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A good support team can really be the difference between a thriving brokerage and a struggling one.
Writing more than $100m per annum for at least the past seven years running, Top 100 broker Colin Mason says there is no way he could do the business he does without having such a team of staff behind him.
MPA spoke with the director of SMS Finance about the role his support staff play and why new to industry brokers should consider recruiting their first assistant before, rather than after, they get too busy to take on more work.
A good team enables a business to thrive – even when working remotely
With more than 25 staff members in the company, Mason himself has about 10 to 12 in his direct team alone.
While everyone in the company is now working remotely, he says he has still been able to bring in business despite this because of the existing relationship with his team.
“I’ve got more time now than ever because I’ve got that relationship across the team that work for me, where, as soon as I finish with a recommendation on a client scenario, then my team will run with it from there,” he explains.
His staff at the front end of the process chase the required paperwork and ensure the file is put together; they make sure the file is fully complaint from the outset and that they have every piece of documentation needed for him to make a recommendation.
The file then goes to him. He does some research and makes a recommendation to the client. Once the client is comfortable with this, the file then goes to one of the account managers in the team who manages it through to submission. Mason says they even have staff members that track the applications from an unconditional approval perspective and from post approval to settlement.
He says because of this set-up, the company is able to process business in a more timely fashion.
“I think a lot of brokers’ issues come from the fact that they wear too many hats,” he says.
“They try to be everything to everyone, and you can’t do that. You can be a certain part to someone, but I think you need to have good quality people behind you that are able to help.”
When to take on an assistant
For new-to-industry brokers who are operating alone, he says it’s better to get ahead of the curve by taking on an assistant before you get too busy to take on extra work. That way, you will already be well positioned and prepared enough to write more business and keep your relationships happy.
“I think what happens is people get busier and busier and they try and weather the storm that’s in front of them – and then they try and recruit after the fact,” he says.
“I think they’ve got to recruit before the fact. Once you’re doing $2-3m a month, that warrants to have someone sitting beside you.”
He says maintaining your relationships is key. If you can do a good job for a referral partner then they will give you more work. But, if you make mistakes or take too long, then it is unlikely they will continue to refer to you in future.
Even if you are only doing $1m a month, he says that taking some short-term pain and hiring an assistant to work alongside you could enable you build your numbers and write more business.
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