Mobile apps: The changing face of broking

by AB24 May 2013

Mobile apps are shaping the future of mortgage broking, says the MFAA, by offering digital marketing solutions and new ways to interact with and engage consumers – and almost half of all companies plan to introduce mobile apps over the next five years.

What is a mobile app?

“A mobile app,” explains the MFAA, “is a software application that can be used on portable devices, including smartphones and tablet computers. Apps provide useful everyday tools, including calculators, banking services, weather reports and maps. Over the past few years, mobile apps have become increasingly popular among consumers and businesses have started to release their own specialised and custom-branded apps for their clients to download and use.”

Mobile apps and consumers

The MFAA says mobile apps are becoming a hot topic for all businesses, including brokers.

“Consumers are changing the way they live, relate, interact and purchase and brokers can utilise digital technology such as mobile apps to interact with and engage them on new levels.”

  • 91% of people have their mobile phone within arm's reach at all times
  • 88% of people take action on the same day after performing an online search for a local business
  • 84% of small businesses achieve an increase in business due to mobile marketing efforts

Mobile apps in business

“A mobile app can be developed specifically for mortgage brokers and their customers and it can include features such as Facebook integration, finance news, stamp duty calculators, property listings and GPS directions.”

“Mobile apps can also include messaging and notification, so that brokers can continuously communicate with and engage consumers. Mobile apps are portable and useful, and they make the perfect tools for the entire house-hunting and mortgage selection process. A custom-branded mobile app becomes integrated into the lives of consumers, making that business unforgettable.”

The MFAA believes mobile apps are becoming the future of business, with 48% of companies reportedly planning to offer them over the next five years.

“The Herald Sun reported that businesses in major industries, including real estate and finance, could potentially lose 50% of their income within two years if they don't embrace new digital technologies.”

Expert strategies for a mobile business

Adam King is the founder of MiBiz Apps and the world's first specialist in mortgage broker apps. He provides these practical strategies for business owners who want to go mobile:

  • Realise that app building and management can be easy and affordable, even for small businesses and sole operators;
  • Understand that new technology is not all about the Internet. Mobile and tablet devices function differently to personal computers, and are used in different ways;
  • Be careful with web based apps, also known as hybrid apps, as they rely heavily on 'web-services' and don't work as well on a phone as 'native apps';
  • Embrace social change and new technologies. Instead of being overwhelmed by new concepts, partner with people who understand both mobile apps and the industry that you're working in.