Reporting “strong growth” in its commercial and SMSF portfolios over the last year, Liberty has long been an advocate for diversification, urging brokers to learn about everything from personal loans and auto finance, to tax debt consolidation.
“The key to successful diversification is early engagement with a BDM. Pick up the phone or attend a PD day and start the conversation,” says John Mohnacheff, group sales manager at Liberty.
“The other thing brokers can do is stop thinking that diversification is complex or complicated. Although experience always helps, the fundamentals are similar and it’s easier than what many may think. If you take the time to understand the customer’s needs and financial position, then all the broker has to do is work with various products and lenders to find even better solutions,” he continues.
Royden D’Vaz, head of sales and marketing, Bluestone APAC, echoes the message.
“Current market volatility means brokers should reflect on the steps they can take to protect their profits. Diversifying into new market segments and product offerings can help offset unstable growth in vanilla lending.”
In terms of compliance, the last year saw several major developments, including the Productivity Commission’s draft report and the royal commission’s interim findings. The Combined Industry Forum also continued to drive better customer outcomes and raise the bar in the broking industry.
FAST CEO Brendan Wright says, “We believe brokers play an essential role but we recognise that customer expectations continually shift. This means we need to continue to always adapt to be effective in everything we do – business processes, documentation and client interactions, data collection and most importantly, customer service.
“In our view, aggregators will play an essential role in shaping the broking industry of the future,” he adds.
Further, Wright says brokers need to demonstrate they have met their NCCP compliance obligations and ensure they are providing detailed documentation around income and expenses.
“This ‘know and show’ approach means brokers need to ask those extra questions, record all conversations in their CRM and have clients sign off on their details. Storage of the customers supporting documentation in a robust platform is also critical,” he explains.