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  • SPECIAL REPORTS

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    While 2020 has proved a challenging year for many, adaptation has enabled the country’s top brokers to not only prove their value to consumers in a changing market, but also write impressive volumes to boot.

    MPA asked five Aussie Top 100 brokers: How have consumer needs changed this year and what have you done to change with them?

    Number 15 – Glenn English, Aussie Carnegie, Victoria

    “In the digital age and 24/7 revolution, everyone wants things at a much faster pace. You have to be able to deliver results in a timely manner in order to keep up. This involves surrounding yourself with a professional and experienced team. Our team at Aussie Carnegie has grown over the past 12 months and is expected to keep growing this forthcoming year.

    “In the midst of a global pandemic, many of my customers have experienced difficulty with making their repayments, due to reduced hours or unemployment. It has been extremely important for my team and I to be available to answer any questions and provide empathy and support over these difficult times.

    Read more: Helping borrowers with credit issues move forward

    “I made a list of all of my customers who contacted me for some advice on how to defer their repayments. I’ve been in contact with each customer on a monthly basis to see how they have been coping. These regular follow ups have been so important to my customers and have proven to continue to build and cement some of the relationships that I’ve had with my customers over the past 16 years.”

    Number 86 – Vaughan Fowler, Aussie Cronulla, NSW

    “Consumers appear far more interested in exploring and discussing their longer-term goals and objectives. They are keen to discuss future needs such as upgrading, or investment property purchases as opposed to just getting today’s purchase or refinance solution.

    “In addition, with record low interest rates consumers are seeking more guidance on fixed and variable rates and exploring the pros and cons of variable, fixed, and split options.

    “As a result, we are spending a lot more time modelling future scenarios to ensure longer term goals remain achievable as well as modelling loan structure variations to enable consumers to make educated and sound choices on these types of decisions.”

    Number 90 – Matthew Rose, Aussie Prospect, South Australia

    “This year there has been a dramatic shift in how we communicate with our customers. Being unable to meet in person for an extended period meant we had to adapt to communicating differently with a large increase in communication via video calls.

    “The decrease in face-to-face, has seen an increase in the need for customers to provide supporting documentation electronically. This change has been met by embracing the use of secure documentation gathering technology and as a further bonus has allowed us to go paperless.”

    Read more: Creating a digital home loan experience

    Number 54 – Kim Horan, Aussie St Marys, NSW

    “I have found that adapting and changing my appointments process quickly to accommodate virtual options has been essential; along with providing timely service to customers, even though the face-to-face options have reduced.

    “The other significant shift has been the research required upfront and making sure we are very thorough before making recommendations to the customers about suitable options. We have found that by slowing down and really identifying any possible hurdles upfront as we review their paperwork and scenario, we can provide any mitigants required and are still having good success in getting our loans approved.

    “Customers want to feel safe, smart, and special more than ever now, so we’ve really remained focused on trying to give them the right solution in the quickest possible time, with the best service we can.”

    Number 81 – Phil Gallagher, Aussie Belmont, NSW

    “Our business has been built on referrals so during COVID we have had to reinvent how we build rapport with customers and provide great service in a virtual world.

    “To help customers feel more comfortable and ensure we are delivering the best possible outcomes, we have increased the number of personal conversations and interactions, and, in particular, we’re on the phone much more with customers.

    “Often, in the past, we’d SMS customers to give a brief progress update, however, we have deliberately changed most of these contacts to phone calls to give us and the customer more opportunities to connect personally and have a conversation. It’s an added bonus to allow the customer the opportunity to ask more questions and get familiar with the process.”

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    • Top 100 broker on helping clients through the good times and the stressful

    Original Article