Unlike many mortgage brokers, this one didn’t start with a finance background
This Top 100 broker puts his success down to the team he has behind him
- 2018 Commercial Lenders Roundtable
- Top 10 Brokerages 2018
- 2018 Brokers on Aggregators
As the world faces a global pandemic, every industry and every person is being affected either directly or indirectly. Businesses are closing their doors, employees are facing job losses or pay cuts, and most people are being encouraged to stay at home. With these changes come concerns over the future of businesses; about job stability and whether people will be able to survive financially.
Mortgage brokers will find that many of their clients are facing challenges in most of these areas, and it’s important for them to understand how they can help these clients. While all brokers have their clients’ needs and requirements as their priority, it is the priority of Specialist Finance Group to ensure that it provides all of its finance brokers with the very best support, care and understanding during this difficult time for everyone.
Being privately owned, Specialist Finance Group is working closely with all its members and business partners to give them the support they need over the next six to 12 months.
Managing director William Lockett is encouraging brokers to not only look after their own wellbeing but also to remain close to their client base, who will be facing great uncertainty, and to provide them with an extra layer of support and assistance.
Name: William Lockett
Company: Specialist Finance
GroupTitle: Managing director
Years in the industry: 35
How is SFG well placed to help brokers during the pandemic? “We are a private and independent company, so all my members have direct access to my management team and myself. The relationship and our empathy for what our industry is going through could not be more direct and understood.”
A personal touch
One of Lockett’s primary concerns at this time is to maintain his close relationship with all SFG members and business partners. He has been contacting his members and starting each conversation with the individual broker on a personal level, to ensure first and foremost that they and their families are all well.
“Our assistance starts with them as individuals and being part of our team,” he says. “Then we talk about their individual business model and ensure they know they have all the assistance they require to navigate the challenging business environment.”
“Look after your wellbeing first and then you are able to help others, and that starts with your family, your friends and then your business model,” he says.
Brokers may also find that over the next six to 12 months they will struggle with their own finances and cash flow. Lockett says he talks to his brokers about whether they can support themselves and their families during this uncertain time, and to fi nd out what he can do to assist, whether through fi nancial support or with strategies to respond to the current changing business landscape.
“Most, if not all, brokers are remunerated by commission only, therefore even at the best of times their job is both an emotional and financial rollercoaster,” he says.
“The use of technology ensures that brokers are keeping close to their clients during these challenging times”
“With this changing landscape we also help them with their individual business model to ensure they have the goals, strategies and structure in place to achieve the best e ciencies and results from and within their business model.”
Helping brokers help their clients
As an aggregator as well as a business partner, SFG is assisting brokers on an ongoing basis to ensure they are up to date with all the many changes that are occurring within the industry.
This includes the use of technology in their businesses, which is particularly important now that people are being advised to isolate, minimising any direct and physical contact with others. Technology is providing the perfect platform for brokers to be able to continue dealing with customers remotely, for example through video conferencing, Skype, Zoom or Facetime.
Technology also allows for both client and business partner portals, including providing the option of digital and electronic signatures.
“The use of technology ensures that brokers are keeping close to their clients, and during these challenging times they are sympathetic and understanding of their client’s unique circumstances,” Lockett says.
“Technology also allows brokers to understand and identify where possible opportunities may exist within their business model and database, and it’s crucial that brokers identify these business opportunities within their model that will ensure that it continues to survive and evolve.”
While many brokers have been adopting technology for a long time, there are those who have been hesitant to use it within their business, but Lockett is seeing that change.
“Some old-school brokers still like to use pen and paper and see their clients face-to-face; however, in the changing landscape in the use of technology, they are now seeing the great benefi ts and e ciencies of using technology within their business.”
SFG has a strong focus on mentorship, and Lockett says this has never been more important, particularly for those new-to-industry brokers who have not built up their client base, relationships or trail commission.
“Everyone either needs or would like mentoring in life, whether that is on a business or personal level,” he says.
“We’ve talked about the requirement for technology in our business; we mentioned understanding the need to stay close to your clients and understand exactly where they are in their fi nancial situation; being able to help your clients and assisting them wherever possible; and also navigating a way forward for your own model, identifying those opportunities,” Lockett explains.
“For any industry broker who is relying on a mentor and their relationship, now moving forward this will never be more important; it will never be more crucial and it will be required now more so than ever.”