Where can I find an online mortgage adviser?
The internet has changed many ways of buying things. From Amazon to Zoopla, the way we shop has been changed forever. Recent developments in property have mainly been with online estate agents. Many years ago, as an Estate Agent, we relied upon clients either coming in to see us, or finding our properties in the local newspaper. This was until www.rightmove.co.uk started. We then saw the way that people found properties revolutionised, and suddenly people could find a house online and contact the agent directly.
We then saw a raft of online companies cut out the middle-man and develop their own online estate agencies as the next big start-up. Naturally because they were basically a property portal themselves and left most of the hard work, like showing people round and chasing the sale to the client, their operating costs were lower. As they couldn’t compete with a local agent on service levels, the only way forward for them was to lower their fees, and often charge an up-front fixed fee to the client replacing the percentage-based no-sale/no fee rate that a local estate agent charges. Sadly, we are now left with emptier High Streets and bad service.
The natural progression now seems to be an online mortgage adviser. This is far more difficult, as the regulations state that every mortgage arranged has to be “advised”, either by a lender’s in-house adviser, or a qualified mortgage broker.
This hasn’t stopped a few companies having a go though, and we have seen both inexperienced and serial entrepreneurs try their hand. An internet search would find some of these online mortgage advisers. A quick look at their websites make it look as though a few minutes spent putting your details in can lead to the mortgage you want. What they are basically is often just a nice-looking data capture form, which then is passed to either an in-house adviser who spends a few minutes processing your information and quickly agrees with what you ask for, or they sell your data to the highest bidder, who will then contact you.
This is nothing new. It’s just basically the same thing, stripped-down and repackaged to look like something else.
The first casualty of this looks like it’s the customer. In an attempt to streamline a long process, the client loses out, yet again.
I love meeting my clients, going through a full fact-find and chatting to them about their life, plans and ambitions. Whilst it’s interesting to me, it’s also vital to help me advise on a suitable lender or product. Sometimes I come up with a recommendation that my client hasn’t even considered. Sometimes I tell them that I can’t help them right at this time, and we put in place a plan for the time in the future that I can help them.
I’m not saying that the mortgage advice process is perfect, quite the opposite. There are so many ways that it can be improved, but let’s not get rid of the most important thing.
Yes, I have an online form, mortgage calculators and even the ability to have a web-based meeting, but it’s still the face-to-face contact that’s most important.
One person to another, giving honest, friendly, professional advice.