How connecting with community can help brokers thrive

Mortgage broker delivers financial literacy program

How connecting with community can help brokers thrive


By Ryan Johnson

Connecting with community initiatives can not only bring personal fulfillment but generate leads and establishing credibility in the competitive mortgage broker industry, according to Niti Bhargava, a Melbourne-based mortgage broker for Resolve Finance.

“I run my business with a purpose,” Bhargava (pictured above) said. “I don't want to be another mortgage broker who's just looking into the numbers and the profitability of the business.”

“But equally, these initiatives can generate word-of-mouth and expand your business. Referral partners are coming to me now because they know what kind of values I work with.”

Connecting with community

Bhargava’s financial literacy program has grown by leaps and bounds since the early days during the pandemic.

 The program was fuelled by conversations with her local community, where numerous South Asian women found themselves grappling with the challenges of lockdown, financial difficulties, and even domestic violence.

Recognising the pressing need for support in these areas, Bhargava drew upon her 13-year background in finance and identified a gap that demanded her attention.

“I used to work in banking, so I’ve listened to many people’s experiences and stories over the years, but I had no way to really help solve their problems,” Bhargava said. “When you are self-employed, like many brokers are these days, it allows you that time and freedom to give back to the community,” 

Driven by this desire to give back, Bhargava developed online programs and utilised various community channels, including radio, to provide guidance through educational videos throughout lockdown.

As life gradually returned to normal in Victoria, Bhargava saw an opportune moment to expand the reach of these programs.

Encouraged by the conversations she had with a local Member of Parliament, she realised that the need for financial literacy was not confined to the South Asian community alone; it resonated across different backgrounds, transcending cultural boundaries.

“We started doing our first face-to-face session in April, which was quite insightful and eye-opening for me as a facilitator. I had so many different cultures in the room, from African and European communities to Australians,” Bhargava said.

“The problems were more or less similar across cultures. And so we were like ‘we can't do these things once or six months or once a year. It has to be a regular initiative’. Now we do it every quarter.”

Building reputation and credibility

In an industry dominated by dodgy lead generation tactics and where Google reviews are worth their weight in gold, cutting through the noise and connecting with customers can be a challenge.

Bhargava, who has also spoken out about the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity in the mortgage broking industry, said while the initiatives were “personally fulfilling and meaningful”, they also gave brokers that “next level of credibility” in the eyes of stakeholders.

“I’ve always been very shy when it comes to real estate agents or other referral partners – I cannot advertise in that way. And specifically, being a woman broker, there were some inclusion differences as well. So I started thinking of connecting through other ways,” said Bhargava.

“These initiatives help people believe that you are genuine and a member of the community trying to make a difference in society rather than seeing you as just a mortgage broker. You build that reputation.”

Bhargava said that when you win work, your image will be already established and you can get to work.

“You don’t have to project yourself that you are the best and be all like ‘look at me’. Just let your work speak for itself and connect with people on a human basis. This gave me uniqueness in a male-dominated industry,” she said.

Bhargava’s next financial literacy program will be held in Caroline Springs on July 28.

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