Face-to-face beats the web, say brokers

RBS research suggests that most intermediaries do not see the internet posing a threat to their businesses over the next five years.

In a poll taken at the most recent RBS Intermediary Roadshow held in Manchester last week, 15% of brokers thought that there was no threat at all because people prefer to arrange their mortgages face-to-face.

60% said that they felt that despite the increased competition coming from online sources, there will still be room for mortgage advisers. Only 6% felt the internet was going to be a big threat to their businesses. Around 1 in 5 (18%) said that they would embrace the web and ensure that their online presence takes advantage of the benefits the internet offers.

Chris Pearson, drector of Intermediary Mortgages, Royal Bank of Scotland commented: “It’s good to see that mortgage intermediaries remain confident that their specific offer of expert face-to-face mortgage advice will still appeal to consumers. The internet will undoubtedly play a significant role in the way people research mortgages but with it being such a fast-moving and sometimes complex marketplace, sound advice is something people should heed.

“Having said that, our research does indicate that many advisers have recognised that having a visible and informative online presence can have a really positive effect in their bid to attract new clients. Investment in search engine optimisation, online directories and web content can make a real difference to intermediary firms’ digital profiles.”

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