Origin Finance broker Kris Menon shares his thoughts on referral networks, stress, client retention and the year ahead. The Sydney resident has been in the industry for 15 years and was named FBAA Broker of the Year – Independent at the 2020 Australian Mortgage Awards.
Q: A strong referral network is a vital component of any brokerage. How do you grow a successful network?
A: I have practised a continuous improvement approach to growing a successful referral network. I have learnt from experience and through consultation how customers and stakeholders like to be served and to participate in the process leading to the best outcome. Our team is committed to being a well-oiled machine to ensure clear and timely communication, set clear expectations and consistently meet them; and to an honest post-process review. We have used our profile in the industry to leverage and bring success to customers and stakeholders, such as real estate agents and conveyancers, which has helped establish a reliable and successful referral network.
Q: Broking can be a stressful career. How do you cope with stress?
A: There is no gain without pain. I believe stress is a part of any industry that is ever-evolving. I try to stay fit physically and mentally to deal with stress and fatigue. I try to always eat healthy and ensure a good night’s sleep. I go for walks and practise yoga and meditation. I try to have a good work-life balance and spend time with family and close friends. I like listening to good music. Eye of the Tiger is my go-to song when I want to break away and come back to a stressful situation. I listen to recorded sessions by my business coach, Tom Panos, for an instant boost. Stress is an integral part of any profession. Accept it, overcome it, and use it to improve your ability to deal with it.
Q: In the competitive world of broking, how do you ensure new customers become repeat customers?
A: I have a very basic and time-tested approach which has worked for me. My team and I are committed to providing best-in-the-industry service with a constant focus on exceeding customers’ expectations. Here’s how we stay competitive: set clear and realistic expectations and meet them; connect with customers even after the settlement to ensure customer satisfaction and support; educate customers about new offers and valued-added services; where possible, engage with customers socially, especially new immigrants who are away from family.
Q: How positive are you feeling about the broking industry in 2021?
A: Change and adapting to change is an implicit aspect of the broking industry, which is often affected by external factors – the economy, environment, government and bank policies. The pandemic has changed how the world operates, and the broking industry has certainly been affected. I am optimistic 2021 will be a better year for the industry. The government and banks have made necessary changes to their policies to support better lending and to encourage new homebuyers and investors.