For Brokers, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on business, and the “new normal” for mortgage professionals is evolving every day. As a lead up to Broker Connect, MPA’s virtual forum dedicated to the mortgage industry and creating digital connections, we look at the issues that lenders, aggregators, and brokers around Australasia are focusing on, asking questions about, and overcoming to help clients through this difficult time.
With face-to-face meetings currently out of the question due to the Coronavirus, brokers across the country have been quick to embrace video conferencing as the next best thing.
According to Dylan Beer of The Wealth Connection in Austinmer, south of Sydney, this has come with great benefits for both the company and its clients.
MPA spoke with the 2020 Young Gun about how COVID-19 has enabled he and his colleagues to embrace video call technology.
Social restrictions helped grow business strategy
For The Wealth Connection, face-to-face meetings have always been a vital part in building rapport with clients, says Beer.
“We’ve always really valued the face-to-face meeting.”
“It’s critical for us in building rapport and trust – and we understand when you’re taking advice from someone about major financial decisions the clients want to be able to shake your hand and look you in the eye.”
When strict social restrictions were rolled out across the country, however, the brokers knew they had to adapt to some pretty major changes.
“The Wealth Connection made a decision early on that we wouldn’t do face-to-face meetings until things went back to normal. The video calls are the closest we can get to that experience and are critical in building trust and rapport with new clients,” Beer says.
“The technology is enabling us to provide a service for those clients who have an immediate need and don’t want to wait for an extended period before they can use the service.
“Everyone’s circumstances are different, and for some, now might be the perfect time to purchase a house or to take advantage of the various refinancing offers available.”
Video calls after the Coronavirus
Beer says prior to this, the company hadn’t used this technology as a regular part of its systems and processes. They soon found it to be quite effective for some clients and are now looking at ways to integrate it into the business in a post-COVID-19 environment.
“Face to face meetings are always going to be our preference for the initial meeting with a new client but following that, there is scope to utilise this technology for subsequent meetings or annual reviews,” he says.
“It also gives our clients some more flexibility – the vast majority of our meetings are in our offices so some clients may prefer this option as they won’t need to travel, organise time off work or line up a baby sitter to come and see us.”
He adds that video conferencing is particularly helpful to clients who don’t live locally and that it goes a long way in adding value to each client interaction.
“We’ve found that by booking in a time for a video call rather than just a phone call, the clients are more likely to be prepared and fully engaged which leads to a more positive experience.”
Adapting to tech change in the community
While some clients may not be experienced in using the technology, Beer says many people in the community have been quick to pick it up for their own work or schooling arrangements.
“It’s common for one of the kids or the dog to wander in to see what is happening but that’s good fun.”
He says The Wealth Connection will never remove face-to-face meetings from its strategy because they are critical in building solid relationships with clients. However, now that they have used video call technology, they believe it could be a useful tool going forward.
“The key is knowing that it’s a tool we have and for the right clients in the right circumstances, it can be a really positive medium that enables us to provide a premium service to our clients.”
“If there’s any good to come out of it (COVID-19), it will be that we are more open to using these sorts of technologies when the time is right.”
Join MPA and Key Media for Broker Connect – a virtual forum dedicated to the mortgage industry – as we look at the current issues and network with each other