A leading comparison website is to launch a home loan vertical in early 2014, partnering exclusively with an aggregator group to offer lead generation to brokers.
Compare the Market, a comparison website currently focusing on insurance, revealed its plans to enter the mortgage market in an exclusive interview with Australian Broker
Rob Clancy, general manager of business development and account management, said the model will provide an opt-in lead generation tool exclusively for brokers belonging to a particular aggregator, the name of which will remain under wraps for now.
“It’s too early to talk about who we’ll be partnering with at this stage but it will be a partnership with an aggregation business that will actually have its own brokers, so that will fulfil our broker requirements Australia-wide.”
With online home loan comparisons and the broker channel both seeing significant growth, it made sense to combine the two, said Clancy.
The consumer-driven focus of the broker channel was also an ideal match for Compare the Market, he said.
“We offer choice. So from a broker point of view they have a lot of products in the market and they allow customers more choice, so I think that’s probably the main reason we decided to go that way.
“A customer may have a product in mind and that bank or institution mightn’t have the best deal or offer in that particular segment, so the broker has the opportunity then to funnel that into an institution that can look after the customer’s needs. So for us it is probably a better end-to-end proposition for a consumer - and that’s our priority in the market.”
Consumers will be able to compare home loans from “most, if not all” of the major banks as well as smaller lenders and be put in contact with a broker to complete the deal face-to-face.
“A customer can go in and compare and have the opportunity to, not only ask questions, but go right through the application and to the settlement stage right from the Compare the Market website.
“It also offers some Skype opportunities, so some of those applications may be done via Skype, but at this stage we envisage most of the transactions will be done face-to-face with a broker.”
The website should be seen not as a competitor to the broker market, but as a compliment, said Clancy.
“Not all brokers are great doorknockers. There’s a great mix of broker breeds out there and some of them really go out there and attack the market, whereas there are some other very, very good brokers which, once they’re given a lead, they’re really good at handling that lead right through to fulfilment.
“At this early stage it appears there’s a very big take-up rate from those brokers, so it seems that they believe it’s going to be very complimentary to their services.”