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Best Mortgage Innovations in Australia | 5-Star Mortgage Innovators

Publication Date: Tuesday, 30 April 2024
This article originally appeared in Australian Broker.

At the leading edge

Homeowners are in the fortunate position of being able to take advantage of the brightest minds in the industry. 

The Finance Brokers Association of Australasia (FBAA) managing director Peter White, AM, says, “We’re dealing with a fairly traditional product, but the innovation comes from the manner in which they approach the marketplace and what they can do to tackle niche markets or opportunities in markets that others are not.” 

White highlights key initiatives that a 5-Star Mortgage Innovator should display. 

He says, “The greatest is how they promote themselves and if they can find an innovative way to market. They need to embrace technology in a real totality sense, and it’s not just about having a website; it’s about how you communicate with clients and how easy you make it.” 

Australian Broker recognises the best mortgage companies driving the sector forward with their innovations. They are lauded for their creativity, foresight and dedication to introducing new products, enabling new possibilities to be achieved. 

Masters of their own destiny

An indicator of how successful Infinity’s innovations are is that at its last Christmas party, of the 800 clients invited, 400 were in the top 1.83% of national wealth, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Jurisic says, “That gives an indication of our clientele and what we do for our clients in terms of empowering them on their wealth creation journey and debt minimisation.”

The foundation on which Infinity’s success is based is their innovative thinking, which led to the creation of their custom software platform. It’s a client portal that integrates with their internal platform, allowing individuals to manage:

  • assets and liabilities
  • bank accounts
  • review goal performance
  • book events
  • access learning material
  • communicate with staff
  • receive monthly automated reporting

“Agility is everything, and removing constraints is especially important if you’re constrained by third-party tech providers; they have their own SLA. We want to remove that struggle,” says Jurisic. “We want to be masters of our own destiny.”

Additionally, having a custom platform is also a valuable tool for staff, resulting in 85% of the time saved generating reports that are shared with clients.

Jurisic says, “It increases responsiveness, efficiency and proactiveness. It also allows us to identify opportunities. Whether it be a refinance, a cash out or the ability to purchase more properties, this portal allows us to pull all that data and really gives us triggers for our guys to talk to a client to say, ‘You’ve got a certain amount of equity in your home; have you thought about buying an investment property? Or have you thought about refinancing to a lower rate?’”

Other areas Infinity has plans to extend its technology into:

  • AI chatbots
  • phone technology
  • webinar technology

Jurisic says, “We’re not just a mortgage broking company; we do property, we do events and we do a number of different things. It’s all finance, and we provide a holistic solution to our clients. AI is playing a huge part in a lot of that; it’s early days, but we are looking to innovate to get ahead of the curve in the finance industry.”

Brighten Home Loans

The firm has supercharged its innovation over the past three years by recruiting director and COO Craig Thompson, who now leads a team of 11.

He explains the construction of the tech infrastructure from the ground up in stages:

  • CRM: “It gives our BDMs the tools to manage over 4,000 brokers dealing with issues such as certification or accreditation. It was one of the grounding and foundational pieces that we needed to do.”
  • Polaris origination system: “We have the ability to support a range of mortgage products and mortgage solutions for our brokers, and we have full control over the IP and the actual roadmap into the future. We’ve built this end-to-end digital platform to ultimately change the customer experience, and we see our customers as our brokers and borrowers.”

The firm’s pace of innovation is not slowing, as it has just released a new broker portal featuring a dashboard with all the information the broker needs to perform a borrower health check.

Thompson encapsulates what all the systems and tech are trying to achieve, underlined by Brighten’s promise to provide SLA responses within 48 hours.

He says, “Ultimately, it’s what the broker wants. They want a consistent and enjoyable experience, which is what we’re aiming to deliver; we want to ensure that no relationships are enriched, that we ultimately get them the answer they need, and as soon as possible.”

Further solutions Brighten utilise are systems to:

  • check for credit
  • run identity checks
  • detect fraud

“We have feedback loops that allow us to, instead of having to contact the broker directly or the broker having to contact us wondering where we are, we’re making it more visible,” Thompson says. “The broker has the tools to know exactly where they are – something like Uber Eats, where you know where your pizza is.” 

“There are a lot of better-funded players out there, but pound for pound, Brighten is really quite an impressive organisation. Our technology enriches both the broker and customer experience’”
Craig Thompson

Brighten Home Loans

Constantly refining

In the past 12 months, Brighten has launched three new products.

Thompson says, “We send surveys, ask questions and we listen to that. Last year was a story of bringing a comprehensive suite of lending products designed to not only support PAYG customers but also the self-employed and expats. What we are doing is actually offering products that are very popular but aren’t very common.”

  • Resident Construction Loan: Catering to Full Doc Prime, Alt Doc Prime and Expat borrowers, this product features a unique, seamless post-construction conversion process. After construction completion, the loan automatically converts to a standard Full Doc Prime, Alt Doc Prime or Expat loan, ensuring customers benefit from more competitive rates without needing additional paperwork, typically within 9-12 months.
  • Non-Resident Construction Loan: Echoing the resident construction loan’s innovative approach, it was created for non-resident customers with foreign income. It addresses the unique challenges faced by this demographic, offering tailored solutions.
  • Bridging Loan: Specifically designed to alleviate the stress and uncertainty often associated with buying and selling properties simultaneously.

A new loan servicing solution has recently been brought online. This is another part of the efficiency that Brighten’s innovations are delivering.

Thompson says, “It’s effectively like a core banking solution for our borrowers. They can log on, look at their mortgage, do a redraw if necessary and interact with our customer service team, which is a new feature. They’re able to do a bit more self-service than our previous solution could.”

The ingenuity around the firm’s technology and how it has been constructed to enable Brighton to flourish, as Thompson explains.

“Our platform is highly composable, which means it’s like a bunch of Lego pieces that all connect to each other in the most efficient way,” he says. “It’s highly scalable, very secure and cloud based. Plus, it allows us to pull information from anywhere.”