Brokers gain from happy homebuyers

by AB24 Oct 2012

There's good times ahead for brokers with homebuyers positive and graduates offering a new revenue stream. We speak to Sam White of Loan Market and Ian Jordan of The Selector Group for their thoughts on the changing investor demographic.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker TV
Donna Sawyer:
 Good news for brokers, home buyers are positive and graduates are flocking to the property market.  That’s according to the latest Genworth research which shows sentiment is at a post GFC high.  Sam White of Loan Market says it’s a welcome return to home buyer activity.

Sam White, Loan Market
Sam White:  I think it’s consistent with a lot of the evidence we are seeing which is both on the real estate side and also within loan market that consumers are now starting to become more active.  I think they are getting more confident.  Are they as confident that were at pre GFC no, but the despair that we saw in 2009 - 2010, that I think now is firmly in the past.
 
Donna Sawyer:  Well some say grey skies are clearing, others aren’t seeing the market transformation yet.  Ian Jordan of the Selector Group says the property sector is stabilising.
 
Ian Jordan, Selector Group
Ian Jordan:  I didn’t realise the GFC was actually over.  So everyone keeps talking about the post GFC, I haven’t seen a market change from those times.  I think what we are seeing is that the lower interest rate and prices are remaining very very stable, I think is encouraging people to look closer at the market and people are certainly seeing that, but we are not seeing a massive translation into action at the moment.
 
Donna Sawyer:  As more graduates look to invest in property, it seems home buyers are increasingly savvy.  That means brokers will have to adapt their service offering as clients continue to do their homework.
 
Sam White:  You know it reminds me of what happened back in the late 90s and I was in a room, there was myself, other real estate guys [___] was there and he said, look the internet is going to disseminate all you real estate agents.  That was a flag one.  There was a fear that somehow this is going to take over industry which is going to somehow change it and the real estate industry sort of circled the wagons, they set up their own internet sites and all that type of thing.  Reality is that it’s been a good thing for consumers, the internet obviously for search.  It’s changed the way that real estate agents deal with buyers.  So for example, they don’t put buyers in cars, it’s been 3 or 4 hours before the buyer really makes a decision, they came already armed, so agents became more productive and those agents that chose to get with the program ended up becoming very successful.  Those that resisted it and didn’t want to change ended up suffering.  The same is going to be true of mortgage broking is that customers are constantly being more informed and they can be more informed next year, more informed the year after.  The challenge is not to fear that, it’s how to then embrace that.
 
Ian Jordan:  I think the value that you add is the, not only the technical ability on how to structure a deal and all of those sorts of things, but the differentiator I think actually comes back to basics and that is customer service.  So not only customer service is to how are you feeling or what are we going to do, that’s specifically different for you, but how do we then make sure that this is a great experience for you all the way through and then once you have your loan, continue on that process.  So I think where brokers might be missing a little bit of this and this is their competitive advantage against the really big boys in town is their one on one ability to engage with the customer and provide just phenomenal customer service.  That’s really their unique proposition.  If they are not doing that they are really are competing with the big boys and I think they are going to get trampled.
 
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Australian Broker TV.