With many Australians financially affected by COVID-19, brokers are answering the call to help them find solutions
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From social media campaigns to compiling databases, brokers across the country are being proactive in dealing with the challenges caused by Covid-19.
While the way brokers do business has changed dramatically over the past few weeks, one thing has stayed the same – a client-based focus has meant that brokers everywhere have continued to serve a vital role in our society.
Communication is key.
In Sydney, co-founder of Atelier Wealth, Aaron Christie-David, says he misses meeting face-to-face with clients as this goes a long way in building rapport.
To overcome this challenge, the MPA Top 100 listed broker says they are making sure they are highly organised when doing video calls so that they can deliver the same sort of experience to the customer.
“We’re high tech as well, so for us, we’re prepared,” he says.
He says their existing clients are top priority and they have spent a lot of time and energy reaching out through video messages, SMSs, emails and mailouts.
“To make sure we can service our existing customer base is our number one challenge,” he adds.
“It’s time intensive, so we have to make sure that everyone on our team is focused on serving our existing customers.”
Since this is not revenue generating, they also have to balance it with attracting new clients, he says.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got a team and the resources to be able to do that.”
A little reassurance goes a long way.
For MPA Top 100 listed co-founder of Up Loans, Kirsty Dunphey, an effective communication strategy has included reaching out to the community as a whole.
She says the Launceston-based brokerage has increased its social media campaign over the past few weeks in response to the overall feeling in the region.
“We did a post today which was just the three brokers in our company each giving one tip that people could do in the community right now that doesn’t cost them anything that could make them feel better.”
“People are worried and people are scared and people trust us with their finances – which means that they trust our opinions when we say that everything’s going to be okay,” she says.
It’s not a time for quick fixes.
Finance strategist at Trilogy Funding, Hope Batchelor, agrees that brokers have a vital role to play.
“It’s a very scary time for everybody,” says the Canberra based MPA Young Gun.
“As a broker, clients need us more than ever. It’s really important that we stay on top of all the information that’s been provided.”
She says that it is essential for brokers to offer solutions to their clients based on longevity, rather than a quick fix.
“We don’t know how long people are going to be out of work or on reduced income due to the virus.”
“We need to make sure that the advice that we’re recommending is going to see them through the pandemic, not just band-aid them for a few weeks or a month.”
Navigating a changing environment.
For Melbourne-based broker Lachlan Mirams, offering a solution in an ever-changing environment comes with its fair share of challenges.
“The biggest thing has been understanding the almost daily changes coming out from the lenders,” he says.
The MPA Young Gun and Finance Strategist at Intuitive Finance says they have compiled a shared document for staff that details all the hardship packages available.
“The main challenges will be the loss of jobs and what that means for them (the clients) being able to make their repayments.”
Mirams and his colleagues have spent countless hours understanding their clients’ situations so that they can help them through any hardships they may experience.
He says another challenge lies in the changing measures and processes lenders are putting in place with new loan applications.
“We’re making sure that for any advice that we put in writing to clients – we’re putting a very clear warning that the current situation that we’re in is very fluid and ever changing.”
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