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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 13
14 Mortgage & Finance brief Justin Doobov, Managing Director, Intelligent Finance Go back to basics: having meticulous attention to detail and exceptional customer service is key to any successful brokerage. Some brokers think all they’ve got to do is arrange the loan, step back and take their commission. Good brokers, however, project manage the whole process; from helping them find the property to any issues after the loan is settled. Every step of the way, go the extra mile. Keeping each stakeholder informed at every stage of the transaction minimises the chances of disaster. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. As an industry, we need to spend a lot more time educating clients on how much their loan repayments will be, and what their current commitments are, to ensure their loan won’t put them in financial difficulty. We really need to explain things in greater detail to our clients to make sure they fully understand absolutely everything. Good brokers should be well rounded, knowing their client and their market. When the client asks you a question, and you only know about the cheapest home loan, you’re not going to maintain and convert the client. If you can converse with them about global issues, you’ll have a higher chance of retaining their business. With the European economic situation impacting negatively on Australian consumer confidence, Mortgage & Finance Brief asks three key industry players how brokers can boost consumer sentiment. Phil Naylor, Chief Executive Officer, MFAA Brokers need a strong understanding of the global economy – particularly in periods of low consumer confidence. They need to keep abreast of economic predictions and understand the local economy. Every quarter, we publish the CBA MFAA Home Finance Index, giving brokers an insight into what consumers are saying, what their intentions are, whether they’re going to borrow money or stand on the sidelines. This helps brokers work out what advice and services they can provide in their local area. Consumers are largely sitting on the sidelines of the housing and loan market. What’s keeping the industry growing is refinancing, and that’s mainly because of the price discounting taking place in the market. The other factor is what happens to interest rates. It’s a good time to be a broker.Consumers are looking for advice – not just the lowest interest rate. They’re considering other features of the loan, such as fees, charges, redraws and flexibility. The value brokers add to the consumer is not the transaction itself, but the advice surrounding the transaction. Even if you’re not making a transaction now, good advice may turn into a transaction further down the track. John Flavell, General Manager, NAB Broker Distribution As a consumer, my confidence is diminished when I don’t understand things and when I don’t have the facts. One of the things we focus on is taking the time to talk to brokers and have a discussion around things that are happening economically, both domestically and internationally. Being able to provide people with some clarity around events is what consumers want. The more uncertain things are, the more inclined people are to seek advice, and we can work with brokers to provide that advice and guidance. One of the positive outcomes of the GFC is that consumers want to know more; they’re asking more questions. They say ignorance is bliss, but it’s the things they don’t know that they’re most scared about. Giving brokers an understanding of economic expectations and the challenges surrounding liquidity and funding sources will help boost consumer sentiment. If we can engage brokers in discussion about the credit environment, that will enable them to better educate their clients – providing that level of information not only builds the confidence of the consumer, but also opens up an opportunity for them to develop a stronger relationship with their customer. ••• The burning issue Consumers are looking for advice – not just the lowest interest rate every step of the way, go the extra mile... it’s about being proactive The more uncertain things are, the more inclined people are to seek advice news
Mortgage and Finance Brief 12
Mortgage and Finance Brief 14