Capital Home Loans managing director Christopher Foster-Ramsay, who won the Best Marketing gong at The Adviser’s 2014 Better Business Awards, said he was blown away after hearing Tom Panos speak at the Better Business Summit that year.
“The timing was perfect because I was just ramping up my business,” Mr Foster-Ramsay said. “I really took the real estate concepts and adopted them into my business.”
At last year’s Melbourne event, where Mr Panos was MC, Mr Foster-Ramsay caught up with the real estate guru and discussed his progress over the year and what new strategies he had implemented into his business.
“Our business is not a transaction model. We are completely customer focused. Anyone who says that Tom’s methods can’t be implemented across markets, well I’ve proven that they can be.”
Mr Foster-Ramsay said brokers looking to get the most out of industry events, mentors and speakers should look beyond broking.
“It’s about being able to take the concept, finding out how to take the real estate part out of it and then apply it to a banking and finance or a retail setting,” he said.
“The concepts Tom talks about aren’t world changing, but they put clients and the ability to think outside the square at the centre of your business. I’ve worked out a way of applying that to a banking and finance environment.”
The Melbourne broker said some of Mr Panos’s most effective concepts that have worked in his business have been on marketing, how to cut through and establish a point of difference, how to build a brand and how to have a key point of difference by doing something that your competitors aren’t doing.
“We just do things differently,” he said. “We take the real estate angle of databasing, of connecting with as many people as we can, and of email nurturing.
“When we get a client, our aim is to treat them like family and to treat the deal as if it was our own. I think that is part of our success.”
Mr Foster-Ramsay said listening to Mr Panos speak at the 2014 Better Business Summit was “a total mind shift” that sparked him to refocus on how he ran his business.
“It wasn’t driven by profit. It was just about doing a better job today than we did yesterday,” he said.
But the fresh attitude has made a big impact on his bottom line.
“When the commission cheque came in on Christmas Eve it was a figure that I never thought I could possibly do,” he said. “With hard work and a bit of luck we have transformed ourselves into an attraction business. We choose who we want to deal with.”
Since implementing change, Mr Foster-Ramsay said Capital Home Loans has lifted its close rate, improved its value per customer and managed to achieve its highest turnover to date.
His personal residential loan volumes have increased by 250 per cent a month. In addition, the group has diversified into commercial lending, which now generates $40,000 a month.
“We are on track to double last year’s turnover in the first six months of this year,” Mr Foster-Ramsay said. “A lot of that will come in through the commercial arm of the business.”
Brokers can catch Tom Panos at this year’s Better Business Summit, where he’ll be talking about the science of selling in 2016, how brokers can create a world-class personal brand and revealing lead generation methods that really work.