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 PropertyGuys.com 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.