On both sides of the fence: How commercial broker develops pipeline

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    With a decade-long experience in corporate and commercial banking roles prior to becoming a finance broker and being invested in several personal business ventures, Samuel Finance director Greg Samuel well understands what it is like to be on both sides of the fence.

    "I finance a lot of property development, which is very much a ‘boom or bust’ type of industry. I also focus on agribusiness lending which helps balance out the ebbs and flows of the property market," the 2019 AMA La Trobe Financial Broker of the Year – Commercial finalist told MPA.

    "I find doing a little business development, either through presentations or getting out and talking to customers, really helps develop the pipeline. It’s just a matter of finding time to do that along with everything else we have to do!"

    Samuel also said maintaining a consistent settlement volume is difficult, especially with larger commercial transactions that can sometimes take years to complete.

    The majority of his new business comes from word-of-mouth, which, according to Samuel, could only work when one “delivers fantastic outcomes and service to clients”.

    He has built a “highly capable” small team that “packs a big punch”. They have been a formidable unit for over three years now, developing their individual skills and taking ownership of the business.

    While his team sticks to basic social media and email campaigns to enhance customer engagement, Samuel always keeps an ear to the ground for emerging technologies that can improve their productivity. Tools his team currently uses include list maker Trello and info-gathering app FileInvite.

    “Productivity is such an important thing for a broking business, because you can burn so much time if you're not careful,” he said.

    Samuel would like to continue being at the forefront of commercial broking in South Australia — or in the entire country if he can. He believes the industry packs a lot of potential and will see its share of the commercial lending market grow continuously.

    “As bank relationship mangers, apart from suffering high turnover rate, don’t seem to have time to service clients the way brokers can anymore, clients are starting to see the value of having an ongoing relationship with a broker,” he said.

    “Clients can have one point of contact who understands them and their business, and they don't need to keep explaining it to a new manager every 12 months.”

    In the short to medium term, Samuel is looking at expanding his team; ready to take on the challenge of finding commercial brokers who possess the right skills and share his team’s work ethics and ethos.

    A beach lover, Samuel likes to hit the waves on his surfboard or jet ski to clear his mind of all the chatter. He would like to get involved with charity work once his commitments reach a manageable level.

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    Original Article