Speaking to Mortgage Solutions, Dhaneer Popat, Head of Sales and Account Management at 360 Dotnet said the pandemic had made brokers more aware of the importance of turning to technology.
He said: “What people were afraid of pre-2020 was that technology would take over their business and not require them to be part of that business anymore.
“Like you see in a warehouse or manufacturing company, a machine takes over a person. What we’ve been able to do and make sure we’ve done is educate advisers this year.”
Popat said the technology firm had held webinars over the year educating brokers on the benefits of using technology to process mortgages as he said he expected the reliance on technology to continue into the new year.
“What we find the new normal will be next year is a lot more of this. People who don’t take up technology next year, it’ll be a real struggle for them to continue through the old fashioned processes.
“Advisers are scared of the unknown, but once it is made known to them, they will be a lot more comfortable with what it will actually do,” he added.
Popat also said a continued use of technological platforms and video calling to engage with clients would enable brokers to expand their client base by reaching to people outside of their local area and as a result, diversify their client bank.
Popat said amid the expectation that video calling would continue to be used in 2021, 360 Dotnet was working on an electronic ID verification tool on its 360 Lifecycle platform to allow the remote confirmation of identities.
As for changes the firm had made this year to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, 360 Dotnet expanded its engagement tools with the addition of an event trigger tool.
Popat said: “When an adviser updates a certain point within the CRM, they can set it so it updates the client by text message or email to confirm what’s happening at that stage. Clients work to their own hours, sometimes a call isn’t sufficient.
“This quick form of communication allows to think ‘my adviser is keeping me in the loop’ and you don’t necessarily have to keep picking up the phone unless there is an issue.”
The firm is also developing its marketing abilities, with functions to allow brokers to reach out to different clients for various reasons.
Popat added: “We’ve improved the way in which our system collates information and allows advisers to run queries to market to their clients or a subsection of them. It can be simple things like during the pandemic, there would have been concerns about whether the mortgage adviser or brokerage [a client] normally goes to is still open.
“Or from an adviser’s point of view, if they would like to reach out to clients who are hearing about furlough schemes and are now concerned about their financial circumstances. In this instance, we could send out an email or text message, or message them directly through the portal, to ask if they would like a fee-free review.”
“We’ve worked on those engagement tools and will continue to do so next year,” he said.