Why the Australian Broker of the Year stopped working Saturdays

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    The winner of the Westpac Australian Broker of the Year award is obsessed with learning policy, has an internal customer service tracking system, and now spends Saturdays in the bleachers.

    For these reasons and many others, Loan Market Bayside’s Josh Bartlett settled more than $203m in residential loans this financial year, adding $19m to last year’s total.

    He walked away with the most coveted prize at last Friday’s Australian Mortgage Awards, capping off one of the most successful year’s he’s ever had. Here’s how he did it.

    “Policy obsessed”
    Bartlett may have lodged 85 fewer loans this year (for a total of 400), but he had “much tighter processing around each client”, including which clients he met, the conversations they had and the follow-up process.

    “The biggest key focus this year because of the royal commission, and the bank and policy changes, was we literally trained every day on learning policy,” he said. “We’re obsessed with credit policy training.”

    As a result of that, and having eight years of experience under his belt, Bartlett said his client meetings were a lot more effective this year. “The client has to know you, trust you and understand the information that you’re giving them,” he said.

    At the same time, brokers need to spend more time listening so they really understand why their clients are there. It’s often about more than just product and rate, he said.

    A team effort
    For a top broker, Bartlett’s team is small. He has three staff devoted to managing client services, all of whom have been with him for about three to four years.

    “It helps when you have people around you who know how you work, and you know how they work. It’s a very positive place and they’re just as obsessed with finance as I am. It’s a celebration when we get loans approved.”

    Bartlett said he’s constantly looking at ways to improve his team’s skillset, so they can keep learning with him.

    ”I want them to learn just as much as I am. …I want everyone in my team to succeed with me, so I definitely look after my team a lot better than I think a lot do. My success is their success.”

    Self-assessing customer service
    Bartlett has an interesting way of internally self-assessing his customer service. Each client who comes in gets a number associated to them. This 1-10 number relates to the number the team thinks that client would give them in a review.

    All clients start as a 10, which is what his team hopes to maintain throughout the process.

    “There are so many different things that can go wrong in finance, whether that’s the conveyancer, broker or bank’s fault. …If there is a seven next to the client, I ask my staff, ‘Why do you think that’s a seven and how can we make that a 10 by settlement?’”

    “I’ve found that trying to create that 10 experience that we thought might have been a seven turns out to be a referral at the other end.”

    Taking Saturdays off and going back to the gym
    This year, Bartlett stopped working Saturdays so he could watch his kids play basketball. Taking this time away from work has actually made his business run more efficiently.

    Now, instead of holding four or five meetings on a Saturday and handing over all the processing to his team on a Monday, they can get caught up and start fresh when the new week rolls over.

    “It created too much business and too many problems,” he said. Now he only works late on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when he holds about six meetings a day.

    “People will always take your time if they can… I think you’ll find that the people who only want to see you on a Saturday because they don’t want to put themselves out probably aren’t the ones you want to meet anyway.”

    Bartlett, a former gym owner, also decided this year that it was time to get back into fitness. “This business can totally control you with the hours and pressures we have to deal with. If you don’t have mind and body strength to get through it, you’ll get taken out.”

    Bonus: What are you reading?
    As a time-poor broker, Bartlett is a huge fan of the Audible app, which allows him to listen to books on the go. His favourite listens are: Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone and Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.

    Photos and video coverage of the Australian Mortgage Awards will be available shortly at and the November issue of MPA.

    2018 Australian Mortgage Award winners:

    National Awards

    Westpac Australian Broker of the Year
    Winner: Josh Bartlett, Loan Market Bayside

    Liberty Australian Brokerage of the Year
    Winner: Option Finance Australia Pty Ltd

    Australian Young Gun of the Year
    Winner: Alex Veljancevski, Eventus Financial

    MPA Australian BDM of the Year
    Winner: Donovan Blanch, ANZ

    Brokerage Awards

    Bluestone Brokerage of the Year- Diversification
    Winner: Bell Partners Finance

    ANZ Brokerage of the Year (1-5 staff)
    Winner: Loan Market Bayside

    Brokerage of the Year (6-20 staff)
    Winner: Option Finance Australia Pty Ltd

    ME Brokerage of the Year (>20 staff)
    Winner: Shore Financial

    NextGen.Net New Brokerage of the Year
    Winner: Insight Property Finance

    Highly commended: Loan Market – Feedback Finance

    Best Customer Service from an Individual Office
    Winner: Smartmove Professional Mortgage Advisors

    Australian Broker Most Effective Online Presence – Broker
    Winner: Shore Financial

    Broker Awards

    ANZ Broker of the Year – Commercial
    Winner: Daniel Green, Green Finance Group

    FBAA Broker of the Year- Independent
    Winner: Will Unkles, 40 Forty Finance

    ALI Group Broker of the Year- Insurance (Mortgage Protection & Life)
    Winner: Nicholas Kakalis, Finance Unlimited

    Pepper Money Broker of the Year- Specialist Lending
    Winner: Stuart Styles, Arthurmac & Co Pty Ltd

    Equity-One Broker of the Year- Productivity
    Winner: Josh Bartlett, Loan Market Bayside

    MFAA Young Gun of the Year – Franchise
    Winner: Mick O’Shea, Loan Market

    Young Gun of the Year – Independent
    Winner: Alex Veljancevski, Eventus Financial

    BDM Awards

    Bankwest Best Aggregator BDM
    Winner: Tim Schneider, Choice Aggregation

    Highly commended: Mark Lewis, Fast

    Best Major Bank BDM
    Winner: Donovan Blanch, ANZ

    Best Non-Major Bank BDM
    Winner: Sally Hillman, St. George

    Highly commended: John Loukadellis, Macquarie

    Best Non-Bank BDM
    Winner: Andrew Crossley, Homeloans Ltd
    Highly commended: Denya Dean, Bluestone

    Aggregator Awards

    Deposit Power Aggregator of the Year (Up to 500 brokers)
    Winner: Outsource Financial

    OnDeck Aggregator of the Year (Over 500 brokers)
    Winner: Loan Market Group

    Most Effective Online Presence – Aggregator
    Winner: Vow Financial Pty Ltd

    Industry Awards

    Best Industry Advertising Campaign
    Winner: Pepper Money

    Best Industry Service
    Winner: NextGen.Net

    Lender Awards

    Major Bank of the Year
    Winner: Westpac

    MSA National Non-Major Bank of the Year
    Winner: Bankwest

    Non-Bank of the Year
    Winner: Liberty

    Most Effective Online Presence – Lender
    Winner: Bankwest

    More coverage of the Australian Mortgage Awards will be available in upcoming issues of Australian Broker and MPA magazines and online.

    Original Article