Connective, NextGen.Net talk ‘technology-driven broker diversification'

by AB27 Aug 2015
Increasingly, the challenge for brokers is to stay relevant. Without an online, digital presence brokers run the risk of becoming invisible, and unless they’re across the range of prospects that technology offers there is a danger they could go the way of the dinosaurs. Connective, which prides itself on its digital focus and expertise, is busily encouraging brokers to take advantage of the constantly evolving sophistication of platforms such as NextGen.Net’s ApplyOnline, and grow their businesses to the next stage.

“We’re urging brokers to value data capture and recognise that the information they have about existing borrowers could mean business opportunities that tap into customer needs,” said Connective CEO Glenn Lees.

“Let’s single out Next.Gen.Net. Ninety per cent of mortgages Connective brokers write are through NextGen.Net’s platform, ApplyOnline. One consequence of this is that there is an enormous amount of data captured.

“Not only is that data a great demographic snapshot, it’s an excellent predicator for what these consumers might do. For example, there is a strong correlation between buying a new house and purchasing a new car within the next 12 months. And did you know people don’t start thinking about superannuation until they turn 46?”

Lees points out that even at a very simple level if brokers could start taking advantage of data collected through the home loan application process they could begin having tailored conversations with customers and add enormous value to the relationship.

Consequently, these brokers would be more likely to become that customer’s next product, said NextGen.Net sales director Tony Carn, stressing that the quality of data was key to the success of this exercise.

“Our raison d’être at NextGen.Net is all about quality, and knowing you can trust the data quality it then becomes extremely valuable for further action and cross-sell opportunities,” Carn said.

NextGen.Net shares quality tools with other parties to improve the accuracy of data. For example, Connective uses an Application Programming Interface (API) service from NextGen.Net to validate the address of a borrower. Previously, said Carn, brokers had to manually enter the address data in up to eight different fields. Now Connective brokers just need to start typing until they see the address in the live list of suggestions.

“The API not only prevalidates addresses to improve data quality, it enables Connective to capture the geo-location of each address. This means going forward brokers will be able to search for customers by location.”

Mortgage brokers’ market share is increasing. This drives competition among brokers. Significantly, consumer behaviour is changing regarding engagement with providers and brands, Lees said.

“So it’s vital that brokers capitalise on this. There is a rich source of data embedded in the application data on the NextGen.Net ApplyOnline platform, and every broker should think about how they can leverage that information for the benefit of their customers and to diversify their business.”