An SME lender has voiced concerns about the future of business lending
Artificial intelligence and attracting multi-generational talent are some of the things we should look out for
- 2018 Commercial Lenders Roundtable
- Top 10 Brokerages 2018
- 2018 Brokers on Aggregators
Investing in the right people and learning how to let go allowed this broker to settle $102m last year
After years of working as a lender at Commonwealth Bank and Bank of Melbourne, Bundy Financial Services director Holly Bundy’s next career move would have been to become a manager. However, she saw a downside to the role: it would sever her contact with customers, and that’s something she couldn’t imagine doing. Knowing that the only sensible career progression for her was to become a broker, she launched Bundy Financial Services in 2013 so she could continue lending and working directly with customers.
Bundy was able to settle $360m worth of loans in just five years, an accomplishment she attributes to having the right support team. In FY2018, she wrote $102m.
“There’s only so much I can do on my own, so I think staffing is a real key issue,” Bundy tells MPA. “We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to get the right staff.”
A step back to move forward
It took Bundy almost five years to assemble a team that would help her business move forward. For a time, she was placing the wrong people in the wrong roles, which caused her business to stagnate. Now that things have become easier in her business, with a fabulous client base and the right staff, Bundy aims to increase her next annual loan settlement to $120m and grow her loan volume by 20% year-on-year.
Bundy admits that her growth vision for her settlement volume is a little ambitious, but she has a plan to get there. She will make sure that, while her team works hard to reach that goal, she will require them to step back and reflect on what can be done better.
Bundy’s early days in mortgage broking saw a lot of trial and error, she says. But now that she is able to delegate she can do more important things that will bring her business greater success.
“Staff are an investment. The more time I invest in our staff, the more they’re going to help my business grow. The more capable they are, the more they’ll be able to move forward within the business.” Bundy says.
“Learning about the things I should be doing and what I should be delegating is a really difficult task, especially when you’re a control freak. I like to do everything myself and oversee everything, but to be able to grow and keep me sane, I have to let something go in the business.”
Set to grow via technology
Bundy Financial Services is very process-driven; the team follow an operational manual that details how every task should be completed.
“The manual is very detailed-oriented, but it allows us to grow. I don’t have to sit down with every person to teach them. We have an operational guide and a particular structure that everyone follows,” Bundy says.
“Staff are an investment. The more time I invest in our staff, the more they’re going to help my business grow” Holly Bundy, Bundy Financial Services
One process her team strictly abides by is doing follow-ups and updating customers to ensure each one gets the same great service experience.
While Bundy’s team is still very manual when it comes to processing applications, they’re looking forward to using technology to boost their efficiency in the next 12 months. At the moment, they’re using their aggregator’s CRM system, Podium, but they’re optimistic about trying out the new feature it is set to bring out in the next six months. The upgrade will allow customers to upload and track documentation.
Persistence pays off
According to Bundy, new brokers need to be really persistent and enthusiastic when dealing with customers, and to get in front of as many people as they can within the industry. When Bundy was just starting out, she would sit in a coffee shop and make appointment after appointment, meeting business partners and people she used to work with to just try to put it out there that she was new to broking. Bundy had so many coffee meetings she lost count.
“I used to spend all day on the phone, which I still do up until today,” she says.