Embrace technology and be indispensible, says Hunt


Advisers need to incorporate latest developments into their proposition and make themselves indispensable to clients

For those interested in how technology might change, and even distort, our social and professional interactions, I would suggest you watch the TV show Black Mirror. It is not exactly optimistic about what technology could do to the human race but it will give you an idea that the present is not quite so frightening as the potential future.

In reviewing the new technology in our own market, it is possible to see a quite different-looking future. I read recently that many advisers are fearful of robo-advice and what it could mean for their business. But technology will change and develop regardless, so you can react to it and embrace it or you can carry on and hope it has no impact whatsoever. The latter would worry me the most.

The major question centres on whether consumers want to receive their mortgage advice via technology. Is there enough confidence in the systems currently available? At the moment, I would suggest probably not, so advisers have an advantage. But that is not to say such systems will not be available in the future and consumers will not want to use them.

It is what you do up until that point that will determine the future of your business. You have to interact with the technology available and use it within your advice proposition, at the same time making yourself indispensable to your client so they have no need to look elsewhere.

You must continually reinforce your offering – not just around the mortgage advice but the entire portfolio of products and services you offer. Why would a client use a system that provides mortgage “advice” when they can have the full financial servicing from you, with the protections and the confidence that comes with dealing with a professional?

Bob Hunt is chief executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services