Speed not expertise is what consumers rate

LEE GLADWELL, NEED TO BOOST, UNDERSTANDING
LEE GLADWELL, NEED TO BOOST, UNDERSTANDING

Research from Platform has exposed a glaring discrepancy between the way brokers view themselves and the reasons consumers give for using them.

Platform, the broker arm of The Co-operative Financial Services, has analysed feedback from brokers and consumers to gain an insight into what drives the public to seek advice from brokers.

The survey found that ’ease and convenience’ was the main factor pushing consumers to choose a broker to arrange their mortgage. This was followed by saving time and effort with work carried out by brokers, help with finding an affordable deal, and access to the whole market.

Surprisingly, the lowest ranking factor for consumers – the experience and expertise brokers offer in advising on suitable deals – was considered the most important driver for advice among brokers.

The brokers polled believed that whole-of-market access was also key for consumers, with ease and convenience, and time-saving further down clients’ priority list.

The speed at which brokers can process a deal was ranked fifth as an advice driver.

Interestingly, finding affordable deals did not feature for brokers as one of the reasons why consumers get advice.

Lee Gladwell, business development director at Platform, says: “These findings show that consu-mers appreciate many of the good things on offer from brokers, but appear to have a lack of awareness about the level of advice they receive.

“While there can be no doubt that the industry provides quality advice, we believe it should work together to boost consumer understanding of what it means to deal with brokers.”

Platform continues to call for industry-wide action on promoting the benefits of brokers as part of its Define Advice campaign in conjunction with Mortgage Strategy.

Robert Sinclair, director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says: ” Consumers make the decision that they want to purchase a house and decide they need to do something about it and that’s why they go to brokers.

“Brokers seem to be approaching it from a slightly different angle and focus on why consumers choose them rather than somebody else. Meanwhile, customers are thinking that they need to get the mortgage done and a broker is someone who can help them.”