Mortgage broker goes paperless – almost

Technology does have its advantages

Technology is allowing mortgage broker the Mortgage Warehouse to operate an almost paperless office.

The company is the only mortgage broker in New Zealand offering a full online service for mortgage applications, says the company's director, Warwick Hayes.

Hayes set up the business in 1999, after 20 years in the banking and financial services industries in New Zealand and the UK.

The business has offered basic online services from day one, but has developed the full-blown product over the past two years, moving to become entirely online. “We spent the time testing the processes to validate the business model,” says Hayes.

“The advantage for customers is mainly time. They can make their application in their own time without having to make an appointment, and the system is non-threatening.

“It’s about getting information in and presenting it in the correct format to one or [to] many lenders.”

Most banks don’t provide a full online service — just basic information on a website. Instead, they have mobile managers with whom customers have to make an appointment.

“We’re the only one who can do it from start to finish online,” says Hayes. “We have a worldwide list of clients, and we don’t need to meet them.”

That said, applicants have to provide supporting documentation, such as pay slips, for example. These are often faxed to the Mortgage Warehouse — as are most communications from the banks. But the Warehouse's technology allows it to receive these faxes in PDF format, and any paper-based information that is mailed-in is scanned straight into the company's system.

Hayes says the system is fully encrypted and that, so far, the Mortgage Warehouse has not received any bogus applications.

“Our cost savings are in time and by having access to all of New Zealand without having to open an office in other cities." The Mortgage Warehouse is based in Wellington.

Mortgage broking began in late in the 1980s in New Zealand. It really took off in the mid-90s and now accounts for up to 30% of all mortgage originations.

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