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De Hypotheker
World famous in the Netherlands, De Hypotheker
World famous in the Netherlands, De Hypotheker
Just think, have you ever calculated how much mortgage you can get through the website of De Hypotheker? Perhaps you have even visited an advisor for a chat? You are not the only one. Some 7 million people visit the website of De Hypotheker every year. Subconsciously, all these visitors are guided through their own customer journey. From an online calculation to a "my environment", and from there to a physical or digital appointment with an advisor in the area. The ultimate goal? Answering all mortgage-related questions and ensuring that the process runs as smoothly as possible for the customer.

Today Jasper Cuijten, Director Business Development, talks about the customer journey and the future of De Hypotheker. We can already reveal: this does not only include taking out a mortgage! In this article, Cuijten tells about his dream: a 'De Hypotheker Platform' and how this dream will become reality through the use of IT and the right mindset.
In short:
1. A look behind the scenes at De Hypotheker
In-the-box innovation & out-the-box innovation
2. What are the developments and challenges in the mortgage world?
Tip of the hat: digitisation and privacy
3. Jasper Cuijten's ultimate dream
Transformation to 'De Hypotheker Platform'.
1. A look behind the scenes at De Hypotheker
De Hypotheker has been around longer than the average Finapser. For over 36 years, they have been the market leader in independent mortgage advice. In 30 years, the world has changed completely. Funnily enough though, the mortgage world has not changed as much. Processes are still mostly the same as before, with the big difference that they now partly take place online. A digitalisation process has taken place in which the process has been automated. The focus is on optimising the traditional mortgage process through the use of IT.

In-the-box innovation
Cuijten calls this digitisation 'in-the-box innovation'. "The customer journey is central. In the entire spectrum of the customer journey, from orientation to mediation, you see a digitisation battle. You see, for example, that lenders come closer to the consumer through online channels and at the same time you see a decrease in the number of physical branches at banks. Within the digitisation, innovations such as the implementation of source disclosure, the improvement of management information or the linking of various customer flows are emerging."
"For example, you see lenders getting closer to consumers through online channels and at the same time you see a decrease in the number of physical branches."
Optimisation of source access
An example of an in-the-box innovation is the further implementation of source disclosure. This means that data is retrieved from various sources and automatically entered into the systems. Cuijten sees the advantages of this: "We are going to realise benefits for the advisers and for the end customer. One agreement from the customer and you have all the data available for virtually the entire mortgage application process." This will speed up the process and reduce the risk of errors.

Clean data
Data is constantly being collected in the mortgage process. The customer leaves behind data and the mortgage adviser adds data to an advice for example. For the formula of De Hypotheker, it is important that the collection of data takes place on the basis of uniform processes. In this way, you can store the data in a good way and use it to perform valuable actions for the consumer. By organising this properly at the front end, the quality and usability of the data improves and we are better able to work in a data-driven way. We therefore actively manage data quality. In addition, we facilitate and support where possible to get and keep this in order. To some extent this can be systematically enforced and framed, but a significant part also has to do with behaviour. Change, optimisation and innovation demand something of people. By means of training, clear instructions and taking people along in the process, we try to guarantee this, so that we can realise our data ambitions.

Improving management information
Until recently, De Hypotheker used bulky reports. These have now been transformed into up-to-date and relevant near-real-time insights. The introduction of dashboard functionality makes it possible for franchisees to find out at their own discretion and at any time how their branch is performing. With this information, they can quickly make adjustments where necessary.

Data innovation
The next step for De Hypotheker in the area of data is to work on data innovation. By this we mean the processing of data into relevant information and insights. We do not only look back, but we also want to use our data to look ahead. An example of this is predictive modelling. What information do you get from the data and how do you use it in a proactive way? In order to train predictive models and use them in a valuable way, you need sufficient data. Fortunately, De Hypotheker is not shy about this: "Every year we have about 7 million visits to our website, of which a significant part goes through our entire customer journey up to the conclusion of a mortgage."

For example, Cuijten is looking into how they can predict in the management environment, for existing customers, on the basis of the data they have available, which customer profile would make it interesting for them to come to our branch. Think of the interest rate contract that can be adjusted in a positive way.

Through online campaigns and mailings, the consumer is sought out and various online flows are linked to each other: "When the consumer and the advisor enter into conversation, the advisor already has information at his disposal. This makes the contact with the customer more personal and more specific. This year, we are also focusing on further structuring this experience."

"In this way, the contact with the customer is more personal and specific. This year, we are also focusing on further structuring this experience."
If you talk about 'in-the-box', then 'out-the-box' should not be missing. According to Cuijten, this is where the real innovation, the pioneering work, is to be found. "You are constantly working on these innovations and experiments and taking small steps to introduce renewal and continuity into the formula".

Faster and more transparent process through PSD2
An example of an out-of-the-box innovation is changing the mortgage application process through PSD2. PSD2 is a European law for the payment system of consumers and businesses. This law was introduced in the Netherlands in February 2019. Among other things, it means that banks are obliged to give third parties access to your payment account if you give them permission to do so.

Based on a credit rating/credit scores, you help the consumer in a completely different way to finally get the mortgage granted. You can provide a mortgage in a different, but also faster and more predictable way. For consumers, taking out a mortgage is an uncertain and stressful process. Various studies have shown that the sooner you can give consumers certainty about how the process and the outcome will look, the more pleasant this is for them. This answers the consumer's demand for convenience and comfort. You see this in other industries too, with track-and-trace, for example. Continuously informing where you are in the process. When information is available, it goes to the customer as soon as possible.
"You see this in other industries too, with track-and-trace, for example. Continuously informing where you are in the process."
2. Developments and challenges in the mortgage world
With PSD2, we can make a nice bridge to the developments and trends in the mortgage world. The traditional mortgage process is becoming increasingly digitised, with data being used more and more proactively. This development can be seen in all parties within the mortgage world.

The challenges Cuijten also identifies are:
- Digitisation
- Privacy

Within the entire digitisation battle, all channels must support the consumer's reach. Think of mobile, computer and tablet. The development is called Mobile-first! This may have been going on for years, but you see that all new initiatives are introduced via this principle.

Despite the importance of digitisation, Cuijten has a small comment: physical contact is still very important. "Customer surveys a few years ago showed that even young, highly educated people like to sit around the table with an adviser when it comes to purchasing a home and providing a mortgage. Of course, this no longer happens in three or four conversations, but at least one conversation takes place at the advisory table."

Cuijten also sees that the chain is wrestling with the questions: How do we deal with the tension field of privacy on the one hand and available consumer data on the other? How do you share information in the chain to better serve the end customer? He sees that the initiatives that are now emerging are aimed at getting the links in the chain to work better together. So that the customer is better served.

On the one hand, according to Cuijten, there is distrust among customers when it comes to the misuse of consumer data. Practice has shown that many parties have made mistakes in this respect. Fortunately, this is being monitored more and more strictly.

Cuijten also sees the other side of the coin: "At the same time, if you look outside our own sector, we also see that consumers are prepared to share their data, provided that they themselves also benefit from this in some other way. This is also possible for the mortgage sector and it is good that we are forced to properly organise the security of privacy. However, I also think that it should not be an obstacle to using the data, whether service-oriented or commercially oriented, to serve consumers better. Innovation in spite of privacy requires more transparency and a collaborative approach. We see advantages in sharing the data, also between parties, instead of keeping it to yourself and not being able to serve the customer optimally."

3. The future of De Hypotheker
The approach of De Hypotheker will remain the same in the coming years, says Cuijten resolutely: "The focus is on optimising our current landscape, but in addition we will certainly experiment in order to bring new innovations to the market. Innovations which are aimed at both the end consumer and the advisors and assistants. We as De Hypotheker will certainly continue with that."

His appeal to the market is to seek better cooperation throughout the chain in order to serve the interests of customers even better. "Both new consumers and existing customers who can be served optimally on the basis of up-to-date data and good processes. And we need the chain for that. Let's put our shoulders to the wheel together with the market! As far as I am concerned, we should take small steps forward. I see the sector moving in the right direction. I hope that we can speed things up in the coming period."

Cuijten's dream: 'De Hypotheker Platform'
What will De Hypotheker look like in the future? The organisation will transform into a 'De Hypotheker Platform'. Cuijten already sees it all and talks enthusiastically about it: "De Hypotheker platform is a digital environment which all consumers go to, consciously or unconsciously, at the moment they are orientating themselves or are busy with the domain 'living'. Living related: from orienting to the final purchase or providing information. The total!"

"De Hypotheker stands for everything that has to do with living. Mortgage advice, maintenance of your home, moving house, perhaps a valuation, interior advice, handymen, garden maintenance. If you start with living: you start on the platform of De Hypotheker. This will not be just another product of De Hypotheker, this will be the core of De Hypotheker." Enthusiastically he concludes, "If I look into the crystal ball and would sketch my dream, I see such a platform before me."

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