The owner of Blackfish Finance says her favourite thing about being a broker is helping clients
About seven years ago this broker decided to jump on board a new CRM offered by his aggregator
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For Bernard Desmond, broking is all about providing opportunities. Whether helping a client buy their first home, their tenth investment property or simply get on top of their finances, the Melbourne-based broker says he finds the role extremely satisfying and full of potential.
MPA spoke with Desmond about the recent launch of Blank and how partnering with Specialist Finance Group enabled him to streamline his systems and processes.
Delivering Blank as an “opportunity-broker”
After three years on the job, Desmond says he built a lot of equity in his personal name and soon found himself at a crossroads. Seeking to differentiate his business from others in the industry, he wanted to set up a business structure that was conducive to scalability; that could create a “plug and play” scenario for other brokers to come on board as the business grew.
He partnered with SFG to launch Blank, a brokerage based on dealing opportunities rather than dealing mortgages.
“I wanted a brand that was different from your typical mortgage broker; it was bespoke, it had the feel of a private banker approach while assisting your regular Australian mum and dads,” he says.
“Blank’s all about unlimited opportunities, and it’s not just opportunities for me, it’s for my clients and it’s for my lender partners.”
New tech has been a win-win
Tech is one of the main reasons Desmond decided to aggregate with SFG. He says the platform provided by SFG allows both the broker and their customers to save a lot of time by simplifying the transactions involved.
“The whole user experience was really flawless and that was really critical for me,” he explains.
“I didn’t want a system to just solve my problem, I wanted a system that could solve the customer’s problem and make it really easy for them.”
He says the digital sign up capability offered by SFG has given him time back each day in order to meet new clients and speak to customers about how he can help them with their opportunities.
The tech enables the client to use their mobile phone to submit an application rather than spend several hours printing out forms and scanning documents. It also allows them to see what Desmond and his staff are doing at the backend of the process.
He says this capability has proved extremely important amid COVID-19.
“It’s certainly given the client more flexibility wherein they can sit in their loungeroom and do this at a time and place that works for them rather than taking time out to go and drive to the broker’s office.”
Voicing issues from the frontline of broking
In 2019, Desmond became the Victorian State president for the FBAA.
“For me, it’s really important to share the challenges that a broker is facing in real life and the frontline and feed that back to the leadership within FBAA and this role just gives me that platform to do that.”
He says he balances his workload by setting aside a regular number of hours each week to maintain his FBAA commitments while being flexible outside this for issues that require his attention.
Passionate about what brokers can offer clients, Desmond says there is a real need for the profession in our society.
“Broking, in my opinion, is a very rewarding career, not just financially, but it also gives you a sense of fulfilment.”
“There is a huge potential in broking and the customer is screaming for help.”
“They want a trusted advisor; they want someone that they can talk to who can impart their knowledge and skill and share their experience so that they don’t make mistakes along the way.”
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