Michael Trencher, director of Impact Consulting says brokers should turn off from the royal commission’s distractions and ask one simple question
It’s fair to say the royal commission findings have caught most, if not all, of the people involved in the mortgage broking industry completely by surprise.
On top of that, the subsequent confusion and lack of clarity that ensued has caused significant concern particularly when viewed through the eyes of experienced operators across various points in the supply chain.
In an astounding manner, the broker industry was thrust into the spotlight for reasons we are still looking for.
To add to our amazement, suggestions as to how to structure the industry were put forward, which appear to be contrary to the very reason for having the royal commission in the first place.
It is encouraging to see the rhetoric from both side of politics softening into a more feasible solution, and this has, to some extent, released some pressure on the broker community – although there is still some way to go. So, what positives can we look to from here?
During the weeks leading up to the royal commission report and in the last few weeks since its release, I have spoken to many brokers, and a key theme in my discussions has been the customer. We have heard the statistic that 60% of Australians who are looking for a mortgage use a mortgage broker, and of all the statistics being spoken to, this one is crucial for two reasons.
In an ironic way, the 40% who don’t or haven’t used a broker would certainly now know more about the industry
Firstly, it means that brokers have sound, robust and tested customer charters, practices and track records, which result in new and repeat business, and this has been steadily growing.
The customer experience delivered by the industry simply speaks for itself when you see how many successful businesses there are and how customers value the service they deliver.
Secondly, in an ironic way, the 40% who don’t or haven’t used a broker will certainly now know more about the broker industry from all the publicity generated by various petitions and public campaigns. So, an opportunity has emerged for the industry to see further levels of growth.
As we move forward it has become imperative that we focus on the customer at every turn, whether through delivering great customer outcomes or attracting new customers to the broker experience. The other main theme evident from my discussions with brokers has been the all-consuming commentary on the royal commission and the subsequent distractions this has caused. However, there are key areas that may assist you in sharpening your focus as a business owner.
For example, review your cash flow forecast immediately to understand exactly where your business stands. This will allow you to focus your activities in a more targeted manner.
Then look at streamlining your business with a view to scrutinising all your costs and identifying where there can be some savings.
Is this the time to offshore loan processing, for instance? It’s also important to ensure your referral partners and calling programs are not being neglected or distracted. Next, revisit your customer database to ensure you are staying close to your customers and they are aware of your service and value.
Finally, review all of the above on a regular basis to ensure they become part of your ongoing processes. Although the last few weeks have been destabilising for so many people, heading back to basics while remembering your customers will, over time, prove to be a winning formula.
A key question to ask yourself is: how can I react to these challenges and create opportunities?