How to adapt in today's sort of crazy market

There are three things to look at, broker says

How to adapt in today's sort of crazy market


By Mina Martin

Brenden O’Donnell, managing director of Liberty Network Services, said there were three things mortgage brokers needed to look at if they wanted to adapt in today’s market that’s hit by inflation and rising interest rates.

This “very tumultuous time that we are currently living in,” where “everyone’s struggling with this dreaded word called inflation,” O’Donnell said, is a “bit like it’s back to the future. 

“We’ve been here before with the rates at levels they are now – in fact, arguably, many, many, years ago, rates were even higher, but back to the future is all about making sure, now more than ever, that we stay in touch with our customers,” he said.

“We connect with customers – we don’t just send them an email or give them a text message. We actually reach out to them and have a face-to-face or a telephone call with them to find out how they're doing. So, very importantly you stay in touch with our customers.”

Education is very important too, O’Donnel said, especially as most Australians are not very financially literate, so the onus is on brokers to educate them on their options.

“Of course, we’ve heard about the fixed rate stuff and all these dramatic things that are coming out of the media, which scares consumers,” he said.

“But ultimately what's really important is to help educate our customers. Keep them calm. Let them understand the options that they have, and by doing that, they’ll build good rapport and good relationships, and the customer will then come back to them and use them moving forward.”

Another important thing for brokers to become successful in “today’s sort of crazy market” is diversification.

“I'm a big believer in diversification,” O’Donnel said. “What I mean by that is if all your eggs are in one basket … you’re all dependent on just writing residential mortgages and you don't look at other opportunities to help other customers with finance, it gets more challenging.

“And so, diversification as a broker today more than ever is really, really important. Focusing on commercial and motor personal loans and things like that that you can do quite easily given your knowledge in the world of residential.”

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