Technology key to stronger customer relationships and growth in 2021 for brokers

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Connective predicts 2021 trends and applauds mortgage brokers’ response to 2020

Growth in 2021 for mortgage brokers will require more regular and deeper connections with customers, but these human connections will only be truly valuable if they are scalable with the right technology that can capture and leverage customer information, according to Australia’s largest mortgage broker aggregator, Connective.

Connective revealed their top predictions for growth in 2021 – and the lessons that can be learnt from 2020 - in their final ‘State of the Industry’ update yesterday.

Connective’s most important tips for brokers in 2021:

  1. Strengthen your connection with clients – don’t slip into transactional relationships
  2. Use technology to strengthen your connection with customers and maximize the commercial benefits.
  3. Remain prepared for change; seek, listen to and learn from multiple sources.
  4. Don’t ever underestimate the value you deliver to customers; understand how to differentiate yourself.
  5. Document how you act in your customers’ best interests

Executive Director, Mark Haron, said, after the rollercoaster of 2020 its important brokers consolidate the learnings from the year and take momentum into the new year. They should continue to avoid transactional relationships with customers because there’s so much opportunity for growth in deeper, more authentic partnerships.

“We’re confident brokers can continue to experience healthy growth in 2021 if they embrace the right technology that gives them more data driven customer insights, stay in front of regulatory changes and be conscious of macro-economic trends, and embrace the opportunities that come from changes.” he said.

“Above all else, brokers need to remain empathetic and continue to educate and support their customers.

“The best brokers were galvanised by the challenges of 2020, they responded by reaching out to customers, guiding them through incredibly complex and tough situations and cementing their role as a trusted advisor, and they did all this while still preparing for BID and adapting to a changing landscape.

“Brokers rose to the challenge that was 2020, proven by our industry achieving its highest market share in history through the July to September period, over 60 per cent of residential mortgages written. Now, it is time to ensure we’re ready for what’s next.

“As the country and industry navigates a phase of recovery, not just from COVID-19 but also from Royal Commissions and the fatigue of preparing for a changing regulatory landscape, brokers have an opportunity to re-build and differentiate themselves.

“As times got tougher in 2020, brokers wore multiple hats. Brokers were educators on issues such as repayment holidays, at times they were mediators for lenders and confidants for customers, and as always champions of choice for so many customers in very serious financial situations.

“Brokers need to hold onto to these connections and keep up the check-ins with customers, but they also need to be able to capture every conversation and every detail in a way that adds commercial value. We will continue to evolve our Mercury platform to facilitate this and make it as easy as possible for brokers to comply with BID,” said Haron.

Accelerated digital transformation within the industry was also a key learning that would progress into 2021 according to Connective.

“We’ve committed to maximising the value of technology and digital platforms, from more virtual and sustainable ways of working, more professional development opportunities with our digital L&D program, to digital communities that connect brokers with lenders in real-time, and more enhancements to Mercury and our digital marketing hub,” said Haron.

In wrapping up, Connective’s Haron, and CEO, Glenn Lees, were both clear on the importance of brokers holding onto their thirst for more knowledge, more insights, more updates, and more ways to differentiate themselves with customers.

“There was a lot of preparation for BID in 2020, but there’s more reform to come and the best thing brokers can do for their business and their customers is stay one step ahead. We will continue to provide regular updates and advocate for brokers in 2021 and we’ll continue to seek expert voices and insights to weigh in as relevant.

“There are still conversations to be had to ensure BID is applied fairly across the industry. It is absolutely critical that government and ASIC ensure a level playing field between direct channel, lender driven regulation and indirect channel regulation,” Haron said.

“Originally only those defined as a mortgage broker would have to meet the BID. Now, anyone who provides consumer credit assistance will need to comply, so many asset brokers will have to meet BID obligations come 1 March 2021 as well,” he said.

Lees concluded, “We moved quickly this year to adapt to pandemic times. We moved our L&D program to a digital program and offered brokers content from experts outside of our industry and we kept brokers updated on reform. Brokers loved it, so we will do it again, bigger and better in 2021.”