How lenders and brokers can build closer relationships with tech

Pradeep Raman
November 15, 2022
October 17, 2022

In today’s demanding mortgage market, it can be difficult for lenders to effectively onboard and build relationships with mortgage brokers. Even amidst rising rates, consumers remain determined to progress with their purchase plans, and it comes as no surprise that this has left many lenders struggling with capacity for broker management.

Current market conditions have made it critical for lenders to stand out and build meaningful links with brokers, ultimately giving them access to new customers and helping to meet lending targets. Thankfully, CRM solutions are available to enable lenders to develop broker relationships in a streamlined and efficient way.

Building closer ties using tech

The last three years alone have demonstrated the importance of good lender-broker relationships. The pandemic-initiated mortgage withdrawals, the frenzy of the market re-opening and the launch of the stamp duty holiday, plus a spell where mortgage rates followed the Bank of England base rate to historic lows, all created heightened demand that lenders and brokers had to work closely together on to manage.  

Now mortgage rates are rising, presenting new challenges for lenders, brokers and borrowers. In light of these market changes, lenders need to come up with ways to scale broker registration and onboarding, engage and update brokers, and collaborate to deliver the best possible solutions for borrowers. Technology can bridge this gap by helping build relationships with the intermediary community and create better outcomes for all.

There are a huge number of brokers that lenders must channel for distribution – at present between 10,000 and 15,000 spread across over 5,000 mortgage firms. This encompasses 40 to 50 mortgage clubs and networks. It is a challenge to identify the right brokers, register them and set them up to submit business. While many lenders struggle through this process with myriad spreadsheets and error prone processes, tech savvy lenders are moving to CRM solutions that organise the onboarding process, including due diligence and document collection, into a transparent and trackable workflow.

For lenders, it can be complicated to understand which relationships are the most valuable, which require the most time, and how to maximise each one.

One way lenders can strengthen these relationships is by using CRM solutions to optimise broker management. For instance, they can capture soft facts about brokers, leading to more personalised and relevant communications to those partners. Meanwhile, analytics software can present lenders with a detailed oversight of BDM activity. Lenders can use this tech to see which brokers are no longer using their services, so they know when and with who they need to re-establish contact.  

Streamlining services

Technology can also augment lender sales teams. Managers at lenders can set realistic KPIs and empower Business Development Managers (BDMs) and broker support teams to do their job better, with technology helping track which BDMs are most effective, analyse why and share their learnings. Lenders can then use this information to help others in their team improve their performance and understand how to best deploy resources.

Does a broker frequently attend events? Are they engaged with new product launches? A huge array of data can be captured, and relationships can be strengthened on this basis.

finova is working on a proposition which will make the process of onboarding new brokers and building relationships significantly easier. Onboarding brokers can be an arduous task involving a number of checks and documents to be sent and collected. Software which allows this process to be digitised and managed effectively can be helpful.  

There are more than 100 mortgage lenders operating in the UK market, but brokers typically do most of their business with a much smaller number of about 20. The remaining 80 lenders need to ensure brokers are aware of their products and exactly how they can help their clients. Competitive market conditions have made it more important than ever for lenders to stand out from the crowd – and technology is critical to securing, developing and in some cases re-establishing these broker relationships.

Although we appear to be past the worst of the pandemic, if we have learned one lesson from Covid-19 it is to plan for all eventualities. Having an established digital structure in place today will serve lenders well, no matter what the future holds.  

Pradeep Raman Is the visionary behind finova’s digital solutions with a vast knowledge of the UK mortgage sector.