers everywhere has changed in three important ways.
Previously a job perk, remote working is now a normal day for most brokers. Luckily, sophisticated tech platforms have meant this switch could be made effortlessly. At Smartr365, we’ve been allowing forward-thinking businesses to work from home for years, but we never imagined the scale to which brokers would need this feature at present. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have thrown the importance of remote working into the spotlight and it’s looking like the pace will only increase from here.
Many have speculated about the future of the workplace and the working day post-pandemic. One thing we all agree on is that the option of remote working will become expected, and more businesses will operate this way. To ensure that brokerages are attracting top talent, they need to offer the same as, or better than, their competitors. Adopting a cloud-based system ensures users have access to all their necessary data and documents wherever they chose to work from, and it’s a key step in providing WFH capability.
It’s vital that remote working doesn’t force brokers to compromise on the security of both client and business data. Businesses can safeguard all information by adopting cloud-first solutions which digitise data and host automatic failover and data replication protocols. If there were a serious event in the main data centre where these programs are hosted, everything would simply switch to another data centre and carry on seamlessly and securely.
Remote client relations
As lockdown began, many were fearful that they wouldn’t be able to maintain effective client relationships remotely. However, as always, technology stepped up to the task. Video conferencing apps, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom can be easily integrated into a broker’s tech system, such as the Smartr365 platform, to provide a smooth transition for brokers and their clients looking to meet in the world of video conferencing. Future brokers and their clients will no longer be forced to spend unnecessary time travelling to meetings which can now take place anywhere with an internet connection.
Tech can also support effective client relations are by automating emails that reach out to clients at key contact points. Automation not only ensures that no time is wasted, but also guarantees that no client contact point is missed. The system won’t close down on completion either. Dated manual systems can become confusing and clients can be forgotten in mounds of paperwork as the focus shifts to new business. By automating client contact, brokers can provide clients with monthly updates on their mortgage status, as well as the available options throughout their fixed term – all without lifting a finger.
Clear and easy compliance
The industry’s reaction to the pandemic will be the first major test of many mortgage businesses’ regulatory procedures, and the FCA has been loud and clear in its expectations. It is vital that even the smaller mortgage businesses ensure they are making the necessary checks and following the right framework.
While compliance requirements don’t diminish for brokers using sophisticated tech, they are significantly easier to manage. For smaller brokerages who don’t have the same resources or manpower as the larger companies to tick each necessary box, the tech we are seeing today can help relieve the pressure of compliance which has been thrown into the limelight through the lockdown.
Tools on these tech platforms can significantly relieve the burden of compliance for mortgage businesses of all size. Smartr365, for example, can automatically pull customer details, meeting dates and product choices from existing data to populate documents and effectively automate the compliance process. Brokers using this tech can create fully compliant documents with a clear, time-stamped paper-trail in minutes, reducing the risk of human error and lessening the burden on brokers to maintain and collate the information manually.
Despite the challenging circumstances which have prompted many to reassess their compliance processes, this change can be used in a positive way to guarantee mortgage businesses are prepared going forward and can reap the benefits of an improved system.
Overall, the future of mortgage broking is looking bright. When we look back on 2020, we’ll see it as the year the mortgage industry adopted technology and made changes for the better. Futuristic tech systems are now commonplace, and brokers who hesitate are at risk of being left behind.
Covid-19 has pushed the broker of the future to become the broker of now. Our working lives are becoming increasingly improved by technology, and the customer experience is becoming smoother. We need to keep driving and adapting as we go – we can learn some great lessons from the lockdown.