Referral training to help brokers share the win

by Miklos Bolza25 Jul 2017
Finance and property consulting group Real Estate Finance Solutions (REFS) Australia has opened up spots in its referral partnership training course and announced plans to expand out with two new programs on personal branding and women in finance.

The firm’s flagship program, Partnering is Powerful, aims to give brokers the confidence and knowledge to not only want to build strong referrer relationships but also to know how to accomplish this goal, Debbie Hutchings, director, educator and trainer at REFS Australia, told Australian Broker.

“Referral relationships are built on trust between the two referring parties. This is built up over time by sharing ‘wins’ together. To learn the steps to be confident and ask for the business and then trust each other to ensure the relationship works effectively is the end goal.”

In order for brokers and referrers to have a solid relationship, the broker must be willing to offer something back in the event of a successful referral, she said.

“This need not necessarily be a cash payment. It might be a referral for a referral. There might be a client who walks through my door who comes via a real estate agent. I might be processing the loan for them but if they have other properties and are looking for property management services or are seeking to buy another property, that real estate agent may be able to help them. That’s a win-win on both sides.”

Through the course, REFS Australia will also conduct workshops to help attendees understand the value of referrer relationships and teach the steps to establish, maintain and see this value, she said.

The firm has been running the course for the past six months, offering training to both new-to-industry and existing mortgage brokers. Hutchings’ 23 years of industry experience in banking and broking, and current role as finance professional as well as MFAA mentor, put her in a unique position to provide this type of training.

“We wanted to assist brokers in the industry,” she said. “What I hear a lot externally is that brokers want to partner with specific other professionals – this doesn’t need to be real estate agents; it could be solicitors, accountants or planners – but they don’t actually know how to do that. The training that I offer walks through those steps. But before it does that, it talks about the benefits of actually partnering.”

The size of these training sessions can vary ranging from 15 people at new-to-industry workshops to 50 people at events held on larger aggregator PD days.

REFS Australia is also expanding its sales training programs, bringing in two new courses for finance professionals: Determine Your Difference, which focuses on personal branding, and Successful Women’s Business, which helps women overcome common industry challenges.

“With Determine Your Difference, what we want to achieve is to help mainstream brokers stand out from their competitors. We want to give them tools and information to help them become more of a specialist in their field and create that point of difference,” Hutchings said.

This includes workshopping brokers through something similar to a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis to help brokers find and play into their strengths when building a successful specialist business.

The second new course, Successful Women’s Business, offers tips for women working in the predominantly male field of finance such as building referral partner networks, stronger communication skills, better leadership skills, and improved confidence.

“It’s a lot more general in terms of specifics for women. There’s a little bit about female leadership, how women wield power, and how to speak up for yourself, and be a lot more confident,” Hutchings said.

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