The big four say they won't follow non-banks' lead on variable mortgages
This broker says building close relationships is the best part of the job
- 2018 Commercial Lenders Roundtable
- Top 10 Brokerages 2018
- 2018 Brokers on Aggregators
Daniel O’Brien was just 24 when he launched his own mortgage broking business. While his first year’s profit was less than $50, he went on to build traction and make the Top 100 multiple times in a row. He says new to industry brokers wanting to make the list should look beyond social media advertising and focus on delivering better service and outcomes for their clients.
Why repeat business and referrals trump social media
While much is said about the power of online presence in this day and age, word of mouth is the best type of currency, says O’Brien.
This is because it delivers a much better strike rate.
“If I’m getting a client that’s referred by their brother, the job is three quarters done before I even speak to them.”
“Whereas, I might speak to 100 people off advertising or social media and get two deals.”
“I would rather have a 95% strike rate by speaking to five people than speaking to 100 people and getting two clients.”
The importance of systems and processes
He says the way to create repeat business and word of mouth referral is through delivering exceptional outcomes for clients and partners. While this comes down to a range of different factors, developing excellent systems and processes is key.
“Keep it simple. There’s no such thing as too much communication.”
“We often update people when there is nothing to update them about.”
This is particularly relevant in the current lending environment, where banks can take weeks to even pick up a file. By calling clients regularly and letting them know when they are likely to hear back from the bank, brokers can help to reassure customers before any angst starts to arise.
This also means less time spent on the phone, as a quick call to the client may only take 30 seconds, whereas, if the client calls you wanting an update, it could take as long as ten minutes to explain what is happening.
“It’s about call control, which saves us time in the long run, but also, it’s about keeping clients happy so when it’s all done and dusted, they’re coming back – or they’re referring their cousin or brother.”
An action plan for success
The team at PFS Financial Services meet every morning to discuss where things are at with each file and create an action plan for the day. At the end of the day, staff email their action plans to O’Brien to update him on any progress. The company also keeps an electronic checklist that O’Brien can access at any time through his iPhone or computer to see how the files are tracking.
While having support staff becomes important for brokers as they build their business and write more volume, starting out as an allrounder can help a new to industry broker by giving them a bigger knowledge base, says O’Brien.
“A lot of brokers make the mistake of not doing the dirty work and the admin stuff initially and not having that nuts and bolts knowledge when they’re sitting in front of a client.”
“By not knowing the nuts and bolts they maybe don’t have the confidence, knowledge, or expertise to win a client’s trust as well as they could had they known the stuff involved.”
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