Housing downturn creates opportunities for brokers, says aggregator head

by Julia Corderoy27 Jan 2015
A downturn in the property market isn’t bad news for brokers, but a chance to look at clients “more holistically”, says the head of a major aggregator.

House price growth is expected to almost halve across Australia in 2015, according to Fitch Ratings’ latest Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook. The report forecasts national house prices to rise 4% in 2015, down from 7% in 2014. 

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a decline in the number of new home loans approved in November, with the number of new home loan commitments dropping 0.7% over the month.

However, Tim Brown, CEO of Vow Financial, told Australian Broker that these figures don’t mean it is all doom and gloom for brokers.

“It’s been a very buoyant market for a long time and the key concern for us is that there has been a lot of missed opportunities – people have been very focussed on getting the mortgage completed,” he said.

“… [M]oving forward there’s an opportunity for our brokers to go back and revisit a lot of those clients and see what opportunities there are to really sell other products – such as commercial, leasing and wealth planning.  It’s a chance to look at their clients more holistically.”

Brokers aren’t the only ones who can turn a property down-turn into an opportunity. Brown says it can also give aggregators a chance to improve their systems and processes for brokers.

“We need to build better processes and systems for software so that when brokers are completing the mortgage, these opportunities can be picked up quickly and moved to another specialist potentially, if the broker doesn’t have the time. 

“Like a sort of ‘push’ button, so if the client wants general insurance and the broker doesn’t have time to complete it, they can hit this button and it will go to a general insurer and they’ll ring the client on the broker’s behalf.

“Little things like that are really important. We call them the ‘one-percenters’ but they make a big difference in the overall sale,” he told Australian Broker.