Tracie Palmer is a multi-award-winning broker and mentor with more than 30 years of experience. She is the founder of Brisbane-based Cornerstone Home Loans, as well as Cornerstone Mentoring, which offers a broker mentoring and broker sales coaching service. Here she answers questions from brokers who are just starting out.
Q: What’s the best way to market myself as a new broker in the industry?
A: My advice is to tell everyone you know that you’re a mortgage broker and you’re keen to help them get a great deal on their home loan. Join networking groups and meet lots of people. The more people you talk to about your craft the better. I believe this business is about personal relationships, so it’s important to get out there. We have also had a lot of success joining our local community Facebook groups. Many of our clients recommend us in these groups when someone asks about mortgage brokers. Engage with and support local sporting clubs. The best results come from being actively involved, not just being a sponsor. This will help build brand awareness, but also gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of people.
Q: How do I know when it’s time to scale up my brokerage and take on more staff?
A: I believe that you need administrative support as soon as you can afford to employ someone. Just start with a few days a week and work your way up to more hours as you can afford it. By the time you’re settling $2m a month in loans, you’re in huge need of support. Outsourcing your administrative tasks, like data entry, marketing, following up with clients and lenders, will save you valuable time. Time that could be better spent networking or writing more loans. If you feel stressed and you are working long hours on your own, it’s time to get support.
Q: How can a good mentor help me with my career development?
A: Find a mentor who will care about you and give you support when you need it. A good mentor will educate you, be there when you call them and be a good sounding board when you are feeling frustrated or just having a bad day. Mentors have valuable years of experience, and it’s their knowledge that others can learn so much from. It’s likely from this experience that a mentor can give some sound advice on how to handle most situations?
Q: How can I educate clients about what a broker does and how we can offer so much more than banks?
A: Create a professional-looking customer booklet that explains who you are, what you do, and how you will support your customers throughout the entire loans process. During the appointment, you can explain how you will provide them with personalised service that will go well beyond this one interaction: they are not a number to you, and you will always be there to support them throughout the financial journey of their lifetime.