At one stage, says Theo Chambers, Shore Financial was on the road to develop its own proprietary CRM system.
But after realising the sheer size of the resources that aggregators and larger organisations were investing in their platforms, they made the decision not to go ahead with it.
MPA spoke with the CEO of Shore Financial about what brokers can do to navigate a future driven by technology in order to build and maintain successful businesses.
Embracing new technology
The finance industry has a digital future, says Chambers.
“I think the industry is going to become a lot more technologically driven.”
“We’ll probably be going down a similar path to how loans are funded in the US with online credit assessment systems approving loans rather than individuals.”
While there will always be a need for brokers and the human side of interaction, Chambers says businesses will need to implement and embrace new technologies in order to be successful – particularly given the fact that the younger generation prefer to do businesses in the most convenient and effortless way possible.
“We ourselves have already launched an intelligent credit system which issues formal approvals within seven minutes using an algorithmic based risk assessment for approving loans.”
“This integrates online with our clients banking and uses digital valuations for accepting the security without needing a valuer to inspect the property.”
He adds that most brokerages should now be using a complex CRM that takes clients “through a story telling journey with a drip marketing system and automated updates.”
Navigating a new world of broking
In order to stay ahead of the game, it is essential for brokers to reassess their businesses every year with the aim of improving processes and outcomes.
“Even the traditional means of real estate agent referral-based type business models might be up for disruption if there is a change in how real estate agents transact and do business – which may also happen, just like in the US and UK.”
He adds that smaller businesses across the economy are feeling the pressure of larger corporates taking greater market share; the broking industry being no exception.
“Technology will give corporations a strategic advantage over small businesses as they will spend a lot more money on developing this tech compared to a small business.”
“Luckily our industry offers a lot of shared resources with organisations that offer either application platforms, CRM systems or outsourcing used across the entire industry, allowing significant investment to be made into these offerings.”
Despite this, there is still a risk of disruption and change that broker businesses need to take into account.
Preparing for BID and open banking
Ahead of the implementation of BID and open banking, Chambers says brokers should look at the range of offerings in the industry that are focused on improving processes. These include CRMs, lead generation platforms and outsourcing.
“It can take 12 months to properly implement new systems and processes which get endorsed by all your brokers and staff.”
Shore Financial is still finessing its use of a CRM they launched over three years ago.
“We did at one stage start developing our own proprietary CRM system but soon realised it would never keep up with what the systems used across the industry could offer – especially given the resources aggregators and other organisations used in developing these tools.”
He says despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, brokers should appreciate their industry now more than ever before.
“We don’t know what surprises are around the corner so business owners should use the current low rates to deleverage themselves, pay down debt and have less risk in both their business and personal financial arrangements whilst also harnessing as much opportunity as possible.”