Making mortgage technology work for you

Broker firms increasingly utilise general and specialised mortgage technology to streamline their processes and enable clients to do things online. But what tech are we talking about? Lilla Dilliway, Director at ClientTree Group, tells us more


As basic as it sounds, online presence is a good starting point, and considering how much people use their mobile phones, a responsive website should be in place. Yet not every firm has a website – some find that they do not need it, as they serve a certain community or have already built up a solid client base where word of mouth provides enough leads for them.

However, if you are just entering the industry or setting up on your own for the first time, having a website will probably be on your to-do list along with search optimisation, so potential customers can find you.

Client portal & CRM system

To gather the necessary information about a client, they need to complete a fact find questionnaire. This may be done by sending the client a Word document, but increasingly, clients can complete the fact find through a client portal or online questionnaire.

This portal would normally link to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, where the broker can review the information.

The CRM system also enables the broker to:

  • Keep track of clients, mortgages, insurances, payments, etc.
  • Run reports
  • Analyse where leads come from and referrals are made to as well as keep track of related payments
  • Have an up-to-date view of the company
  • Be compliant, check compliance of employees and enable a compliance department/firm to audit cases.

Via integrations with other systems (listed below), data re-keying can be minimised and processes automated.

Sourcing platforms

There are only a handful of systems to choose from, but they are essential for finding suitable deals for clients from the whole of the market. Having said this, certain product transfer deals or specialist lenders will not appear in these systems, so they will have to be checked on the lenders’ website.

Recently, these systems have also started to offer other functionalities, e.g. affordability checks, criteria search and submitting applications to lenders based on the information already available for sourcing.

To note, most systems were built for residential and BTL cases, so sourcing bridging deals, commercial mortgages or later life lending is not always available or not to the same extent.

Various providers offer these functionalities separately as well, so you can have a system focusing on these aspects, if you prefer it.

These systems help obtain building and contents insurance quotes for mainstream residential and BTL cases.

If the property is unusual or the tenancy type is not a simple AST or there are some other special circumstances, the case would often get referred to a specialist team instead of getting an automated quote from the system.

Some platforms also offer Accident, Sickness, Unemployment (ASU) quotes as well as property insurance.

It is important to note that while the mortgage sourcing systems are meant to be whole of market (see comment above), GI sourcing platforms tend to operate from a panel of insurers.

To obtain a quote, the system requires information about the clients’ health and with an interactive questionnaire, this is a specialist type of sourcing platform.

These systems also have a panel of insurers and not all insurance types may be available for quoting.

However, they are a time-saving alternative to calling up each insurer separately and going through a detailed questionnaire each time.

Client portal & CRM system

As a broker, you may wish to access several other functionalities via separate providers or as integrated within a CRM system:

  • Credit reports
  • Online banking pre-populating a client’s spending by category
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks (including Politically Exposed Person, i.e. PEP checks and monitoring)
  • Electronic ID checks (including biometric ID checks and liveness test)
  • E-signatures
  • Automated emails for marketing purposes or triggered by certain events, e.g. when a client’s remortgage is due
  • Property value monitoring and remortgage opportunity monitoring

What is the cost of all this technology?

As the list is growing longer, the cost of these systems is something to bear in mind. Providers all have their own pricing models and it is often the case of comparing apples to pears, as each system offers something slightly different from the next one.

Ultimately, there is no one size fits all and the above systems all have a role to play, so it is prudent to have a look around and choose the systems that you like and feel comfortable with.