Deanna Ezzy tells how she switched to SFG

  • Broker tips for building an online presence through digital marketing

    Expert says it's not just about getting reviews, it's also about how you use them

  • Caroline Jean-Baptiste loves getting people into their homes

    This broker recently helped an 85-year-old client upgrade her house during the pandemic


    • 2018 Commercial Lenders Roundtable
    • Top 10 Brokerages 2018
    • 2018 Brokers on Aggregators

    The pandemic has been a time of big change for Deanna Ezzy and the team at More Than Mortgages. At its onset she decided to use any down turn in business to conduct a review of its processes, partners and providers. So, when no down turn occurred, and the business grew even busier, she found herself and her team doing this while juggling added work.

    The main reason for switching

    As part of the review, Ezzy and her team identified that their existing software was not built for the kind of volumes they were writing each month.

    “The software we were using previously was time consuming and clunky. We could only get to $10M per month then everything (and everyone) would start falling apart.”

    Having heard positive things about SFG’s CRM, she added them to the list of aggregators that she was researching. She was also attracted to the fact the group was a family owned business and that she would have unfettered access to its owner and managing director William Lockett and well as the SFG team.

    “I had a sense of calm and comfort with them and I could not believe the levels of service and support they were offering me and my business along with the best CRM I could find in the market.”

    How they made the switch

    After playing around with dummy software provided by SFG over a period of three weeks, she and her team made up a list of pros and cons before making the final decision to join the aggregator.

    “The next step was to get a copy of the agreement and have that reviewed by a lawyer. This took two weeks of back forth with the lawyer, and then discussions with Will Lockett, before we had the agreement signed.”

    After the agreement was signed, there was a whole host of other paperwork to complete, as well as getting police checks and sending AFCA and MFAA certificates to SFG.

    “My previous aggregator was also only able to supply the data the day after my access had been shut off from their system, so this caused delays in the data migration of around two weeks.”

    “Had we been able to get the data earlier, we could have had this ready by the time we were ‘turned on’.”

    Lessons learned from the switch over period

    Having never changed aggregators before, Ezzy admits she would have done things a little differently if she had her time over again.

    “I was doing around 20 client appointments a week and naively thought that it wouldn’t take up too much of my time.”

    “Although SFG were excellent to deal with, I personally should have taken more time away from broking to focus on the move.”

    In hindsight, she says things would have run more seamlessly had she stopped doing client appointment for a week or two in lead up to the change.

    “The data transfer took longer than expected.”

    “Lenders turned off our access for all loans in the system so we were unable to get updates, except through our BDMs.”

    “Some lenders put the applications on hold until we had our new lender accreditation up and running and some lenders wanted a full resubmission”

    “This wasn’t ideal as we didn’t want another unnecessary enquiry on our clients’ credit file.”

    The benefits of switching

    Despite this short-term pain, Ezzy and her team are thrilled with their new software and have been blown away by the level of service provided by SFG.

    “Will Lockett was on the phone to me almost daily to see if there was anything he or his team could do to help.”

    At one stage Ezzy mentioned two of her staff were in tears because they had 28 applications backed up in the queue to be loaded.

    “At this point, we were able to submit applications, but the data still hadn’t been migrated.”

    “Will asked what he could do, and my answer was something along the lines of “nothing, we just need to get through this backlog of work”.”

    “The next day, Alex Rossiter from SFG was at our office doing data entry for us, and he stayed for three days to help us clear the backlog at no cost to me.”

    “This is insanely excellent service! I didn’t even think this would be something an aggregator would do.”

    “I was thoroughly impressed.”

    Future goals

    Following the switch, Ezzy is now in the process of expanding her team from five to seven and the business is working towards its goal of writing $50m more than the previous financial year.

    “I am confident we will reach this goal.”

    “I really feel like the team at SFG are now a part of the MTM family, and we at MTM are part of the SFG family.”

    “I feel the SFG team really value me and my business, and likewise, I value them and their support.”

    “So much love!! I’m very happy I made the switch.”

    Related stories:

    • How Charlie Loveridge became a Shore Financial broker
    • How the lockdown has affected the recruitment of staff
    • What should brokers look for in an aggregator?

    Original Article