Hot Seat: Holly Bertsos

by AB04 Jul 2016
Who or what inspired you to become a broker?
My biggest inspiration was the ability to offer clients choice of lenders and policies, which is my whole proposition I promote in this game. 

It was also the exposure to inexperienced brokers in the market. Over 10 years ago I held a career in business banking and in one of my last roles I worked closely with local brokers. I realised there was a niche in the market for experienced brokers that understood business lending, self-employed applicants and how to read financials. 

Also working for a bank you only ever had one suite of products and set of policies, so sometimes it was trying to fit a square peg in a round hole to find solutions.

What is your most memorable experience in your career as a broker?
It’s probably a story linked to one of my best clients today actually. I was introduced to him over five years ago when we were given an opportunity to review his existing home loan. We approved a brilliant deal that saved him thousands. But his existing lender reacted and matched our offering and he was swayed by so called ‘loyalty’. 

I kept in touch with him for over 1.5 years as I knew it would only be a matter of time before his lender would make him disgruntled again. As predicted, my opportunity came once again. I insisted I wanted the opportunity to review all his business lending  this time and it worked out we saved him even more than the first time, plus devised a debt reduction plan on his home loan.

His lender came close but it was the saving, persistence and big picture plan that eventually won his business. He comes to me first time every time now and we have financed several of his business facilities, trucks & boat loans – everything! 

Not only is he one of my top clients he has referred me a handful of other clients. Not a bad outcome to initially a lost deal!

What do you see as the biggest disruption facing the mortgage industry in the next year? 
If the outcome of ASIC’s current review determines our industry is fee-for-service only or recommends a reduction or interruption to our current commission schedule and incentives.

What are your business goals or growth plans this year and how what are your plans to achieve them?
My business goal in the next year is to add another broker into my business. I am currently the sole broker with two admin staff and I have found a bit of a bottle neck in flow during busy times.

I am hoping to get some guidance and advice from some successful brokers I know in the industry to learn best strategies to grow to this next level. I believe having a mentor is important. 

In addition to the usual sales and referral source strategies, we also recently introduced a retention process into the business which I am hoping generates some additional business as well as helps to retain my trail book to support my growth plan.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
To wave a magic wand and grant world peace would be great right now! (Or is that perhaps a bit too cliché Miss Universe?) Industry related, perhaps a crystal ball to determine if we have to fear the future in our industry with ASIC’s review. An RBA cash rate predictor wouldn’t be too bad either!