10 things mortgage brokers should focus on to maximise returns: Siobhan Hayden

10 things mortgage brokers should focus on to maximise returns: Siobhan Hayden
10 things mortgage brokers should focus on to maximise returns: Siobhan Hayden


Businesses need to operate in rapidly changing conditions and this has many brokers wondering how do they grow – or in many cases, simply how to stay afloat in an increasingly tough industry.

Brokers can stay ahead of the curve by focusing on ten key areas.

1. Process improvement

Continually seek out opportunities to complete processes in your business faster and more efficiently. As a broker, you will obtain greater business results if you are not the only resource in your business. If you are, review the alternative options for completing key tasks, to maximise your output and 'income producing hours'. This could include how you capture your clients supporting documents, or outsourcing the file management of your loans.

It helps to set time aside each month to review business processes. Document all the tasks in the business, identify clear steps in each of the processes, and then seek out alternative ways to deliver these processes.

2. Customer feedback

"Feedback is the breakfast of champions" (Ken Blanchard) has never been more applicable than in the digital age where customers are inclined, and encouraged to share their thoughts. The best way to improve your business is to ask the person who just used your services for feedback, and then actively respond to their insights. It’s invaluable and directly feeds into process improvement.

3. Customer referrals

There are three rules when it comes to asking for referrals: ask for them, ask for them, and ask again!

There are also four key points during the customer journey that you should ask for referrals:

  • When you first meet or engage – ask how the customer heard about your business and let them know how import_ant client referrals are to growing your business.
  • At Conditional Approval - ask the customer if they know of anyone else who is currently seeking financing or advice that you could assist.
  • Upon Settlement - refine and personalise the question about who the client may refer i.e. do they know of anyone at their school or sporting club (whatever is applicable) who may benefit from your services.
  • When you ask customers to rate your performance.

4. Online referrals

The ‘gold standard’ of a broking business is to secure 5-7 key referral sources. Given that a large proportion of borrowers do their research online, broker businesses should now consider an online lead opportunity as part of their referral network.

5. Time expenditure

Review how you can reduce time wastage in your business and maximise your output. For example, offices are more than simply a 'cost' to a business. Numerous points of research have shown that brokers with a permanent office are more profitable than brokers who drive to meet their appointments. This makes sense as 'income producing hours' are not being spent in a car.

6. Diversified business model

A single broker, offering one product is no longer a sustainable business model. Customers are time poor and require a holistic discussion regarding their financial position. It is beneficial to have key partners within the business to assist with the full suite of client requirements, as well as align with two or more brokers in order to leverage office support and reduce broker effort on administration tasks.

7. Performance tracking

The brokerage business is mostly a numbers game. If you know your ratios and current performance, you know how many leads you need to attract in order to write your annual settlement target.

Generally, industry statistics for leads to lodgement is 60%; and lodgement to settlement is 80%. If a broker applies their average loan size, then it is possible to calculate the total loan volume forecast within a year.

8. Monthly marketing strategy revamps

Marketing is a key aspect to growing your business. Ideally you should be implementing a new initiative each month. It can help to brainstorm 10-11 ideas for the year and then select one to implement each month, starting with the initiative that provides the ‘biggest bang for your buck’.

9. Business disruption

"If you are not disrupting your own business, someone else is" (Andy Groves).

Every broker should ask themselves whether they think they or their business is changing at a faster pace than their customers, or whether their customers are moving and changing at a faster rate than their business.

Implement an 'ideas jam' to see how you can disrupt your own business to continually improve and change. Even small steps can make a huge difference.

10. Work-life balance

Running your own business is challenging and will stretch the best of us, but it is important to keep balance and enjoy the opportunity. Success is the journey, not the destination.

Siobhan Hayden, is chief operating officer of HashChing and can be contacted here.

Home Loan Mortgage Brokers

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