Is AI and the use of Chatbots taking over from high-street mortgage brokers?

You only have to look around you when you’re crossing the road, sipping on a cup of coffee in a cafe or taking a bus or a train to see that we spend more and more time online. Many of us are glued to our smartphones, and we’re increasingly reliant on the web. The days of using a phonebook and calling to make an appointment are long gone. Nowadays, we can do everything from booking a table and checking our bank balance to planning a holiday in a matter of seconds simply by tapping a couple of buttons. We all know that the Internet gives us the opportunity to do things rapidly with minimal effort, but did you know that you now can apply for a mortgage online? With the help of AI and interactive Chatbots, you can find a mortgage, fire off an application and get a decision without getting up off the sofa.


Are AI and Chatbots taking over mortgage broking?

If you’ve ever bought a house or a flat before, you may be familiar with the process of going to a mortgage broker, sitting down and chatting about your requirements, your household earnings, and the value of a home you want to buy. Today, there’s a range of options for people who want to buy a property, and you don’t have to go through face to face meetings or jump from one bank to the next to see who can give you the best deal.

Technology is omnipresent, and with sites like Habito and Trussle, it’s now possible for prospective buyers to complete the entire process of applying for a mortgage online without speaking to a real person. These websites use innovative AI and online interaction with Chatbots to source mortgages based on your individual needs and provide you with tailored advice.

Despite the growth of online brokers, mortgage brokers retain an importance presence on the high street. Although the next generation of buyers and those looking to secure their first home now have grown up with the Internet, many people do still prefer to talk to a human.

Taking out a mortgage is a big decision, and even those who compare mortgages online may want to double check that they’re making the right decision by discussing the options with a human being, rather than a Chatbot.


Chabot’s versus traditional mortgage brokers

As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to using both online services and traditional mortgage brokers. Online mortgage comparison sites like Lending Expert claim to eliminate the stress of applying for a mortgage, they offer a simple, hassle-free service, they don’t charge fees, and as a client, you have access to support 24 hours a day. Chatbots are also able to collate data much faster than a human can, and they can browse more products from more providers. They also offer unbiased advice. On the surface, this looks brilliant, especially in an age when we’re conditioned to look for a fast, efficient way of doing things. However, there are some people who will always prefer to sit down with an experienced mortgage broker. A traditional broker can provide a personalised service, which is not possible with Chatbots, and you can also ask questions and receive answers that are relevant to you. Traditional brokers charge fees, but they do complete the legwork for you.

Online mortgage brokers are attracting more interest and gathering pace, especially within the millennial market, but not every buyer will be comfortable with speaking to a Chatbot when making a decision that is as significant and life-changing as buying a house. A Chatbot can work wonders in a matter of seconds, but for some, it’s impossible to replace or beat human interaction.

If you’re looking for a mortgage, it’s very common to research online, and to have a look at what kind of offers are out there, but would you be comfortable applying for a mortgage and taking that all-important first step to buying a new home without speaking to a real person?

AI and Chatbots are becoming more commonplace, and buyers have the choice to stick with tradition, embrace innovative, new concepts or combine elements of both. If you’re thinking of buying a house or a flat, it’s always a good idea to explore your options in full and to shop around to make sure you get the best mortgage deal out there. There’s no harm in trying new things, but ultimately, the decision whether to use an online service or a traditional broker lies with you.

Amy Richards
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