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Connective launches commission-split attack

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Australian Broker | 12 Sep 2012, 09:00 AM Agree 0
Aggregator Connective has claimed a growing number of brokers are questioning the suitability of the commission-split aggregation model and the value these businesses provide
  • Dissatisfied Connective Broker | 12 Sep 2012, 09:31 AM Agree 0
    Connective has a great "Spin" department, but once you sign up for your cheap flat fee service, all you get is lip service. I've had virtually no support since my group moved over to Connective (we were told the move was because it would cost us less and we would get the same service as our old aggregator) but so far its been crap. Their BDM's are useless (they have no pull with any lenders) and their much heralded software is clunky at best. Im now looking to leave my group (which I dont want to because they are a great team) but can not stay with Connective.
  • In the know | 12 Sep 2012, 09:52 AM Agree 0
    Read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Their flat fee model = NO BDM SUPPORT.

    Also do the math.. Sometimes it is better for your Aggregator to take a percentage split of your commission than a flat fee. 5% of 0 = 0%. You pay a flat fee regardless of if you settle a loan or not. There is definitely a place for flat fee models, dont get me wrong, but work out the cost comparisons first.
  • Scopher | 12 Sep 2012, 10:14 AM Agree 0
    There's nothing wrong with the Connective model but I think it is suitable for experienced brokers. It is a "no frills" service and you get what you pay for. If you're looking for pull with lenders from the Aggregator to negotiate on deals, then I think it's not their role either.

    An inexperienced broker who needs help on deals should consider joining an established Brokerage instead who can provide much more support and use their "pulling power" with lenders.
  • Happy Connective Broker! | 12 Sep 2012, 10:15 AM Agree 0
    Sounds like sour grapes or perhaps another aggregator posing as a Broker! The software is fantastic, perhaps you are not using it to its full capacity. As for pull with lenders - I would have thought your individual BDM's would assist with day to day issues, anything larger than that does get attention from Connective. And if it needs further action Mark Haron is never backward in coming forward to support the broker. Not sure what you expect as "support" or what your previous aggregator did - but we have great PD days and the quarterly Academy has given us some good tools and actions to implement in our business. Plus Connective QLD have given me contact opportunity with 2 new referrers over the past 6 months. So overall can't really fault them - oh btw and we get 100% UF and 100% trail!
  • SanityPrevails | 12 Sep 2012, 10:16 AM Agree 0
    Suitability? what about sustainability of the industry? I tell you what, how about the lenders pay you a flat fee and not a commission rate? They may see that as SUITABLE and then we are all screwed! well done, another reason for lenders to review commissions.....
  • Mary | 12 Sep 2012, 10:19 AM Agree 0
    I guess you can't please all the people all the time!
    I have now been with the amazing team at Connective for the past 3 years and have nothing but praise for the systems and the support from the BDM's.
    In comparison to the last Aggregator I was with Connective are a far more polished and professionally operators and would never consider leaving.
  • Glenn Lees | 12 Sep 2012, 10:22 AM Agree 0
    To "In the Know" and "Dissatisfied Connective Broker" - Its regrettable you feel you need to comment under a pseudonym - however, feel free to call me to discuss your issues 0408 688 200.

    If you genuinely want to leave Connective we of course we respect that - and your ability to do so is locked into our agreements. Unlike other agreements that don't allow you to leave.

    I look forward to your phone calls.


    Glenn Lees
  • BHL | 12 Sep 2012, 10:23 AM Agree 0
    Overwhelmingly, the brokers I know who have made the change to Connective, can't speak highly enough of their service & BDM support. In Qld at least, there is a great team in place, who go out of their way to assist in every way they can.
    I can only compare their software to a previous aggregator. They called theirs "Podium" which was some kind of joke. Much, much happier with Connective's Mercury.
    Actually, Connective's Mercury software continually wins industry awards.
  • Todd | 12 Sep 2012, 10:28 AM Agree 0
    I have been with Connective for almost 9 years... and they have been nothing short of excellent. If you require help, you ask and you receive. The flat fee structure is designed for brokers who know what they are doing.

    So for "Dissatisfied Broker"... if you are not happy then leave, there software is the best in the industry, hence they keep winning awards for it EVERY year... for "In the know" is sounds like you are an amateur broker hence you require strong BDM support. Yes your math is correct in that it costs you more if you don't write loans, so how about you write some and stop whinging, then it will cost you less. You should head back to pre school aggregators and leave real brokering to us professionals...

    Like it how these two apparent non Connective Brokers did not even have the courage to put their names down...???
    Cheers Todd
  • Patrick | 12 Sep 2012, 10:42 AM Agree 0
    I have recently joined Connective for one main reason. If I chose to move to another aggregator I can take my trailer book with me. This is how it works in financial planning and it is about time ASIC or ACCC did something about the practice of Aggregators owning the trail books. Aggregators are not brokers, they are service vendors to the real brokers, nothing more.
  • Broker Tony | 12 Sep 2012, 10:43 AM Agree 0
    Brokers should be accustomed to assessing the appropriate deal from several options for their clients. Choosing an aggregator for themselves is the same process. Different aggregation models will suit different circumstances. The Connective model (from an income perspective only)best suits established brokers with a trail book who are writing reasonable volumes of new business and planning to be around a long time. If you are not in this category then it will probably be cheaper for you to go with one of the percentage based models. Connective are the best aggregator I have been with (tried two others) but do have the same service issues as any large organisation - mainly growth pains and some ordinary staff. They are not there to solve broker-level disputes with lenders. Their NSW BDM is always winning awards so not true to suggest they don't provide BDM support. Brokers need to have a better understanding of their entitlements. It is very common in this forum to see rantings from brokers and others who are disappointed because their unrealistic expectations are not being met.
  • Kevin | 12 Sep 2012, 11:10 AM Agree 0
    We have been with Connective since incoporation 4 years ago. The support we have from Mark, Glenn, Murray and the team has been what we want when we want it, and they ight battles for us behind the scenes - a lot of brokers wont know what happens behind the scenes with lender negotiations, nor should you be told of everything being discussed - but rest assured they are looking after you. CRM software is fine and flexible enough. Keep it up Connective, and thanks for your support.
  • Casey | 12 Sep 2012, 11:28 AM Agree 0
    Similar to those in favour of Connective. Over the years I have tried and tested numerous software platforms and even took some professional advice on trying to adapt CRM specific software. Unfortunately all of the software options generally missed the mark on the whole basis of good software. To assist and enhance, not bog down with triple and quadruple entry systems. Mercury far exceeds this. It is really built for the broker who is seeking to embrace technology and use it to improve deal-flow and enhance customer experience.

    When you understand the way in which the software is built, and the scalability of growth in terms of volume and new feature development, you understand the scale of economics, and the sustainability of the model that is delivered not only to the aggregator but within the brokers office. The Three Amigos have dumped some $20M into Podium. Personally that's exactly where it should be. On a Podium or Lecturn and demonstrated as an example of how to blow massive sums on substandard software better built to plug into a banks system not a brokers front office.

    Support - never an issue. The team here have always been proactive and offered to help on anything. Unfortunately it is my fault I have not utilised them enough. But I don't need an aggregator to fight my battles on individual deals. I roll with the punches and let my numbers do the talking. The rare major event that has needed sorting out have been actioned as I would expect. Rapidly with desired results. But no one is Superman and not every battle is going to get won.

    I'm happy to speak to any broker looking to move to Connective or has just moved. Because once you understand the basis of the model, you then understand how you can take real advantage of it. And there is plenty more I can preach on Connective's model. I'm just happy someone sees the same things I do and able to put them in place for me to use without all the lock downs.

    Thanks Glenn, Murray, Mark and the whole team for providing value to my business.
  • Casey | 12 Sep 2012, 11:40 AM Agree 0
    Oh and did I mention it's Mac compatible? YES!!!
  • PeterT | 12 Sep 2012, 12:00 PM Agree 0
    Just an observation, but with $1.3B in settlements per month over 1550, that's about $840k per month per broker in settlements. I'd say the average broker at connective is actually pretty average, these figures are nothing to brag about.
    I do like flat fee models however and I wouldn't sign any agreement on a commission split. Service levels from the aggregator aren't an issue for top brokers because they don't need help and look elsewhere for support. Their main concern is that they get paid properly.
    As for software, most of the really successful brokers I know have ignored what their aggregator provides and has gone to the market and actually paid for it.
  • ozboy | 12 Sep 2012, 12:06 PM Agree 0
    Only 1 question, why does the flat fee model not extend to Asset and Equipment Finance? This is never mentioned in any of the announcements by Connective.
  • ozboy | 12 Sep 2012, 01:31 PM Agree 0
    Ah PeterT you are taking it that every member is a loan writer. I don't think they are and that makes the maths a little more difficult to do.
  • Happy with Connective | 12 Sep 2012, 01:40 PM Agree 0
    I am an experienced broker having moved to connective 10 months ago and I am a real advocate...their culture from top to bottom is a caring, here to help you attitude...tremendous and the software is the best I have seen which is helping our business become more productive as well as professional
    I reckon you are either a competitor aggregator or you are a broker that should not be a broker
  • 1martym1 | 12 Sep 2012, 02:11 PM Agree 0
    I am just in the process of switching over to the flat fee model from the comm split model in Connective. It was perfect set up for me to be able to switch options when I was comfortable with my numbers. As experienced broker but coming from a franchise system where I basically had to build my customer base from scratch again it was a perfect no risk option to strat on the comm split model then progress to the falt fee.I haven't needed much support but its there if you need it and the CRM and Mercury in general is truely first class. Congrats to Conncetive I say.
  • Broker Chris | 12 Sep 2012, 04:00 PM Agree 0
    Our group has recently switched from another major commission sharing aggregator to Connectives flat fee model. The fee structure was a bonus however the main driver behind the decision was the software. The Mercury system surpasses our expectations. If you are prepared to invest the time from the beginning and use the services and support offered from the Connective team to set up your CRM and workflows, you will have the foundations in place to grow a great business.
    The support from Connective is excellent. The PD days, networking functions and webinars are of a very high standard. I have no hesitation in recommending Connective as a quality aggregation partner. I would also agree that if you were an inexperienced or a low volume writer that you may be better suited elsewhere.
  • Qld Broker | 12 Sep 2012, 05:42 PM Agree 0
    One of the first things I learnt in business was not to bag your competitors, it just makes you look petty.
  • Dean | 12 Sep 2012, 09:32 PM Agree 0
    A very typical response from Glenn Lees and the team at Connective. Open, honest, concise, professional and an offer to the director personally to sort it out. Nothing hidden, no surprises if you don't like it you can leave, no restraint or handcuff. Yes, we are long term Connective members and they consistently deliver on all fronts.
  • Tom | 13 Sep 2012, 12:53 AM Agree 0
    Typical of these blogs with too much negativity all round.
    Connective does have a fair point in regards to publishing settlements however as far as the best aggregator is concerned, well that just depends on the software, commission rates and (in particular) the people YOU are comfortable in dealing with. For me, safety and security in knowing my aggregator is backed by strong shareholders where my future trail income is never in doubt is a MAJOR point.
    If the aggregator doesn't publish their financials, then I personally am concerned. Refund taught me a very good lesson here.
  • Jon Colley - Loan Wize | 13 Sep 2012, 10:06 AM Agree 0
    We have been with Connective for over two years and couldn't be happier. The support is there when and if you need it, and the CRM software is incredible, and was the primary reason we shifted to Connective originally. They are approachable and continue to develop their offering. They may not be for everyone, but still offer some great support, training and professional development programs. The best guarantee that they provide is that if you don't like their business model, you can leave and take all of your trail with you. Not sure how many other aggregators offer the same, but I am still paying a large share of my existing commission trail to an aggregator that now offers me nothing?
  • CharlieX | 20 Jan 2015, 08:05 PM Agree 0
    can someone at least elaborate what this new model is and what was the split model.

    sounds like aggregators are here to stay?
  • Matt - new guy | 27 Nov 2015, 10:32 PM Agree 0
    Interesting to hear some more opinions. Trying to decide whether to join a full service franchise or just join Connective.
  • Patrick | 02 Dec 2015, 07:02 AM Agree 0
    Matt - new guy, if as your name suggest you are new to the industry and have little or no experience in lending then I suggest you join an established franchise group. It may appear more expensive at the start but you will get so much more value and support. Even very experienced brokers often rely on their colleagues for advice and help.
  • John Sanders | 02 Dec 2015, 04:05 PM Agree 0
    @ CharlieX - basic difference is Connective charges a flat fee regardless of volume whereby other aggregators charge you a % of the volume you write.
  • Steve | 30 Nov 2016, 11:32 AM Agree 0
    Been with Connective for over 5 yrs and the service has declined for basic to non existent. When your aggregator handles issues and complaints by telling you to go online and fill out a request, you know you are into the budget direct segment of the market.... and I am not talking about a flat fee, they still take a commission split.

    As for lender relationships, Connective's relationships exist to help themselves - not the brokers or clients of the brokers. All of their relationships and initiatives are based on grabbing a little more cash from the broker's commission.

    They also keep challenging other aggregators about their willingness to let brokers move, once you join connective you are stuck with them.

    Lender Relationships - BDM details on their Mercury Platform are outdated, the servicing calculator will get you into more trouble that you can expect.

    I must confess, one thing that comes through promptly is their monthly invoice, is sometimes early just in case the first day of the month falls on the weekend..... not so much the same treatment for your commissions - they will sit on your payments earning interest for upto 60 days.
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