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I’m not even on the property ladder yet, I’ve been extremely close and had a pretty traumatic and stressful time with it all, so took a step back while mortgage interest rates were playing silly buggers. I kid you not my first mortgage offer was 2.09% and we’re now looking at 5/6% still (I could rant about this all day) let’s pray these come back down soon. Anyway, I’m here to discuss the evolution of how we make our decisions when it comes to getting a mortgage from trusting individuals to data-driven decisions and having more confidence in our decisions.

The journey of purchasing a property is never easy or plain sailing, mortgages have been the golden thread that has seen a wild transformation over the years. From the days of one-on-one advisor consultations to the modern era of comparison websites embracing data analytics, the mortgage scene has shifted from trust-based decisions to data-driven choices. So, with me plucking up the courage to start my journey all over again, I wanted to take this opportunity to explore the evolution to understand how data literacy has empowered the modern homebuyer.

Way back when people got about by horse and carriage, (I’m joking) but before the internet and technology people solely had to rely on trusting one person with advice. There was a time when buying a home began with visiting the bank, sitting across the table from a mortgage advisor, and trusting their guidance implicitly. The advisor, with their vast experience, became the primary gatekeeper of information, offering interest rates, mortgage types, and payment structures based on a blend of objective analysis and subjective judgment.

Fast forward to today, and the information landscape has experienced a shift, hello internet! With an array of digital platforms and easy access to vast amounts of information, consumers have evolved into being data literate. The average individual can now dissect complex datasets, understand market trends, and make informed decisions. The term ‘data-driven’ isn’t just a corporate buzzword anymore; it’s a way of life.

And now we have crown jewels in this era of data-driven decisions, the forever growing number of comparison sites, which I swear my Dad stalks them all when it comes to mortgages! These platforms aggregate mortgage offerings from multiple lenders, presenting them in an easy-to-understand format. Consumers can filter their preferences, compare interest rates, assess loan durations, and gauge customer reviews, all at the click of a button. It’s like having a virtual advisor who presents objective data without any bias.

In an article by quote, “online mortgage brokers are sometimes referred to as robo advisors (although technically speaking, the term also encompasses other forms of online financial advice). Some of these services claim that you can find and apply for a mortgage in just 15 minutes, which is potentially much faster than speaking to a broker or carrying out extensive mortgage searches yourself.”

Personally, for me, this terrifies me. Getting a mortgage is such a big thing in my eyes, and though yes the data is all there and it will factor in everything you likely discuss with a mortgage advisor, I just don’t think it’s something I’d feel comfortable with. Talking to other people however, they have stated they’d be fine with it, so I think it’s all down to people’s confidence and sometimes the bank they’d be getting a mortgage with, how would you feel about not working with a mortgage advisor at all?

So, with this newfound access to data, consumers no longer solely rely on the word of a mortgage advisor. Though of course, a mortgage advisor comes armed with their research, questions, and insights. This shift doesn’t undermine the importance of an advisor but enhances the quality of the discussion. An informed consumer can have a more meaningful conversation with their advisor, leading to better decision-making. While data-driven decisions in mortgages have brought immense benefits, they also come with their set of challenges. Are we becoming over-reliant on digital data without understanding the nuances that can lead to pitfalls? For instance, while an interest rate might look attractive on paper, understanding the associated terms and conditions requires a deeper dive. Thus, blending data with expert advice can often yield the best results.

All in all, the transformation in the mortgage industry, driven by data literacy and technology, I believe symbolises a broader shift in society – one that values empowerment, transparency, and informed decision-making. While trust remains an essential component in financial matters, it now coexists with data-driven insights, leading to a more holistic and balanced approach to home buying. As the realms of technology and finance continue to converge, one can only anticipate further innovations that will make the mortgage journey even more seamless and consumer-centric.

It’s amazing really, I feel very lucky to be able to have a mixture of the two, I have a mortgage advisor, an ocean’s worth of comparison sites full of data and my Dad!

About the Author

Emily Firbank

Internal Talent Lead

Emily is a talented and dedicated internal talent lead here at Orbition. With a passion for identifying top talent, she has become a valuable asset to both to us internally, but also to our clients and candidates in the industry.

Emily is an expert in building strong relationships with potential talent solution experts and partners. She has a proven track record of successfully hiring top performers for a range of positions. Read more.

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