An ongoing review process can mitigate “oodles of worry and stress,” but all players need to be accountable, a regional broker has said.
Tamara Virgo is a regional broker and financial planner with TV Financial Services in Western Australia and winner of Broker of the Year and Regional Broker of the Year at the 2017 The Adviser Western Australia Better Business Awards. Her office also picked up Best Regional Office for the second year in a row.
She told The Adviser that brokers need to spend time on their business and consider it from a “completely different light.”
“I think what brokers are really tending to find is . . . you’re so busy being busy, and that might sound fulfilled, but you don’t have that ability then to be able to continue to spend time on your business . . . [and asking yourself] what is working? What are you doing, but you could do better?”
The act of reviewing processes removes an element of worry, she noted, explaining that periods leading up to key times of the year can be fraught with stress. Having consistent assessment means brokers are “able to stay on top of things.”
“You're not looking back six months and going, ‘Oh, well . . . our line book dropped off six months ago,' and then worrying about it or [worrying about it] because of a change in the lenders or a change in the marketplace your book has altered. [With ongoing reviews] you are able to adjust it as you go along.”
A review of her business can take up to 12 weeks, she said, as it includes the “pulling apart” of processes, mapping of processes, as well as looking at the financial reporting of the three years prior. The review also includes her staff looking at their job descriptions and their performance.
“Once a quarter . . . my business coach and my accountant and myself get together and have a look at how that plan is going from a coaching point of view, that's ongoing. So every month we have a three-hour hookup – like, I’m in Esperance and she's in Perth – [and] have a face-to-face meeting via SuiteBox and basically review where we are.”
Ms Virgo highlighted that in the review process, she is held accountable: “I can’t make excuses for why something hasn’t happened. I’ve got to have accountable outcomes.”
The reviewing process includes asking questions like: “Okay, we did want to achieve this and we haven't. Why weren't we achieving it? What are we going to do different? Are they factors that are in our control or are they factors that are outside our control? If they're outside our control, is it a market that's moving, that we're not staying on top of or is it something different that we need to be doing as a business?”
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