It is nothing new to people in the industry that the online space is now the new way of transacting with consumers but perhaps with the likes of the larger companies whom have now taken to advertising their platforms on national television more and more people are seeing this as the way that they want to do their mortgage and protection business.
The online systems offer a seamless “two minute” transactional process for the client to apply to a broker – popping personal details into their website and then robots and algarythms work out exactly what sort of mortgage is going to suit that particular person for however long it may be for, credit checking them on the way through and all at the touch of a button – Easy!!!!
Now sadly with many things in life, when the technology first comes out you think ‘wow’ but the practical side of things can sometimes be a little different and most certainly when we have a regulator involved in the process whom insist on clients having advice. We are not online shopping here and you don’t have the beauty of just returning it 14 days afterwards as long as you didn’t rip the tags off – it is generally the single largest debt a human being will ever take on – so for me this is absolutely something the regulator can have no leniency on!
Truth be told I think the online portals have made the industry stand up and take notice which it wholeheartedly needed to do – but with all things, the smoke and mirrors and the real life situation isn’t quite that easy. Quite often that online form ends up in front of a person, the regulator says that any mortgage adviser has to be fully qualified (although with full supervision can have only the first of 3 CeMAP exams) and that person will be the one who recommends products and services over the phone.
Now, call me old fashioned but I think if I had a choice I would personally want to know that the person I am speaking to knows what pitfalls I may come across before I do – I say to many people entering the mortgage process whether, purchasing, remortgaging or any other transactional process – you will only quantify if we are any good at the end – the hardest thing is we can only make that choice at the start – and we at Affinity quite often pick the pieces up when it has gone slightly wrong…… STRESS!!!!!!
Without wishing to plug Affinity (which clearly I am about to do) we decided that we absolutely had to compete in the online space but that we would never not stand by our clients with brokers and advisers taking ownership of any mortgage, finance or protection related query from start to finish. We do however want to allow our customers to give US their details prior to whizzing it through a system and straight through to lender – allowing us to notice any mistakes but also to really understand what is going on in our customers lives – all of the areas we advise on absolutely require that sort of granular detailing and there are products to suit each and every person!
What I would say is that yes there does need to be online space for Mortgage Brokers, protection advisers, buy to let mortgages, bridging loans and all of the other areas we trade in but the advice of an adviser who knows the pitfalls before a customer does is absolutely invaluable. There are plenty of these brokers dotted around, in Southend on sea where our head office is I can certainly name a few firms I personally would go and visit ( I can sadly name a few I absolutely wouldn’t also!!!!!!).
So in summary, online trade in mortgages is a really great thing, we should all be embracing the technology available – but the key thing I would suggest is choose the right team before you set sail – how to do that in this online trading situation – maybe fill out a few of those online forms and request specifically that no credit checks take place until you have sanctioned the product you’ve applied for…. (failing that just visit www.affinity-mortgages.co.uk – shamless again sorry!!!!)
MD & Inexperienced Blogger!