Accounting body CPA Australia's planned move into mortgage broking is going to shake up traditional accountant/broker relationships and referral sources, according to one broker and digital marketing expert, so brokers need to insure themselves now.
Darren Moffatt, founder of Seniors First Specialist Finance and the CEO of Webbuzz – which specialises in digital marketing for financial services – told Australian Broker
that CPA’s plans to obtain an Australian Credit License and move into mortgage broking is a big threat to the broker channel.
“If you talk to the majority of brokers, they have one or more accountants as referral sources. Everyone in the industry would agree that accountants are the best referral source you can get. So this announcement by CPA is really going to shake things up,” he said.
“CPA is essentially saying to their accountant membership, ‘we now have the channel for you’ – if you want to generate additional revenue for your business, we will make it easy for you to get into mortgage broking. They are saying ‘we’ve got the credit license and the infrastructure; all you need to do is send the deals in.’
“This is going to threaten a lot of existing broker/accountant relationships… Those brokers who are heavily reliant on accountants as referral sources are really going to have to start to look at hedging their bets and developing alternative streams of inquiry in case they start losing referral sources.”
The most important way for brokers to insure themselves against any threat, according to Moffatt, is to invest into their online footprint.
“Brokers should be getting into the online channel and starting to build a digital footprint for their business. That means establishing a modern, mobile-friendly website and converting their website into a lead generation machine.
“For brokers who have relied heavily on referrals from accountants, the most obvious way is to go direct to market and essentially build the infrastructure required to generate leads from the internet.”
But where is the best place to start? Moffatt says that there are two key elements brokers should focus on to start with.
“The key thing at the moment is to have a mobile site. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website now then you essentially get penalised by Google. Another thing is Google rewards specialisation, so brokers need to figure out what kind of business they want to specialise in for online.
“It is better, for instance, if they decide to use their online marketing to really go after investor loans, rather than go for the general mass market home loan. Or you can take it down to a localisation, so targeting specific areas, such as Sydney,” he told Australian Broker