How can you stand out from the broking pack?

by Calida Smylie13 Mar 2014
A recruiter specialising in placing brokers has noticed a significant amount of ‘new blood’ coming into the mortgage industry.

Pathways Recruitment managing director Carla Pibworth said from the second half of last year onwards she has seen more quality candidates wanting to be involved in broking who are “willing to do the hard yards” to get established.

She believes this is largely due to mortgage broking becoming recognised as a profession rather than a vocation.

“It’s become a position that is admired a bit more than on previous occasion perhaps, purely because of the regulation and qualification requirement changes. It’s not just a job you can walk into now; it’s been given some hierarchy.  Candidates are seeing it as more of a professional entity they are entering into, which is fantastic.”

Pathways successfully placed 56 mortgage brokers in 2013 and currently have 23 candidates who are completing regulatory requirements before being introduced to Pathways’ clients.

Pibworth – who used to be a broker herself – has a unique business approach which she developed after talking to brokerages and aggregators.

“When I first started Pathways in 2010 I could see that people who wanted to become mortgage brokers were researching it on the internet and walking away because they could see there was a lot of red tape involved. I also noticed aggregators were reluctant to take on new brokers due to their inexperience,” she said.

Her company not only introduces broking newbies to good organisations but shows them the way with a clear progression plan to help them get their regulatory requirements completed, so when they reach the brokerage on their first day they can start immediately with all their paperwork in one file.

So how can brokers stand out from the rest when first entering the profession or moving jobs?

“I get a lot of people who come through to me and promote sales as one of the biggest attributes they have to offer and whilst I understand fully that having sales experience is very important, for me it’s all about service provision. I consider the finance industry to be a service providing industry as opposed to a sales industry,” Pibworth said.

The ability to form relationships, professionalism and drive are also key qualities.

“I like to see hunger in their belly and motivation, someone who’s willing to go the extra mile for both myself and the client because that’s the person who I want to promote as a broker in our industry.”

And Pibworth said this approach is working – brokerages are starting to look more at candidates who have “massive potential” but may not look like traditional brokers on paper.

Incidentally, the first broker Pibworth ever placed was a landscape gardener who had hurt his back and realised gardening was no longer sustainable. Pibworth suggested mortgage broking as the man was good at managing his accounts and worked a referral-based business.

In his third year of broking, the last tax year, the former landscape gardener wrote $54 million. It seems the ‘new blood’ will keep the old-timers on their toes.