Brokers and industry experts gathered last week at a MPA Magazine conference to look at how the industry was changing and how brokers can develop their businesses.
The Broker Business Exchange (BBX) had panellists and guest speakers from across the country. Topics covered during the one day event included specialist lending, the new digital landscape, time management and business strategies.
During a panel on ‘Structuring your Business for Growth’ speakers discussed using technology, the importance of customer service and the effects of the Royal Commission.
Panel speakers were Nathaniel Truong, director of The Loan Lounge, Kim Horan, an Aussie Top 100 broker, Brenden Lowbridge, associate director and finance strategist at Money Links and Liz Wilson, director of Wilson Financial.
Providing their own insights on how their businesses run, they each said maintaining customer relationships was key.
Horan said, “I think customer service is talked a lot about these days and most of the customers come in looking for genuine service. We do pick the phone up and we do call them and we do stay in touch with them after their loan settles.
“It’s really good to get them in the front door but we’ve got to be able to retain them and by building a relationship after their loan settles.
“But how do you maintain that when you bring staff on? You’ve got to make sure their values are aligned. It’s really hard if you haven’t set the expectation with them at the start to get them to seek to exceed customer expectations if it’s not part of who are they are and it’s not part of who everybody is. If you’ve done all the ground work with customer relationships you don’t want that to get dropped when somebody else talks to a customer.”
Asked how they felt their customers had reacted with regards to trust after the Royal Commission, Wilson said the enquiry had provided a great opportunity for brokers.
Wilson added, “We haven’t had anyone explicitly tell us they don’t trust more brokers any more. They don’t trust banks, is what I’m hearing.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to reposition ourselves as trusted advisers. It’s almost as good if not better than the GFC was. It shook people.
“We’re all adapting, we’re all getting better. I think we can position ourselves as more trusted within the industry if we do it right.
“We have had more enquiries, people referring me I’ve never had before. It’s interesting to see they’re having conversations they have never had.”
Horan agreed and added, “I think it’s going to be an incredible opportunity for us as mortgage brokers in general. There are people that ask questions but as Liz has already said it positions us in such a place of strength.
“Our value proposition is better than before. We offer genuine service for the life of the loan so we are going to touch base with them, we are going to make sure their product is competitive; we’re going to compel them to stay in touch with that part of life.”
Truong said, “I think it’s going to be constant disruption, I think as a broker we just have to be ready to adapt to the changes and work with what we can control and ignore what we can’t control.”
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