A common theme developed when I spoke to lenders and brokers at the recent Mortgage Business Expo.
Nestled within comments about how the market has become boring, gone too vanilla and no lender seems to stand out much these days, the theme was that the market was crying out for some innovation.
Winston Churchill said we must beware of needless innovations, which some might say the industry has suffered from in the past. But we seem to have gone to the other extreme and it appears to be a case of innovation is needless.
Innovation might be talked about in organisations, but delivery is another thing. Lack of delivery is often down to a misunderstanding of what innovation is. Successful innovation is based on incremental steps, rather than giant leaps.
To innovate you must first have ideas, which rarely get hatched in a research laboratory. The route to idea generation lies in lenders becoming immersed among brokers, listening to them and interpreting what they say to innovate.
The closer lenders and brokers become, the more likely innovation will happen. And it should not be limited to products. Innovation can occur through advances in service, processes, people and even funding.
And it will happen by keeping advisers’ needs at the forefront to avoid unnecessary innovation.
Innovation remains crucial as it will help the market become more colourful and help lenders to differentiate themselves. So they need to take steps to get closer to brokers.