​Brokers on Non-majors 2014

by AB26 Sep 2014
Doug LeeAustralian Broker’s second annual Brokers on Non-majors survey has revealed the country’s top non-major lender

For the second year, Australian Broker has run its Brokers on Non-majors survey, polling brokers on all aspects of the non-major lenders’ service proposition. The results saw some new lenders moving into leading positions, but one thing remained unchanged: for the second year in a row, Macquarie ran away with the competition.

Doug Lee, Macquarie’s head of mortgage sales, put the bank’s success down to its recognition of the important role brokers play in its distribution strategy. This recognition, Lee said, has led the bank to proactively seek out broker feedback.

“Key to our success is putting brokers at the core of our business efforts. We build strong relationships and continuously seek feedback on what we’re doing well and any areas in which we can improve. Supporting this is the establishment of a national broker advisory board this year. The board contributes to discussions on any upcoming initiatives under consideration and provides us with feedback on what is working well, what might need attention and any changes or enhancements in relation to product, processes, policy and price,” Lee said.

Macquarie rated highly across the board in the Brokers on Non-majors survey, topping nine of the 10 categories, as well as ranking number one overall. Brokers rated the lender particularly highly for its BDM support, which came as no surprise for Lee.

“Core to our business and service proposition is that brokers have direct access to Macquarie’s credit team. This is a two-way interaction, with our credit team proactively contacting brokers to discuss aspects of an application. We see this as a key driver of our success, with brokers telling us this direct approach is a standout area of our service offering,” he said.

Lee said Macquarie had invested in its broker network over the past year, enacting several key initiatives he suggested lent to the bank’s success. 

“We have established a new product engagement team which provides support and training for brokers on our products and services, particularly for their back offices, to assist them with their interactions with Macquarie. We will be further expanding the roll-out of this initiative over the next six months,” Lee said.

One of the many categories Macquarie topped was “Product Range”, and Lee pointed to significant product developments over the past year.

“On the products and tools front, the launch of the Macquarie Flyer Home Loan product suite in October 2013, which allows borrowers to earn Qantas Points through their mortgage, has resonated well with brokers and their clients. We also launched the Macquarie Mortgages Little Black Book app earlier this year. The app provides all the information brokers require about our products, services and policies in one convenient accessible location and will continue to be enhanced.”

While all these initiatives have led to success for Macquarie, Lee argued that it was a fundamental difference in the lender’s focus that set it apart.

“Over the past year, we also took a ‘getting the basics right’ approach. Focusing on the small things that make the biggest difference for our brokers and their clients ensured we were being responsive to feedback and continuing to look for ways to enhance our overall offering,” he said.

GIVING NON-MAJORS THEIR DUE

Brokers responding to the Brokers on Non-majors survey showed appreciation for non-major lenders, with 55% saying they would like to send as much of two-thirds of their business toward non-major lenders.

“The feedback we receive from our brokers indicates that the majority usually have between three and five preferred lenders covering majors and non-majors. Ultimately it comes down to which product or offer is in the best interests of the client for their particular situation and, in the majority of cases, a non-major bank would be as well-positioned as a major,” Lee said.

Lee said non-major lenders had to continue to push hard and remain on the cutting edge of competition in order to win brokers’ business.

“As non-majors tend not to have the national brand recognition the majors enjoy, they must continually be on the front foot with education and awareness to ensure they are front of mind and brokers are comfortable and familiar with what they offer. When you look across the range of products and rates on offer, there is not always a large difference. This is where the consistent delivery of service and relationship can be a key differentiator, regardless of whether the lender is a major or a non-major bank,” he said.

But remaining on the cutting edge competitively comes down to doing some simple things well, he suggested.

“I think the key is to offer choice, be competitive in terms of product and interest rates, and above all have a service and relationship proposition that provides brokers with a compelling reason to consider a non-major bank among their mix of preferred lenders.”

This article is from Australian Broker issue #11.17. Download the issue to read the complete Brokers on Non-Majors 2014 feature.