Retaining clients during the refinance boom

2023 is set to be another bumper year for refinancing, with UK Finance reporting that 1.8 million fixed-rate mortgage deals will come to an end this year.

With the cost-of-living still high, and the Bank of England recently announcing an interest rate increase to 5%, customers are especially keen to shop around for the most affordable deal.

Though we have seen some lenders withdraw products over recent weeks, availability remains in a much better place than in October 2022 following the chaos of the mini-Budget.

The mortgage market is keeping busy with many borrowers looking to remortgage in the coming months, and when consumers have thousands of choices at their fingertips, ensuring their satisfaction and retaining their business will need additional resource and forethought.

That’s where mortgage technology comes in. Digital tools can help users to retain customers with automated remortgage contact and case creation, as well as track remortgage opportunities across a client’s entire portfolio.

How does a tech-led mortgage journey support remortgaging?

Digital processes have very much become the norm for modern society, especially since the pandemic. This includes everything from buying cars to conveyancing, and increasingly mortgage applications.

Borrowers are now expecting a digital-led homebuying journey and have the power to take their business elsewhere if firms cannot offer it. Importantly, advisers are recognising this, with our survey last year confirming that 61% agree technology is ‘key’ to the future of the industry.

The benefits are clear to see. Advisers already know just how important retention is – yet fewer than 40% of intermediated mortgages are actually retained by the same intermediary. Integrating technology can help to grow this figure by streamlining the remortgaging process.

For example, it can automate client contact, letting customers know months in advance that their mortgage is up for renewal and increasing the chances of them reaching back out to an adviser to understand what new deals are available on the market.

At Smartr365, by including additional information such as reports from Hometrack, we can further prompt clients to take action – after all, a change in the value of their property can act as a natural ‘trigger’ for the remortgage discussion.

Where clients are already set up ‘digitally’, including with a verified identity, all the key information advisers need to submit an application is also easily accessible, reducing the work for both parties. In fact, API integrations, such as our recent integration with Nationwide, allow advisers to submit a pre-existing customer’s DIP application at the touch of a button.

Over the long term, advisers will be prioritising origination and advice, and it is technology that will also enable them to focus on these critical areas of their work by taking on and automating the tedious administrative tasks, such as paperwork, that currently take up so much of their time.

With Smartr365, advisers can dramatically reduce their paper stacks by consolidating applications into an online platform. Advisers are also able to source and track leads automatically through the HomeBuyer app.

New developments

As tech tools develop, advisers now also have the ability to retain customers with automated remortgage contact and case creation, and track remortgage opportunities across a client’s entire portfolio.

This means they can automatically detect and kickstart the remortgage journey, which takes the pressure off clients by keeping them aware of remortgaging opportunities in advance.

Smartr365 does this by looking at the data fields from a user’s completed mortgages and setting up a series of campaigns.

We welcome all innovation within the mortgage industry, as it ultimately supports the transition towards a standardised, frictionless process when buying and remortgaging.

However, while these advanced tools are instrumental to client retention, relationships will continue to be driven by advisers themselves. It’s important to remember the value of simply connecting with customers directly, whether that’s via WhatsApp, email or SmartrTalk.

Technology is crucial to improving the efficiency and retention rate of mortgage cases because it saves time and improves the chances of a customer returning to advisers when it comes to remortgaging.

Customers have come to expect a digital-led journey across industries, including the mortgage sector. Now is the time to deliver on this with a streamlined mortgage journey.

Conor Murphy is CEO and founder of Smartr365