Back to school

by Melanie Mingas11 Jul 2019

BBX 2019 saw hundreds of brokers learn the latest business tips and productivity hacks from their peers, lenders and aggregators

The 2019 edition of the Broker Business Exchange (BBX) took place on 5 June at The Westin Sydney. This year, BBX focused on how brokers can stay profitable and sustainable in an operating environment where change has become the only constant.

The event, which provides delegates with six CPD hours from both the MFAA and FBAA, hosted more than 350 brokers for a full day of professional development and networking.

Chaired by Tim Brown, CEO of Ezifin Financial Services, the day kicked off with the panel session ‘How to Future-Proof Your Business Post-Royal Commission’, featuring MFAA CEO Mike Felton, Connective director and principal and MFAA board director Mark Haron, and FBAA executive director Peter White.

Over the course of the one-hour session, panellists shared their advice for creating sustainable revenue streams and a diversified broker business.

However, the real insight came when they shared details of their discussions with politicians following the final report from the royal commission.

On this point, the conversation turned to the best interest duty and how brokers can prepare for the next remuneration review, scheduled to begin in three years’ time.

White noted that by then, the industry will have endured more than eight years of remuneration reviews and debate, and that the threat of further change “has got to go”.

His calls were backed by Haron, who said that now that the broking industry has secured the backing of the government, treasury and ASIC, action must be taken before the next election.

“The biggest risk we face right now is that we think we can go back to doing what we’re doing. We cannot afford to face apathy in our industry,” Felton said.

Continuing to highlight that self-reflection and regulation will be crucial to the future viability of the third-party channel, Felton urged brokers to engage with regulators and embrace the reforms from the royal commission and ASIC.

“We cannot be defensive or reactive. We have a little more than two years before they will have another detailed look at our industry. We have to keep that [satisfaction] data good,” he said.

“If there is a problem in our industry, we need to take care of it and deal with it and not be afraid to regulate it ourselves. We cannot sit back and do nothing. The prize will be that we can maintain our current structures going into the future.”

Canada’s top mortgage broker, Shawn Allen, principal owner of Matrix Mortgage Global, delivered the international keynote and chaired a three-hour exclusive masterclass for a cohort of 20 brokers.

Sharing his secrets to running a high-revenue mortgage business, he told Australian Broker, “It’s trial and error – a lot of error, but the thing is you have to be able to bounce back from error.

“The truth of the matter is you have to be able to take risks and take chances in your business. That’s what being a business owner and entrepreneur is all about.

You have to take risks to know within yourself that if I do this, I will be able to succeed.”

On stage

Dozens of speakers were featured throughout the day; other conference sessions included target-setting and business-building advice from iChoice managing partner Jason Khoury, who shared his tips on communication, brand strategies and the key questions to ask clients.

Meanwhile, panel sessions featured several of MPA’s leading brokers.

In the session ‘How to Attract New Clients and Referrals’, two of MPA’s Top 100 Brokers, Karen Bashford and Andrew Mirams, were joined on stage by Tracy Keary, director of Home Loan Connexion; Christopher Sales, director of Finance Warehouse; and Peter Vassilis, MD at Black and White Finance.

Over the course of the session, the brokers shared their own personal stories of building and running a business and provided practical takeaways for how other brokers can generate similar results.

“We cannot sit back and do nothing. The prize will be that we can maintain our current structures going into the future” Mike Felton, CEO, MFAA

This was followed by ‘How to Generate High Performance in Your Team’, featuring three of MPA’s Top 100 Brokers: Alycia Inglis, director of Stoneturn; Hannah Nguyen, director of HAH Finance Solutions; and Navjeet Singh Matta, CEO of Gain Home Loans.

The three brokers – each running three very different businesses – shared their tips for productivity and provided insight on how they manage their teams, both onshore and off.

Concluding the sessions in the main conference room, the final panel featured three of MPA’s Young Guns: Faris Dedic, director of Red Door Financial Group; Nitish Kumar, mortgage broker for Clarity Home Loans; and Taku Ekanayake, director of Kin Financial.

In a panel entitled ‘Broking’s Next Generation’, the three young brokers shared their processes, relationship-building tips and productivity hacks.

Around the conference

In the conference’s workshop stream, delegates learned practical techniques and tricks for nonmortgage lending, including SME finance, outsourcing, specialist lending and asset finance.

Chaired by mentor, author and Classic Finance founder Nancy Youssef, the packed agenda included five sessions over four-and-a-half hours.

In the first session, Michael Burke, head of sales for OnDeck Australia, sat down with three brokers to discuss the trends and opportunities that are currently defining the SME finance space.

Over the course of the session, panellists discussed new industry codes, tips for cultivating a pipeline of small business leads, and guidance for brokers who have yet to diversify into SME lending.

“The truth of the matter is you have to be able to take risks and take chances in your business. That’s what being a business owner and entrepreneur is all about” Shawn Allen, principal owner, Matrix Mortgage Global

Later in the day, delegates saw a demonstration of Alexus CRM, a client management system that provides brokers with the same live data held by a client’s bank.

Led by Scott Durrant, founder and director of Successful Ways, this session demonstrated how brokers can boost their bottom line by reducing their working hours.

“Systems run the business, and people run the systems. If you have a great system and processes, and admin staff to administrate, then it frees up time for the broker to get in front of more people, tell their story and build up relationships,” Durrant said.

While the first half of 2019 has brought some unprecedented challenges to the industry, the second half is set to bring some unique innovations.

From open banking to new fintech, regtech and broker-tech solutions, these new developments will set the stage for another must-attend BBX in 2020.