Business strategist bashes brokers as outdated

by Calida Smylie28 Mar 2014
Mortgage brokers have been predicted to become redundant in just five years’ time and replaced by digital substitutes.

Business strategist and four-time bestselling author Michael McQueen wrote an article on predicting mortgage advisers – along with taxi drivers, newsagents, parking inspectors and tailors – will “go the way of the milkman” and be remembered with nostalgia in years to come.

“There is certainly no doubt that the career paths of children being born today will look very different to those of us who have gone before them,” said McQueen.

“Many new jobs and industries will be created – but countless others will inevitably fall by the wayside. So take a long hard look at the next tailor, taxi driver, newsagent, mortgage adviser or parking inspector you come across – their face is one you may not see for much longer.”

Last time he went to the bank to talk to a mortgage broker in person, McQueen said he was dialled in via Skype to a mortgage adviser in another city who ran through options and generated loan pre-approval on the spot.

“With faster broadband speeds just around the corner, so many of the transactional ‘service’ providers we have become accustomed to dealing with in person will simply no longer be required. Mortgage advisers are far from the first and will certainly not be the last profession to fall victim to this trend,” McQueen said.

But ING Direct head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough does not agree brokers will become redundant in coming years.

“If anything, when you read further into the story it is essentially saying customers will look for a different interaction or engagement with their broker or adviser, at a time and place which suits them, and I think when you consider it in that context it allow greater opportunities for brokers to engage with customers.”

Woolnough said while there will always be some customers who want face-to-face service, younger generations prefer digital channels and brokers who integrate technology into their businesses will succeed. 

“The model’s definitely changed – brokers now have to look at how customers want to interact. Awareness of mortgages and other financial services products is at an all-time high and will continue to get higher – the customer is fully aware of where to locate information.

“Customers will have full visibility over dealings with lenders and other third parties and it will allow them to step in and take control at any point if they don’t believe they are getting the desired amount of service.”

Brokers will move away from making recommendations and decisions to validating decisions made by the customer, said Woolnough.

“You’ll see in time customers wanting to take more control of their financial decisions as their financial literacy improves… We’re learning from our colleagues overseas that they’re starting to integrate the customer and broker into one transaction.”

Change is being driven by consumer expectations and demand and brokers who refuse to adapt to technology changes will fall by the wayside, Woolnough said.

“So start recruiting talent into your business that can keep you abreast of where technology is heading and what the consumer is looking for.”

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  • by Old Country Broker 28/03/2014 8:58:23 AM

    He went to the bank to talk to a mortgage broker in person. Does Mr McQueen even know what a mortgage broker is or does?? Probably had a deadline to meet to get an article in on time. Move on.

  • by Keith of the West 28/03/2014 9:10:59 AM

    Michael McQueen will be made redundant publishing rubbish like this article!.

  • by Credit Advisor from SA 28/03/2014 9:17:54 AM

    Last I checked, both Bankers and Credit Advisors (brokers) had to meet the client face-to-face. Skype meetings are an exception, not standard practice.