An industry analyst has warned brokers to ensure the rush to provide faster, more efficient service does not eclipse the need to properly educate clients.
Industry consultant and Futurology principal Kym Dalton has told the National Mortgage Brokers conference in Hamilton Island that the introduction of new technology in mortgage broking could have potential downsides.
Dalton said while services such as electronic lodgements and the ability to order online valuations have made brokers faster and more efficient, this speed could detract from the broker/client relationship.
“I’m wondering if there’s a negative impact in there as well. In the rush to raise the level of technology in an attempt to better service our customers, I’d like to raise the warning flag to watch that meaning isn’t lost in the whole race for speed and adoption of new technologies,” he said.
Dalton urged brokers to ensure that clients are properly educated about the complexity of mortgage products. He suggested that many consumers are ill-informed about home loan products, and that brokers must take the time to fully educate their clients.
“Whilst we’re in a great quest for speed in adopting this technology, mortgages are reasonably complex things and you want to make sure your customer actually understands the nature of their obligations when you embrace this technology,” Dalton said.
Such education goes beyond NCCP disclosure obligations, Dalton indicated. He argued that brokers have a duty to inform their customers beyond the mere letter of NCCP regulations.
“Disclosure and comprehension are not synonyms,” he said.
While Dalton argued that the ubiquity of technology in the mortgage sector could have some negative impacts, he rubbished the idea that technology could see brokers driven from the industry.
“Is technology going to make brokers obsolete? No,” he said.