Technology. It’s not going anywhere and it’s only becoming more advanced. Consumer reliance on apps is accelerating with the next generation being more digitally mature then the one before. So how will technology impact the role of Brokers? 1️⃣ Communication Sure email works great now but the next generation will see an increase in communication through apps not web based software. Social platforms such as ‘Messenger’ ‘Snapchat’ and ‘Twitter’ are already preferred channels to communicate amongst teens. Considering Snapchat launched in September 2011 and already has an audience of 100 million daily active views, it’s obvious that demand for live streaming video as a communication tool, is set to increase. 2️⃣ Distribution We already know consumers can’t stand filling out forms, but most have no problem at all filling out a social media profile and for good reason. Once a consumer creates a ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ profile, consumers can then utilise their profile as a form of digital ID across an array of other app based platforms. This type of dual logon is both convenient and more secure then creating a different logon across all apps. With ‘one touch’ technology becoming more common, unless Brokers can capture client risk data from other channels, consumer reluctance to complete forms will become a burden. 3️⃣ Leads Email marketing is dead. Cold calling is also dying a slow death. Consumers are in the habit of screening calls and only opening emails with the subject line: 50% off clearance sale with free overnight shipping. The fight for grabbing consumer attention is real and, with the increase in social apps being developed purely for the purpose of communication, the cost of acquiring leads will rise. Brokers need to figure out where their client’s are ‘hanging out’ on social platforms and start connecting with them outside of email. 4️⃣ Claims Consumers are still motivated to complete a claim form because the reward is cash reimbursement. But realistically how much longer will this mentality survive? Sure consumers will always have to substantiate their claim but the settlement process will inevitably change. Consumers will eventually demand access to their paid premiums as well as the ability to self settle claims that fall below a certain value. Insurer’s are already offering ‘cash back’ premiums as a reward for no claims. As far as incentives go, self settlement would definitely lure consumers. 5️⃣ Referrals Think Brokers are free from an online rating model? Think again! Open Agent is a Real Estate rating website where consumers can choose a Realtor based on recent sales and a five star rating. The notion of a model such as ‘Open Broker’ probably won’t be far off either. If Open Agent can find success with an online rating model and consumers demand the same across all service providers, someone will create it. Another similar site has just popped up called Local Agent Finder where you can search Real Estate Agents operating in your local area. Competing sites only proves there is a market for rating Realtors. The risk of a rating website is not the only concern for Brokers with social media platforms increasingly being used by consumers to vet selected service providers. There has never been a more important time to start actively using social media to promote yourself. Photo Credit: