Melbourne-based broker, Mark Davis, has reached an extraordinary – and possibly record-breaking – milestone: He’s written more than $507 million in FUM since starting out at the Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC) less than three and a half years ago.
“We’ve won the AMA Australia’s Top Broker award for the past few years and hopefully we’ll do ok this year – we’ll see what happens,” says Davis, who started at ALIC after 21 years at ANZ.
Davis believes the reason he’s been so successful is due to his constant dedication to the role.
“We live and breathe what we do; it’s a 24/7 role. It’s the ability to actually handle and manage 200 relationships, all at the same time and actually make the customers feel important.”
“The other secret is dealing with the right type of clients who are going to be with you for a long period of time – our runoff is really, really low. If you go after those types of clients, you actually don’t have to manage those clients. We don’t market or advertise. Until a month ago, we only had a one-page website.”
Furthermore, unlike many brokers, Davis has a strict ‘no out-calls’ policy.
“We don’t go see clients. If a client thinks you’re important enough, they come see you. You build up the client’s mind-set that they have to come and see you. We set the expectation that, ‘this is a planning process, Mark’s diary is full and there is a wait-time’.”
Davis says his schedule has occasionally been booked as much as five weeks in advance and clients know they need to plan ahead if they want to see him. However, when they do, the service is top-of-the-line.
“We look for clients that have an investment belief, clients that have an appetite to borrow, clients who borrow money. We don’t want to deal with rate shoppers. We won’t even talk about rates in the first hour-and-a-half meeting. It’s really just getting specific clients who really value progression.”
Davis says he hopes his story might inspire younger people into the broking industry, which is often perceived as 'dying' – and possibly even pull a few more people away from working at the major banks.
“This story shows that [broking] is an industry that people can succeed at… It also proves that moving from banking to the broking industry can be successful.”
While he says he’s not planning any celebrations for reaching a personal sum total of $500 million, Davis says ALIC is planning something to ring in its $1 billion mark, as a company, later this year.
“For a billion, we will [celebrate]. Our aim is to write $1 billion a year in 2017. We are currently on track at $400 million for 2013."