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Joe Shalaby
Chief Executive Officer
ARTICLE

Successful Mortgage Brokers Stick To The Basics

The Best Brokers Focus On The Customer Experience

Skills can be taught but attitude is everything.

Did you know that some of the most successful mortgage brokers had no previous experience in banking or in credit departments?

That’s not to say that this is the key to success (hardly!). What it means is that brokers that can adapt quickly tend to also be quick learners.

And, in order to be successful, you have to want to continuously learn.

This is the reason a lot of older brokers who have been in the industry since before the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act) tend to pull up stumps during rapid industry change.

Being conservative when assessing an application is not a bad thing. However, when it means you fear failure and are less obliged to learn and adapt, you’re putting a ceiling on your own career progression.

Think you have the right attitude?

Resilience

Your attitude is the single greatest double-edged sword you hold.

We all get knocked down in life and at work but what top mortgage brokers have in common is that they don’t let defeat and mistakes bog them down for too long.

And, to be clear, you’re going to fail – a lot – when you first get started as a broker.

Customers Demand Honesty

You don’t have to know all of the answers as a mortgage broker. The best brokers don’t fake it: they admit when they don’t know the answer and tell their clients just that.

Clients advice want frank advice without beating around the bush.

Knowledge Is Power

Empowering yourself and your clients with the right guidance and technical skills will pay dividends in the long run. Your clients will come back because they will feel that you truly care about their challenges and financial goals.

However, as a mortgage broker, staying up-to-date with changes to lending policies, fluctuations in the real estate market and discovering better ways to manage your workflow aren’t just going to be handed to you.

The best brokers are inbuilt with the desire to always be a better mortgage broker and business owner. Keep yourself open to new opportunities and deals you haven’t handled before. The more you do this, the more knowledge you will gain.

Continuous development starts with initial training so check out our page on the mortgage broker training process.

Respect At All Levels

Not only do top mortgage brokers respect their customers but they also respect their support staff, their colleagues, their relationship managers and the key decision makers in the credit departments.

You need to be a great relationship manager at all levels of interaction.

If not, it could come back to bite you: a poor testimonial here, a relationship manager unwilling to assess your application there, and then a support staff member being undervalued can quickly turn your success into a downward spin.

Your reputation is everything and not something that is easily regained after a lapse of judgement.

Golden Rules For Selling

Whether they’re from a home loan specialist or mobile lending background, many new mortgage brokers think sales is like The Wolf of Wall Street.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, most borrowers you deal with will be first home buyers or first-time investors and they have much more straightforward financial goals than a stock investor.

New brokers need to also quickly get out of the mindset that a customer owes you something because you’re spending your time speaking with them.

The best sales strategy is to ask a lot of questions and actually listen to your client. Really unpack what they’re saying because it may not always be about buying a home.

Get into the habit of repeating back what the customer just told you.

Once you know what the client wants, you need to create value or give them a reason to use your services.

Provide Value

People only buy when they are convinced that your product or service is of greater value than the price/time that they’re giving to you.

For example, comparing the much lower interest rate you’re able to negotiate with a lender compared to two major banks offering the same product.

Another example is arranging debt consolidation with their refinance to put a client back on the path to financial freedom after the premature death of their loved one.

If you’ve listened to their situation and provided the solution that best matches their needs, Kellie said that you’re on your way to retaining their business for life.

What Clients Actually Think About You

Customers make up their mind about you from the very first conversation (around 7 seconds, to be exact!). The longer you can keep someone on the phone with you, the more likely they will be to proceed with you.

Apart from listening, try to also mirror a customer’s language.

First home buyers crave simplicity in the mortgage application and home buying process and they expect you to be upfront and get to the point when answering (what experienced brokers would deem as) basic questions.

On the other hand, professional investors will use terms like cash flow, negative gearing and rental income and they want a broker who can give them a mortgage strategy that matches their investment goals.

Setting Expectations

The best way to handle objections is to preemptively set expectations.

Clients value flexibility, agility and responsiveness when it really matters but the client’s expectations can often be quite different to the reality of the mortgage process.

This is because of the regulatory and legal requirements you’re required to meet and the fact that so many parties are involved all the way up to the settlement process. You know this but most borrowers simply don’t.

You’re best breaking down the application and settlement process into milestones.

Once they make an enquiry with you, be realistic as to when you can come back to them with recommendations. The next morning, tomorrow afternoon, or later that day?

Notifying your client at the completion of each milestone and setting the next time frame is essential because it shows that you value their time.

A typical home loan process may look something like this:

  • Enquiry
  • Recommendation
  • Submission
  • Pre-approval
  • Unconditional approval
  • Loan documents posted
  • Ready for settlement
  • Settlement

If the process gets delayed for whatever reason, don’t make excuses and tell them the truth.

For example, if the credit department hasn’t gotten to your client’s application yet because they’re handling a large workload, tell your client this and assure them that you’ve escalated their application.

Another example of setting expectations is when the customer has an unusual situation, such as bad credit, debt consolidation, buying in a trust structure like an SMSF or purchasing a unique property like a hobby farm.

There are a number of expectations you need to set here including:

  • The potential of getting approved at all and identifying where the credit issues lie.
  • If there are lenders that can help, explaining that they may be charged a higher interest rate.
  • If it’s with a specialist lender, explaining that their credit and loan processing departments are smaller so the application process will take longer than going with a major bank or lender.

Handling Objections

Sometimes there’s no way of covering all the bases of concern that a customer has – sometimes they can come straight out of nowhere! All objections are opportunities to “understand the customers’ point of view and to calibrate the benefits we are providing with their needs.”

The trick with being thrown a fastball from your customer is to not only catch it but to flow with it. You should recognize their concerns and embrace their objections because how you handle them is how you build trust.

By equipping your clients with the facts, they will feel like they’re making an informed decision. That’s because they are!


Joe Shalaby

Your MortgaGE RESOURCE
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