But most lenders have been slow in adopting technology to help brokers. This means the mortgage market is lagging behind other industries and areas of our lives.
Too often brokers fax in applications only to find days later that lenders have lost them. Or, when they try to make an enquiry by phone, brokers are shoved into a long telephone queue. With some lenders a simple enquiry can take hours to sort out.
Then the final insult. Brokers are charged per minute for their call – a blatant piece of profiteering. Even using a freephone number the call should not cost the lender any money. How do lenders still get away with charging brokers for using 0845 numbers?
It makes you wonder if some lenders deliberately keep brokers waiting just to make money. The worse their service, the more profit they make on their phone lines. Brokers are stuck because there is normally no method of contact. It’s reminiscent of sex chat lines, but the person on the other end is unlikely to be wearing leather gloves.
Making communication easier for brokers is one area that we at edeus have targeted for innovation. We have a free number that brokers can use to make enquiries. Other lenders should follow our lead.
We have also given brokers more options as to how they communicate with us. For example, our website has a chat facility that allows brokers to communicate instantly with a representative. Their enquiries will be dealt with quickly by instant messaging while their client is sitting in front of them.
In terms of the applications process, our systems make life easier and quicker for brokers. For instance, brokers can scan in a standard declaration and send it to us electronically knowing that it will go straight into our case management system.
This is less hassle than faxing and there is no chance of us ‘losing’ information. Now scanners only cost 50 there is little reason for brokers still to have to use faxes or the post.
Technology should have vastly improved communication between brokers and lenders. Unfortunately, too many lenders are lagging behind. They should not be surprised when brokers stop bothering to contact them.