The catchcry heard all too often… “I don’t have enough time!”
It’s something I’ve said many times to myself in the past and have heard even more from other brokers in the industry.
The reality is, the broking life is not 9-to-5! Indeed, many in the outside world don’t see the early morning starts, the late night processing, the constant driving, the weekend meetings and the barrage of emails, SMS and phone calls — all of which begs the question: if too often we feel we don’t have enough time, how can we be more effective with the time we have?
Many brokers would agree that standard working hours on a daily basis would be 10 hours or more. With this in mind, these are some of practices I’ve put in place to allow myself to work hard, but still be able to enjoy life:
Paying for support
If you can afford an in-house assessor or data entry person, then this will definitely help. If not, there are a number of online support companies available that specialise and integrate the service into your business. One of these, www.iadministrateyourloan.com, offers workers with industry experience who are ready to assist on a per-loan basis. They start at the data entry stage, then take the loan through to submission and all the tasks to settlement, allowing you to free up more time for sales and assessment for a cost of just $300 per loan. When you consider that this can allow you to administer 10 loans a month at around $3,000, as opposed to hiring a support staff member on $60,000 per annum (without having the cost superannuation and annual leave etc), either way you look at it, you have two clear options to have a specialist that will support your business.
Using a mentee
New-to-industry brokers require numbers to build up experience, so as a mentor you could provide them with this valuable experience by having them working on your deals to assist with submission, data entry and settlement. This will allow them to practice and allow you to teach at the same time. It’s a win-win situation where you both receive commercial benefit.
Qualify vital requirements over the phone first
I do a quick qualification upfront over the phone before booking a meeting with clientele. This will include ensuring there is enough income and deposit, or if there is no deposit, that there is a guarantor. Doing a two-hour round trip to have a meeting that was dead from the beginning is a waste. If a client doesn't qualify, then provide an email with the steps to get them ready so they can reconnect with you again in the future.
Invite clients to see you
When and where you can, encourage clients to come to you. Many brokers do not do outcalls and have clients come to the office, which also indicates that clients are ready to play ball.
Use technology to provide regular updates to clients
Even if there’s no news, regular updates by emails or SMS will keep the clients calls at bay. As a broker you know a phone call can take a minimum of 5-10 mins, so a simple text allowing for a quick reply can cut these down, allowing you to deal with a few clients at the same time.
Early morning starts and daily preparation
I spend the first hour of the morning replying to all emails, then working out what’s urgent for today so I can be ready to hit the ground running by 9am. The morning list I put together will have a few things that must be sorted today by using the CRM system as a reminder tool.
Adopt well-structured system processes and templates
Adopt email templates for every step of the way and every situation, including approval milestones, escalations to BDMs and emails to solicitors. By using templates you can cut down on the time you spend typing a new email each time.
By working more effectively and saving yourself valuable time with methods similar or the same as those above, you’re more likely to deliver your ‘A-game’ to your clients while appreciating the ride along the way.
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