Brokers debate the influence of tech on the mortgage industry

Brokers debate the influence of tech on the mortgage industry

Brokers debate the influence of tech on the mortgage industry There’s no denying technology has had a major impact on the mortgage industry, but has it been a blessing or a curse?

That depends who you ask.

“It’s a good thing. It gives us access to send and receive info faster,” Adela Clement-Allen, broker/owner of Dominion Lending Centres Regional Mortgage Group, said during the broker panel at the recent MPC conference in Vancouver. “You have to be fast, so I think it’s great.”

The panel discussed the impact of technology on the channel and were asked outright whether it has helped or hurt business.

It featured four veterans, each offering a unique opinion.

For his part, Rob McLister, owner of RateSpy – a mortgage comparison site – sung the praises of tech in the industry.

“Nothing has saved consumers more money in the mortgage market than technology,” he told the audience, suggesting mortgage sites such as his own have done for mortgage consumers what Expedia has done for travellers – given them easy access to the lowest possible prices.

“If you want to keep viable in this game long-term you have to serve people the way they want to be served and more and more people want to be served quick and efficiently.”

One panelist was quick to disagree.

“People have access to the information, but they don’t understand it,” Garth Ellis, a broker with Verico Ellis Mortgages Canada, said. “They don’t understand the new rules that came out, they don’t understand the fine print. If I had a wish, I wish our industry would educate the public that the public is not educated on mortgages.”

Regardless of your opinion, though, to ignore tech’s impact would be foolish, according to Sarah Albert, a broker with Mortgage.

It’s a sentiment echoed by McLister, who made a sobering – if not controversial – prediction.

“Half the brokers in this room won’t be in the business in five years, that’s my guess,” he said, citing the influence of mortgage rate sites and the money they spend to reach homebuyers.
  • Omer Quenneville 2016-12-14 9:26:50 AM
    I don't know how technology can save a client money. I can see it making things more efficient for the lenders but that is about it. Caution should be used by the public when using these sites and should contact a mortgage broker direct. Take a look at the mortgages TD and Scotia now offer, collateral charges. The majority of buyers do not benefit from these types of mortgages and if you don't click on the right button than it will be considered your fault for not reading the fine print. Like a realtor, their is no substitute for face to face discussions.
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  • jon 2016-12-14 10:16:53 AM
    Like it or not, technology will make most brokers irrelevant in a few years. Those who don't adapt will need to find another career. If robo advisers are changing investments, why would mortgage brokers be immune to changes coming. Burying your head in the sand and stating " Banks bad, brokers good" isn't a long term advantage. BTW Omer, it always makes me laugh when brokers slam TD & Scotia & they're still some of the biggest lenders in the broker market, total hypocrisy.
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