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At the time Mario Borg Strategic Finance principal founder and 2018 MPA Top 100 Broker finalist Mario Borg sold his first mortgage broking business in late 2013, he interviewed several CEOs from large aggregator groups and found out what was missing in the industry.
“There was little focus on attracting new blood into the industry, particularly from other disciplines,” Borg told MPA. “It’s no secret that most of the larger aggregators recruit new brokers by tapping on the shoulders of existing brokers.”
Borg, however, added that over the last few years, focus on the promotion of mortgage broking as a career has shifted. “It’s pleasing to see that mortgage broking is now seen as a professional career that’s catching the attention of other professionals, with many making it a fulltime career,” he said.
In 2012, wanting to fill a perceived gap in the marketplace, Borg and his business co-founder Andrew Tan launched mentoring and coaching program Masters Broker Group (MBG). The program’s original value proposition was to guide and foster new-to-industry brokers in building sustainable and profitable businesses.
But having been approached by existing brokers looking for guidance on how to fix their drifting businesses, Borg and Tan extended MBG’s offering to those who have been in the industry longer.
When Borg was just starting out in broking, Tan took him in as a mentee. Borg then had no experience writing a loan, nor the skill to do it despite being a qualified accountant and having a managerial background in financial services.
“Andrew was instrumental in getting me up and running fast, which resulted in my settlements reaching $18m in residential home loans in my first year as a broker. That was back in 2004 when the average loan size was $250,000,” Borg said.
MBG conducts regular workshops which focuses on key elements of running a successful mortgage broking business. These workshops are “how-to” events with time-tested tools, templates and systems to help brokers increase their revenues and profits.
The program initially took on a few interstate brokers, but over the last few years, has limited its offering to Melbourne-based brokers to maintain an effective mentoring and coaching service. MBG currently mentors 30 brokers, or, as Borg and Tan likes to call them, family.
“We are a close bunch and look out for each other to ensure everyone is successful in their own way. Of course, success means different things to different people, as it’s not always just about settlement volumes,” Borg said.
To become a part of the “family”, a broker needs to accomplish a questionnaire named “Have You Got What It Takes?”. Its purpose is “to peel the layers” back until what a broker truly wants to achieve is revealed, as well as to ensure the broker fits the MBG culture.
“One business concept I teach is that you can’t be all things to all people, so we practise what we preach,” Borg said.
Two for the price of one
Borg and Tan conduct the mentoring and coaching themselves, which, according to Borg, is where “brokers get immense value.” “Both Andrew and I are MFAA-accredited mentors. The benefit brokers get in joining MBG is that they get two mentors for the price of one!” Borg said.
“Andrew has strong skills in compliance, systems and operational issues; therefore, he is responsible for the day to day running of the business. My strengths lie in sales, marketing and business strategy. Together, we offer a strong value proposition for our brokers, which is evident in the settlement volumes some of our brokers are achieving.”
Early 2019, MBG introduced a one-on-one coaching program which Borg runs. The program focuses on business accountability and structure, and, like its initial offering, requires brokers to meet a standard before he or she can get onboard.
"After selling my initial mortgage broking business at four times the annual trail, which I built over a period of eight years, I re-established my mortgage broking business, with a track record of landing a spot on MPA's Top 100 list every year. I walk the talk and talk the walk,” Borg said.
“That’s unique for our brokers.”
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