For most of us, buying a house will be the biggest purchase we make in our lives. And some 75% of us will use a mortgage broker to help us find the ‘best deal’.

As part of the fourth edition of the Mortgage Lender Benchmark we asked 467 mortgage brokers to tell us what impact they thought technology would have on their business over the next 24 months, and to rate the technology they use across CRM, affordability, criteria and product sourcing software. Here’s what they told us.

52% of directly authorised brokers believe that technology advances will have a high or very high impact on their business over the next 24 months. Just 20% anticipate no or low impact, while 28% predict a medium impact.

While many believe that technology will make their job quicker and somewhat easier, there’s differing views about what this will mean for their businesses. While some brokers believe that technology will help them to grow their businesses, others recognise that more customers are likely to apply to lenders directly, with many lenders particularly keen to encourage more execution-only business.

Brokers who anticipate a high or very high impact commented on significant automation and a greater reliance on automated desktop valuations and e-signatures in particular. This group of brokers also expect more system integrations and the ability to apply directly to more lenders via sourcing systems which will reduce the need to rekey applications. Brokers also expect more standardisation around underwriting requirements. One broker commented that “open banking will have massive effects on the market. Fraud will be much more difficult, but lenders who don't currently ask for bank statements may not like what they see.”

Brokers who expect no or low impact believe that independent face-to-face advice will remain central to the mortgage application process, particularly for complex cases. “COVID-19 means that not much is happening” was another common view expressed by this group. Appointed representatives proved to be more cautious about the impact of technology, with just 31% expecting to see a high or very high impact on their business over the next 24 months.

Knowledge Bank, a criteria sourcing tool and Air Sourcing, a product sourcing tool focused on equity release and later life lending, received the highest overall satisfaction ratings from brokers, and both emerge as best in class software solutions.

While many brokers view existing technology solutions as useful starting points, they frequently commented on a lack of accuracy and completeness for product and criteria sourcing tools in particular. CRM solutions received very mixed feedback around ease of use and functionality, while accuracy is the key pain point for affordability solutions. The overall satisfaction across all broker technology solutions profiled stands at 81.4%, while average satisfaction with lenders is 82.7%.

As part of the research, brokers were also asked to share what they like and what could be better about the mortgage lenders they place cases with, with some twenty themes covered, from underwriting to speed, criteria and customer service.

The fourth edition of the Mortgage Lender Benchmark, which is a bi-annual independent research study that helps lenders to understand what brokers really think about them and how they compare with other lenders, includes league table data and in depth SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and heatmaps for 42 individual lenders, providing unique insight across banks, building societies, specialist and lifetime lenders.

The summary report can be found here.