In-person interaction isn't going away

The most successful brokers will be the ones who combine new technology with the human element

In-person interaction isn't going away
While technology will continue to drive the evolution of the mortgage sector, industry players argue that in a space where relationship cultivation is key, balancing technology with the face-to-face broker experience remains imperative.

Chantel Chapman, a financial fitness coach and broker of record at MogoMortgage, says that maxim holds true even at tech-focused companies like hers. “When we built our experience,” she says, “we were looking to find a balance between the traditional benefits of working with a mortgage broker – advice and guidance when making the biggest purchase of their life – mixed with a little bit of digital to make it convenient.”

While the MogoMortgage app has proven popular with consumers, Chapman maintains that brokers will always be in demand because mortgages are inherently complicated. “There’s always going to be room for the good broker,” she says. “There are always things that change in the marketplace that you may need to rely on an expert to guide you through.”

James Loewen of Loewen Group Mortgages agrees that today’s services need to seamlessly meld an in-person experience with technology. He’s currently working with the Blink mortgage app to upgrade the Loewen Group app.

“When we meet in person with clients, part of the meeting is showing them how to download the app,” Loewen says. “It’s also for clients who are trepidatious about meeting in person. People sometimes don’t want to commit because then they feel obligated to use the agent, but the app gives them a feel for how we work.”

Loewen notes that while he still encounters clients who don’t trust technology enough to handle their finances, these same people often don’t realize just how prevalent technology is in their daily lives.

“I hear people say all the time that they won’t use online banking because they don’t trust technology, so they go to tellers,” Loewen says. “I used to work in a bank, and tellers use the exact same platform and system as online banking. All you’ve done by integrating a teller is created an opportunity for human error.”