Technological change doesn’t come cheaply and dollars alone won’t buy the desired outcome.
The key to the success of any technology change is the associated, integrated support program that educates and trains BDMs and brokers to take full advantage of the increasingly sophisticated technology being pioneered.
Ultimately it’s engagement in the support program that determines take-up rates and behaviour change.
NextGen.Net’s ApplyOnline Supporting Documents service has the potential to revolutionise electronic lodgement (reduce turnaround times and increase service levels to brokers) and mastering the basics is a simple but crucial part of the equation.
This means removing training from the too hard basket.
Since rolling out “supporting docs” St.George
Bank has halved turnaround times to formal approval. Correspondingly there has been an impressive take-up of the new technology - and there is a reason for this.
Brad Driffill, Senior Business Development Manager WA, has devoted time and energy to training brokers since the Supporting Documents service was first launched.
“We were the first to go to market with supporting docs earlier this year and we were on the front foot from day one,” he says.
“As soon as we knew it was happening I contacted our bigger broker groups and said, this is it. Let’s start using it.”
Driffill confesses that initially he struck resistance.
“At the beginning it is more time-consuming for brokers. But I always stress that ultimately, once they’ve grasped it, it saves an enormous amount of time because they don’t have to go back and forth responding to us asking for more information.”
He says, once brokers begin to experience that they can load a deal at 9 o’clock in the morning and have an answer the same day they’re sold.
“Historically when documents were emailed to us we’d have to manually image them into the system at our back-end. With this new environment they’re straight to the assessor,” he says.
The ApplyOnline Supporting Documents service is aligned to the lending policies of the bank, which automatically creates greater efficiency.
“Through it we are telling brokers what they need. It’s a dynamic, live, policy update. So they don’t have to go searching for information,”
“I sell it by emphasising that the end result in an increase in conversions of deals.
“The way I see it is that you’ve got to give a little to get a lot.”
Driffill runs monthly sessions for brokers and offers to assist with the first deal to fully acquaint them with supporting docs.
Rate Detective Finance, one of the biggest brokerages in the country, needed some convincing before coming on board.
Rate Detective Finance Managing Director, Warren Dworcan, Australian Broker of the Year 2013, admits that initially he was reticent due to the amount of time he understood was required to load documents.
“But the trade off is definitely worth it and the training demonstrated that,” he says.
“Brokers are now finding that the response from St.George is a lot quicker. The supporting documents service has made a huge improvement to the St.George system.”
NextGen.Net Sales Director, Tony Carn notes: “It’s clear one of the reasons Warren is successful and an award winner is that he embraces innovation and is an early adopter of new technology into his business model.
Carn praises St.George and Driffill’s training regime.
“St.George has shown impressive leadership with supporting docs, not only by being first to market but also achieving real buy-in from sales staff.
“Brad has been proactive in making brokers aware of the benefits of supporting docs and the results speak for themselves,” he says.
“If lenders invest properly in the training, awareness and education of their BDMs and make it part of their KPIs for educating their broker network, they will see great rewards.”
This article is from Australian Broker issue #11.17. Download the issue to read more features.