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Your GP doesn't do house calls - why should you?

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Australian Broker | 06 Jun 2013, 08:00 AM Agree 0
Top industry figures, Jason Back and Mark Davis, say brokers need to develop 'a degree of self-worth' - and that means no house calls
  • Louis | 06 Jun 2013, 09:44 AM Agree 0
    He may be right but I also believe in being flexible. At the end of the day, you do what works best for you to put food on the table.
  • alex | 06 Jun 2013, 09:44 AM Agree 0
    your wrong
  • Keith B of the West | 06 Jun 2013, 09:48 AM Agree 0
    Much credibility to this statement. Once you enter a prospect's residence you are in their time not yours! It is a matter of educating the masses, becuase our industry foundations were built around 24 hour service, mobility, and convenience.
  • Garry | 06 Jun 2013, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    Couldnt agree more with this sentiment. In the early days I was at clients homes at night and did the loans during the day and wasted so much time with clients shopping and travelling. Now the clients come to me and they know they are there to do business. We cover all facets of their finances at the meeting and the deal is done in one meeting. With longer term clients, I just email and express mail docs back and forth and it works perfectly for everyone.
  • Mike Clarke | 06 Jun 2013, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    Whilst it is good Mark is advocating & focussing on 'time management' & promoting broker value & self worth, 'house calls' can be valuable when a visit is made to a clients residence or business. It enables a deeper feel for their operations. As an example one might visit a business where the principals have business & resi lending needs. A site visit enables you to check on things like 'staff' contentment, stock obsoletion, organisation & production etc etc. It also shows a genuine interest in the client. Just another view.
  • Miriam Castilla - Smartline | 06 Jun 2013, 09:59 AM Agree 0
    Absolutely agree! The best thing we've ever done for our business (& our lifestyle) is to only see clients at the office. It's a professional environment for a professional service. This has cost us zero loss of business, in fact, it's raised our level of professionalism in our clients' eyes & increased business.
    Taking this step does largely come down to your mind-set and:
    1 - valuing yourself & your time
    2 - not being driven by fear-based mentality
    If we want to be seen as respected professionals, we must first act like it.
  • Mario Borg | 06 Jun 2013, 10:01 AM Agree 0
    Doctors do make house calls, however I totally agree with Jason. I changed the way I did business a long time ago and offered clients the option to see me on my terms; at the office and at specified times. Clients that have a need or desire to do business with you will make it work, simple as that! House calls is an exception and not the rule in my opinion.
  • Simon Q | 06 Jun 2013, 10:07 AM Agree 0
    GP's do house calls, it is more about getting the right balance. I prefer Office appointments which are about 90% of them, but as 95% of my clients are referrals. The self-worth has already been established. So if the client has children and it is convenient to arrange finance at their home after dinner, then I am travelling to them. Saying no, still may get the client to your office, but may not be as inclined to refer.
  • Country Broker | 06 Jun 2013, 10:10 AM Agree 0
    I rarely do house call , maybe its a regional thing , clients are happy to come to us, we do the occasional afterhours office appointment, that still puts the client in your office, never weekends or public holidays.
    My referrers do not expect me to do "house calls" , This is a very credible argument.
  • overtheborderbroker | 06 Jun 2013, 10:13 AM Agree 0
    I have not made a house call since 2007 and formed an early opinion that it was the only way to go. I now believe that each to their own - if that's your point of difference then go for it! If we all decided to insist that clients come to us then like a school of fish we all turn around and swim the other way. Let's let the fish swim any way they want and then everyone is satisfied.
  • Kamran | 06 Jun 2013, 10:21 AM Agree 0
    GP used to do home visits and do it today on special occasions. Banks and some lenders (Aussie) have mobile lenders. There is this difference. Also the argument is more valid if you work out of an office. For home based brokers is more difficult to say no.
  • Broking Manager | 06 Jun 2013, 10:28 AM Agree 0
    This is a beautiful differentiation between those running Broking businesses and those who are self employed Loan Writers.

    Running a professional office and employing staff is a key factor in attracting loyal referrers to your business.

    I wouldn't use a Doctor, Dentist, Accountant or Solicitor who operated from a home office and wanted to use my premises to conduct his business.

    Consumers have matured from the days they expected a Broker to simply lodge their application to the most appropriate Lender. They are more aware of their rights and have higher expectations. They rightfully expect Credit advice from you. They expect you to be educated and experienced, and have resources beyond your Laptop to assist them.
  • Ray-Perth | 06 Jun 2013, 10:29 AM Agree 0
    What a time wasting article. What suits one individual does not suit everyone. I prefer not to portray an egotistical attitude, dealing with each situation that best suits me and the client.
  • Positive Broker | 06 Jun 2013, 10:29 AM Agree 0
    I still do house calls and my clients do not view me as less professional. You are either professional or you are not, an office won't make any difference to that. Sure, it may take a bit longer but I have close to 99% conversion rate. It's all about a bit of pre qualification and it can work well. And to be honest you get to know your clients really well in this environment.
  • SIDBROKER | 06 Jun 2013, 10:31 AM Agree 0
    If the client wants the broker to come to their home I will be more than happy to oblige. Perhaps the brokers who are above home visits can refer their clients to me.
  • Luke Scott - BSmart QLD | 06 Jun 2013, 11:19 AM Agree 0
    It comes down to the client for us. While office appts are good it can be difficult to get both parties there- especially if both work and have kids.

    With a mature business and referrals I agree with the article. But with a young growing business flexibility is required.
  • The Observer | 06 Jun 2013, 11:38 AM Agree 0
    I just love the different view points - the only one missing is the clients viewpoint! I have been in business many years and when I gave up the office I actually became busier - just look at how Macquarie and now CBA and other progressive companies do business. In my mind to be office bound on this tech world is almost old world (David Jones held hard on "come to us" idea) With all this said, listen to your clients: but if you see business slowing up, you might need to leave the office:)
  • Positive Broker | 06 Jun 2013, 11:58 AM Agree 0
    I think the right answer is both models work. It really depends on what the clients want and what sort of business you want. Personally I have no desire to run an office and staff. I prefer to outsource and remain flexible to meet customer needs.
  • Steve McClure | 06 Jun 2013, 12:10 PM Agree 0
    I have a city centre office and can see Mark's strategy, but disagree. I don't have his mortgage volumes, but I also write equipment finance, where I might go from in-office, to signing a deal up in a truck, or driving to Lightning Ridge to inspect and sign up an excavator deal. I even fly, once was for a barrister's new Bentley. He wasn't going to come to me, nor should he.

    I get my hands dirty so to speak, responding and creating as few barriers as possible between me and the client. Each to their own.
  • Rael | 06 Jun 2013, 12:11 PM Agree 0
    This has nothing to do with flexibility etc - it has to do with professionalism. If we as an industry want to position ourselves as professionals then we are in the same category as doctors, lawyers and accountants. None of the group above will generally do house calls. The industry bodies are concerned about creating the "CPA" equivalence. If that is the case then the first step is creating an understanding in the clients that we are professionals.
  • overtheborderbroker | 06 Jun 2013, 12:28 PM Agree 0
    Great healthy discussion
  • Mike Clarke | 06 Jun 2013, 12:33 PM Agree 0
    Rael, What on earth has it got to do with 'professionalism'! Thats a given. As for accountants if they are 'management consulting accountants' & not just tax preparers then they would be obliged on many occasions to visit their clients. Once again to better understand how an operation functions. It is often not just providing & processing a simply 'I return' (accounting) or 'Home Loan' (lending). It might involve dealing with SME's? I guess it depends alot on your 'target' market & client mix perhaps?
  • Paul Callery | 06 Jun 2013, 12:43 PM Agree 0
    What nonsense to suggest that brokers should not make house calls. The comparison with GPs is spurious at best. I know brokers that don't make house calls, they do very well. I know brokers that only make house calls, they do very well. Horses for courses.
  • Jason Back (Managing Director ALIC) | 06 Jun 2013, 12:50 PM Agree 0
    Thank you all very much for your feedback and responses. Its great to get your insights. The thing to remember is this article is in relation to what has driven Mark Davis's success and it is not a one size fits all approach. ALIC has other managers with different service offerings that will see a client at a time and place that works for them. This works for them! We recognise the need to be agile in a changing market and are very aware of how clients needs are evolving including how they are serviced.
  • alex | 06 Jun 2013, 12:57 PM Agree 0
    come on guys it's not about us it's about the clients , we are not GPs or Accountents, we are brokers, and thats what we do look after clients so they stay with us for alife time,
  • Statewide mortgage solutions | 06 Jun 2013, 01:00 PM Agree 0
    It is true how a office is more professional, though at the moment I don't have the funds to set up a office and for me being in a wheelchair I need the access I have clients that come to me at my house I let them no I'm in a wheelchair they are happy to even meet me at a coffee shop, while I'm not making enough to get a office my plan is to have a office or shop front in 12 to 18 months I have been into YELLOW BRICK ROADS office at Elanora its so professional with a lot information on there products and there is always customers in there. I can not wait until I set up a office / shop front
  • Lyndal | 06 Jun 2013, 07:50 PM Agree 0
    GP's still do make house calls and so do local accountants. One size does not fit all.
  • Silly Question | 06 Jun 2013, 11:14 PM Agree 0
    Silly question from me for those who do little or no house calls. Are you seeing your clients at your office after hours or do your clients take a half day off to come and see you?
  • Rael | 07 Jun 2013, 09:52 AM Agree 0
    I often see clients after work in the office 6/7pm meetings to accommodate their times and availability.
    another comment is the $80 per month subscription for foxtel is a bonus as it allows us to put a tv on for the kids when parents come into the office with smaller children and keep them entertained while we meet.
  • wayne | 07 Jun 2013, 09:56 AM Agree 0
    Agree with the article wholeheartedly. I work from 8:30 to 5:00. Never go to a client's house, they come to my office. If they can't get in till 4.30 - 5.00 I will stay back to look after them. But hey, if they are professionals, they expect people to go to them, if they are tradesman they knock off by 3:00 - 3:30. Office workers can organise a lunchtime or a day off. I need to take time off to do business with them, so it should be reciprocated. After all, your own family needs you too.
  • Fez | 08 Jun 2013, 12:02 AM Agree 0
    I think there is a lot of merit in Jason's comments. I think we can command more respect by seeing the customers at a mutually convenient time (rather than rushing to see them that or the next day) and place. The best place is obviously an office environment with all of the facilities and other means of support readily available. I work from home but often arrange appointments in our head office. They have a higher rate of success than visiting customers in their homes...
  • ozboy | 11 Jun 2013, 09:24 AM Agree 0
    Your GP doesn't do house calls - why should you?

    Pretty simple really what I do isn't life and death a reality that seems to escape some in our industry.

    Stop following the fads and do what works for you. Just get on with it.
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