property ai

Five client process upgrades for mortgage and protection advisers going into 2024

As client expectations and regulatory demands continue to evolve, integrating technology into your client interactions is increasingly important.

In this article I discuss five key areas where digital tools can enhance your client process as we head into 2024.

These improvements are designed to be incremental, fitting around your existing way of working rather than completely overhauling it.

The benefits of improving your client process are wide-ranging, from improving client satisfaction, to bolstering compliance with directives, such as Consumer Duty, and saving you time collecting necessary documents and information from clients.

1.            Digital and Collaborative Fact-finding

Traditional Approach

Advisers have traditionally relied on face-to-face meetings or phone calls to gather essential client information.

This approach has evolved to encompass sending out word document or PDF fact finds to clients for completion.

Several challenges plague this approach:

•             Customers are too busy to arrange calls or meetings during the work week

•             Where documents are sent out, clients often overlook certain sections or questions as these documents lack validation checks.

•             The intimidating task of filling out lengthy documents deter many, particularly as these documents are not mobile-friendly.

•             Phone calls or face-to-face meetings lack sufficient evidence for regulatory compliance.

Modern Solution

Digital fact-find software modernises the information collection process, and can be used as a standalone questionnaire for clients to complete or as a supplement to phone or face-to-face meetings.

Some advantages include:

•             Convenient, any-time data input or review for clients.

•             Mobile-friendly interfaces.

•             Easy export functionality for compliance and documentation.

•             Evidence of fact-find process for the purpose of Consumer Duty.

2.            Efficient and Compliant Document Sharing

Traditional Approach

Clients historically provided physical copies of required documents during face-to-face meetings or emailed their documents to their mortgage and protection adviser.

However, sharing sensitive documents through email presents several issues:

•             Inability to monitor upload progress when split across multiple emails.

•             Challenges in document organisation.

•             Potential GDPR violations where sensitive documents are not deleted appropriately from inboxes after the transaction completes.

Modern Solution

Dedicated client portals or specialised third-party software (like Dropbox) ensure documents are exchanged between client and adviser securely and efficiently. Benefits include:

•             Tracking of document uploads.

•             Instant organisation of client files.

•             Appropriate GDPR treatment after the transaction completes.

3.            Streamlining Approvals with E-Signatures

Traditional Approach

Brokers send documents, such as terms of business or privacy policies, to clients via email, requiring them to print, sign, scan, and return them.

This method often leads to significant delays and inconvenience, especially if clients lack immediate access to printers.

For Consumer Duty purposes, brokers may require other documents to be signed, such as the fact find or suitability letter, to evidence client understanding.

With the traditional approach this increases the burden on customers.

Modern Solution

Mortgage and protection client portals or specialised third-party software (like DocuSign) have simplified this process.

Clients can now compliantly e-sign documents from any location, on any device, without the fuss of printing or scanning.

4.            Automated Reminders

Traditional Approach

Nobody is fond of paperwork, and advisers usually need to follow-up with clients via calls or emails to ensure clients complete necessary admin.

This method isn’t only time-consuming for advisers but can also strain the adviser-client relationship if the client feels like they’re being continuously chased.

Modern Solution

Brokers can utilise automated reminder software which tracks which tasks have been completed by clients, and which are still outstanding.

This technology ensures clients receive timely prompts to finish necessary tasks, without feeling harassed, significantly reducing the need for brokers to manually follow up.

5.            Comprehensive Partnership Arrangements

Traditional Approach

Brokers often find it time-consuming to set up and maintain a broad array of partnerships, from conveyancing to other services like removals or home insurance.

Consequently, many clients don’t receive introductions to these additional services, resulting in a fragmented experience.

In addition, inserting these conversations into the advice process can often feel misplaced, particularly where clients may not have an identified need for a specific service.

Modern Solution

By implementing the above changes, such as digital fact-finding and automated reminders, mortgage and protection advisors can better identify which services may be of interest to clients, and use referral links to effortlessly introduce their clients to these service providers.

Jack Rogers is director at Keychain