Automation trends in mortgage: Why do brokers need to go along with them?

Although artificial intelligence (AI) can’t fully understand the way humans think and feel yet, it’s “very, very good at automating repetitive work” — and that makes the mortgage industry ripe for automation, according to business futurist, speaker and author of ‘Disruption by Design: Leading the change in a fast-changing world’, Gihan Perera.

He added that automation is happening already, and anyone who’s not integrating it in their business now is already falling behind. The MIT Sloan Management Review survey revealed that 85% of executives said AI will help them gain and sustain competitive advantage.

For Perera, these are some of the automation trends currently shaping the mortgage broking industry: 

Marketing automation
As the digital space has become more and more fragmented, one can no longer succeed online with just an email newsletter. Marketing automation software can lighten the burden of managing one’s online profile across multiple channels by automating tasks such as scheduling posts, monitoring campaigns and managing lead generation funnels.  

Chatbots
With the availability of many off-the-shelf chatbot software requiring only a low monthly fee, one can easily access a high-quality AI for his or her business. Customer service chatbots on websites can field queries, answer common questions and set appointments.

Fintech startup Mojo Mortgages uses AI chatbots to help Facebook users with their mortgage broking needs.

Document processing
“Going paperless (or, at least as paperless as you can) makes sense not just for the environment, but for efficient document processing. But if you don’t have the right tool set to manage electronic documents, even simple tasks like scanning, signing, and collating documents can waste time,” Perera said.

He added that savvy businesses automate those processes “using smart tools for OCR (converting scanned documents to text), electronic signatures, splitting multiple documents into parts, automatic filing and indexing for easy retrieval”.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
An RPA is a game-changer for anyone who spends a large part of his or her workday filling in forms, reviewing documents and checking websites. It automates repetitive processes, doing the same things only at lightning speed and with less mistakes for better risk control.

According to Perera, KPMG predicts “RPA can cut costs for financial services firms by up to 75%, so it’s definitely worth a closer look!”

Machine learning
Machine learning is a subset of AI that gathers information to find patterns and predict future behaviours. Examples of this is Gmail auto-completing full sentences as the user types and Facebook serving up targeted ads.

“It’s how we all learned as babies, except babies aren’t let loose to find patterns in millions of mortgage applications. Lenders are already using machine learning to assess applications, optimise workflows when dealing with brokers, to manage risk and operate more efficiently,” Perera said.

Administrative tasks
By improving efficiency of administrative tasks, automation frees up valuable time for more sophisticated and value-generating work. Voice recognition software, for instance, can record meetings, transcribe them instantly and file them for easy retrieval.

“Make no mistake - every part of the financial services industry is going through massive change with automation and AI, and the mortgage broking sector is no exception,” Perera said.

“Take the time now to investigate and integrate some of these ideas into your own business, so you can stay ahead of the game and future-proof your role.”