What do brokers want in a lender's broker site?

by Julia Corderoy11 Nov 2014
Banks, aggregators and brokerages are increasingly harnessing the power of technology to improve efficiencies in their business. Some brokers have even claimed that a bank’s online broker portal is just as important, if not even more important, than a bank’s BDM.  So what do brokers want in a bank’s online broker portal?

Oscar Hvala, mortgage broker at Aussie told Australian Broker that Commonwealth Bank had the best broker site.

“I find that the CBA site is the easiest to access as there are fewer steps to take to keep track of loan applications, lender info, etc.  It is also easier to load on the web in comparison to most others and contains more narrative in the loan application tracking section.”

When asked what lenders could do to improve their broker portals, Hvala said that the simpler, the better.

“I find the less detail on each page e.g. photos, pictures, pretty graphs etc, the quicker things load.  So they just need to keep it simple, stupid (KISS principle).  

The real advantage of technology for Hvala, is that it can be used to increase efficiencies in his business and can save him from having to make unnecessary calls. However, this isn’t always the case. 

“All lenders need to train staff to provide clearer notes if they are to have less calls from brokers.  More often than not, when tracking loan applications online, I find the ‘bank talk’ and abbreviations used by staff, often leave more questions than clarify.  I find myself having to call the bank just to get an understanding of what they have written in the notes.  This confirms the unnecessary nature of the call. 

“I recently experienced an ambiguous message with one of the big four in regards to a document that was required.  Instead of using ‘OR’, the lender staff member chose to use the “/” which to me, was not definitive enough i.e. did I need to provide both documents or just one of the two documents noted?  I assumed they needed both, but found out they only needed one.

“Banks are notorious for splitting hairs in their demands from brokers and are quick to delay an application when a simple ‘tick box’ has been missed.  But it seems the opposite is true for the lender. They’re all guilty of it in one form or another.”

Maria Papa, mortgage broker at Loan Market told Australian Broker that Bank West was her favourite broker site.

“Bank West’s broker site would be my favourite online broker portal because of their online chat when following up deals. Commonwealth Bank would come in second for me because they're easier to navigate when researching credit policy.”

When asked what banks could be doing to further improve their online broker portals, Papa said she would like to see more lenders invest in a quality online chat facility to help brokers follow up deals, as well as make sure they are easier to navigate in general.

What do you think lenders could be doing to improve this technology for brokers?