Should brokers collaborate or conceal their winning strategy?

Brokers share secrets to success

Should brokers collaborate or conceal their winning strategy?


By Ryan Johnson

The Australian mortgage industry is a battlefield, competing for borrowers.

On one side stand the banks, wielding their vast resources and brand recognition. On the other, a diverse army of mortgage brokers fight for market share, equipped with Best Interests Duty (BID) and their own unique strengths.

Despite the direct channel’s might, the brokers are currently winning the war. A staggering 71.5% of new home loans are now secured through third-party channels.

However, a question arises: with such a competitive landscape, do individual brokers lose out by revealing their winning strategies to their peers?

In other words, should brokers collaborate and share their secrets to success, or keep them close to the chest as a way to stand out from the crowd?

Success through sharing

The number of brokers has reached 19,456, according to the latest MFAA figures, with nearly half (45%) operating as the sole loan writer in their business.

Unlike the banks, which can use other levers like interest rates or cashback offers to attract customers, mortgage brokers fundamentally compete on one thing: service.

So, if you have a unique value proposition that’s working for you as a broker, should you keep it to yourself?

“No,” according to two prominent mortgage brokers, Gitika Merani and Niti Bhargava.

“While competition exists amongst brokers, it is important to prioritise ethical conduct and transparency,” Merani (pictured above left), director at Your Finance Network. “Concealing plans from peers to gain an advantage is not a recommended practice.”

“Instead, success can be achieved through a combination of diligent market research, strategic decision-making, sharing best practices and building strong relationships with clients and colleagues.”

Bhargava (pictured above centre), director of Resolve Finance Derrimut, agreed, saying it’s more strategic to be collaborative, transparent, and precise.

“Every individual’s journey is different, with different strengths and weaknesses. While we should celebrate each other’s success, at the same time it should be inspiration to find your own success terms as well.”

How collaborating helps brokers overcome challenges

With many brokers entering the industry by themselves, staying on top of evolving lending equations and compliance can be challenging.

This is why Merani said “finding your pack” is key to surviving and thriving as a broker.

“I strongly believe that the quickest way to success is by helping others succeed,” Merani said. “Knowledge is power, sharing scenarios, success stories and lender info sessions can go miles for brokers who collaborate with their industry peers.”

As an entrepreneur and mum, Merani said she found a safe space with other mums navigating mortgage broking startups and toddlers.

“Always knowing you are not alone in your journey is an important process,” Merani said. “Networking with brokers who have been industry experts helps you understand their career pathway and you can emulate some of their practices.

“My broker friends have introduced me to some key lender connections while I was navigating complex deals and needed immediate support to meet deadlines.” 

Bhargava said she had also found some of her best friends in the mortgage industry, as they “understand the challenges of the industry and working as a broker, the joys of achievements and constant hustle.”

“This extends to our relationships with asset or commercial finance specialists as we keep exchanging the referral leads according to our specialisations to get the best outcome for the mutual clients.”

An example of mortgage industry collaboration

One example of how brokers are collaborating is through social media sites, like the Broker and BDM (B&B Group) WhatsApp group.

Organised by mortgage industry professionals such as brokers Kiran Sood, Varun Goyal, and Tripti Goyal, the group started in April 2023 has 630 members nationally.

Tripti Goyal (pictured above right) said the group is open to brokers, BDMs, partnership managers, aggregators, and lenders.

“Basically, it’s for anyone dedicated to supporting and educating clients and empowering the broker community,” Goyal said. “The discussions in the group are tailored around client scenarios, where to place deals, and which lender can best support the transaction.”

The group is moderated and only allows for collaboration through the channel, with self-promoters getting banned.

“B&B is very specific about the tone of conversation and inapropriate comments aren't to be tolerated... This is all about supporting each other so we can best support the client,” Goyal said.

The rising tide of broker collaboration

Mortgage brokers operate in a competitive landscape. While they compete with each other for individual clients, their primary competition comes from direct lenders in the mortgage market.

From knowledge sharing to referral networks and collective marketing, collaboration between brokers offers several benefits that can ultimately increase market share for the entire broking industry.

The outcome? By working together, brokers can increase the overall appeal and effectiveness of their offering. 

This rising tide lifts all boats, meaning even individual brokers with a specific niche can benefit from the increased visibility and demand for their services.

In short, Bhargava put it like this: “Collaboration doesn't diminish individual success; it strengthens the entire broking industry against the competition from banks, ultimately leading to a win-win for all brokers.”

What do you think about mortgage industry collaboration? Comment below.

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