On the back of the swelling “appetite for virtual face time with lenders”, an aggregator has reported the resounding success of its refashioned lender program and shared insights gleaned from broker participants.
Connective’s Digital Lender Splendour program was intended to help ease the challenge brokers are facing of staying up to date with rapidly changing lender products and policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic – a dynamic which has not only led to a spike in broker demand for new ways of sharing lender information, but has also begun to reshape the broker process of securing home loans for customers.
As explained by Connective executive director Mark Haron, a broker’s process generally follows the same trajectory: starting with working through how much a customer can afford to borrow, before figuring out the product type they want and then, finally, looking at the policy of each lender to deduce whether or not they’d be able to secure the loan with that institution.
“Now, a lot of brokers are no longer waiting until a customer makes an enquiry about a particular bank,” Haron explained.
“They’re going and taking a look at banks' information on a regular basis and keeping that information in the back of their mind so, when they then need to have a more thorough look, they’ve got a better chance of knowing which avenues to begin exploring.
“Being able to see the most recent lender changes helps them get a quicker result in terms of analysis for their customers.”
The last point is crucial, as Haron shared that the most commonly cited concerns voiced by brokers attending the group’s digital event were around turnaround times; while some banks have maintained their pacing and gone to great lengths to make sure brokers know that’s the case, others are struggling under the weight of the COVID-19 enquiries.
“When considering a loan, if one of a customer’s highest priorities is that it gets settled in a timely manner, then that for me, from a best interests point of view, becomes a key factor in determining which lender to proceed with,” Haron said.
“I’m hearing anecdotally now some horror stories of lenders missing settlement dates because they’re not able to get documents out fast enough for the customer to sign and reply to and obviously it’s causing a lot of stress for people.
“There’s not much point going with the cheapest lender who has the highest cash rebate if the loan is not going to settle in the timeframe the customer wants.”
As such, Connective has built a new lender to member portal to ensure brokers can access lender information, real-time updates on policy and products, and additional lender resources “whenever and wherever” they need them.
“Some of those policies changes relate to how different lenders are treating different industry types and different income types. Some lenders have become tougher on overtime and certain types of employment, whereas other lenders haven’t and are still open for business there,” said Haron.
“This is where the policies have been changing rapidly and this is why brokers need the information – and easy access to that information – as quickly as possible.”