Brokers. They’re an essential element of the Australian real estate market equation. Did you know that 56% of residential loans are written by brokers?
The use of brokers to finance property – as opposed to the ‘big four’ banks direct – has grown year-on-year. In short: Australia’s cynicism about large banking institutions has helped mortgage brokers increase their market share.
Yet the Royal Commission into Banking – and the subsequent recommendations made concerning brokers – have thrown the viability of some broking businesses into question. Ruby Assembly are proud to represent many leading brokers who are innovating in their field, and we understand the value and expertise they bring to their customers – who are usually homeowners and Mum-and-Dad investors. Here’s the downlow:
Mortgage brokers provide borrowers with a wide variety of potential loans, taking into account their goals, lifestyle, equity and loan serviceability. When you go to a bank for a loan, they only offer you their loans. Loans are just products, and they’re naturally focused on selling their own. Brokers offer you all the best loans for your circumstances – and help to drive the loan through to approval. Brokers are then paid by the bank in the form of an up-front payment, and a ‘trail’ payment for the duration of the loan.
The Royal Commission into Banking has highlighted many cases of unethical lending. Yet as a percentage of total loans written, these unethical loans are an anomaly. The Royal Commission is actually an opportunity for brokers to begin to show their value to their customers in a way they’ve neglected (until now). With cynicism surrounding banks on the increase, brokers now need to focus on building meaningful relationships beyond the transaction itself. As Aussie broker Kim Horan notes “It’s really good to get them (customers) in the front door but we’ve got to be able to retain them and by building a relationship after their loan settles.”
Sadly, most brokers don’t engage in meaningful marketing belong a generic annual newsletter and the occasional tardy Twitter or LinkedIn post about RBA announcements. They rely on their aggregator and put proactive social media marketing in the ‘too hard’ basket. And they’ve been able to do so – until now. More ‘new broking’ operators are moving into the space, disrupting the status quo of the dull newsletter forever. While some rusted-on operators are disinterested in changing up their marketing to connect with new clients and win more referrals, those dinosaurs are certainly the way out.
Rather than considering the Royal Commission into Banking as an event heralding the end of days, use the additional focus on the lending industry an opportunity to begin sharing your value proposition in earnest. Adopt these three marketing methodologies to keep in close communication with your past clients so you can enjoy referrals and repeat business for years to come. Happy trails, amirite?
- Social Media is Minimum Compliance. If you begin using social media now in your prospecting practice, you enjoy a distinct competitive advantage. Most of your competitors are in the ‘one newsletter and a branded card at Xmas’ mindset. Use social media regularly on all the platforms that will work best for your business. That means a minimum of four-five posts a week, using your logo, original photography and original content that won’t bore your audience to tears. Yes: this sounds like a challenge at first. It requires focus to execute well. But the rewards in exposure and establishing yourself as the go-to broker for your audience is worth the commitment.
- Data Disruption. A little like a vendor or buyer advocate, gathering cold client data as a broker can be challenging. Happily, the internetz are your friend! Develop valuable blogs and eBooks that ask your audience to exchange their data for your information. These rich documents should be branded for you as an individual. It’s you that the customer needs to build a relationship – not your franchise. With the right digital marketing ecosystem in place, you can passively build a database of warm leads and referrals without schlepping to every auction in town of a weekend hoping a punter approaches you. Sounds good?
- Above and Beyond. How do you honour your referral partners? How do you celebrate your clients? What is your gifting program like – if any? Are the items you share ‘Instagrammable’ and do they resonate with your audience? Here is an opportunity to set yourself apart with clever client gifting (avoid the cleanskins, that’s all I’m saying).
Brokers, you’re on the cusp of a wild ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book. Now more than ever, it’s critical that you illustrate the value you offer your clients and the role you play in preventing the ‘big 4’ banks from making Australia’s lending market a monopoly.
Curious about changing the way you connect with your clients? Check out Ruby Assembly’s latest social media workshops.