Earlier this week, we revealed our 30 Under Thirty ranking, which lists the top young mortgage brokers in Australia. We caught up with the young broker of the year, Madd Loans’ George Samios, to find out how he pulled off the feat.
How does it feel to come top of The Adviser's 30 Under Thirty ranking for the second year in a row?
It feels really good that someone from Brisbane can win the award two years in a row. I’m really proud off Madd and all the staff and all my customers. I'm still really thankful for The Adviser for putting on an industry event and ranking that recognises young, new-to-industry mortgage brokers. It’s awesome to see that nearly half of the brokers at the Rising Stars event on Tuesday were new-to-industry, which is fantastic. They should all be proud of themselves for being at the event.
I’m really happy to have come top two years in a row and maybe we can make it three next year!
You wrote more than 500 loans [totalling] over $134 million. That’s an incredible amount. What do you attribute that to?
Now that the business has been around for nearly six years, we get a lot of repeat and referral business. [We’ve] built a solid team and really work on the core values and instill that into [our] work culture. It takes time, but obviously, the business does start coming in.
[When I was younger], I saw the volumes that people were writing [and] I didn’t think that would be possible. But now it’s really easy when you have a solid team and heaps of people referring you. We have heaps of support staff.
You co-founded voicemail-to-voicemail tech provider Trycall, which rolled out earlier this year. Why did you develop the Trycall system?
Earlier on, when I started Madd, we got a lot of leads from doing home shows and trade shows, open houses, etc. We just didn’t have the time or resources to call all these people, so we started employing telemarketers and they just kept on getting people’s voicemails. So, my mate Cameron, who is the co-founder, is a tech and he figured out a way to send out voicemails [direct to the voicemail of people we were calling]. So, that’s how it started.
It’s evolved a lot more now, so we use it not only for lead generation but also for keeping in contact with existing clients — for example, automated voicemails going out for clients’ birthdays, loan reviews, when a fixed rate expires. There is a multitude of things we do. It’s awesome that Connective innovated and let people connect [to their CRM system] via API so we can pull key milestone dates, like dates of birth and key milestone dates, from the CRM — it happens automatically now. It’s all autonomous.
What is important to you in an aggregator?
I was very fortunate and lucky to go with Connective from day one. I felt a real bond with one of the state managers in Queensland, and I felt a lot of trust.
After going through and making the decision to go with Connective, I’ve never looked back and been a massive ambassador for Connective since the start. Their systems are amazing. I couldn’t actually write the volume [I do] without the systems that Connective provides. The marketing platforms, the CRM and the automation that it provides makes writing large volumes easy. I don’t know if you could write a large volume with other software.
What was the major milestone for your company in 2017?
Now we have eight staff, so I put a lot more staff on and invested into that with a lot of training. I became a lot more patient and did manuals and really taught all of my staff how everything works properly.
So, I hope next year that enables us to write more volume.
I’m making one of my staff a mortgage broker now, which is awesome. She has been with me for two years and now will be a mortgage broker, which is great.
I want to make everyone in my office to eventually become mortgage brokers. Generally, when we employ people, they start off doing admin or mortgage support but I hope to have everyone within two years of working for me to be a mortgage broker, that’s how long I think it takes for us to Madd-them up! That's how long it takes to know all our core values, how to talk like George, doing whiteboards like George and giving George customer service. In my experience it takes two years - and I hope that after two years with us they will be award-winning customer service mortgage brokers who really care about their clients, look after them and know 100 per cent how to do things properly.
Do you have any tips for brokers starting out that you wish you'd known when you started?
Number one tip would be to use Trycall - of course! But really, if I had that when I first started my business, it would have boosted my capacity a lot faster. Calling 1,000 leads in one second is an awesome feature to have - direct to voicemail is a massive game changer for prospecting.
Other tips: be organised and have a routine - so go to work early, but make sure you train and eat healthily.
Try and see as many people as you can in the early days, because that is very important. So, driving to people's houses and doing whatever you can to meet new accountants, new real estate agents, new financial planners and really getting your name out there. Because, at the start, you have no rungs on the board, so you really have to hunt them. Now I have rungs on the board and awards behind me, people come to us. It attracts business. But it took years and years to get that set up - with a lot of phone calls and networking.
Also, you need to make your business efficient. Have really good efficiencies in automation, have a really good CRM - so you need a really good aggregator - which can help you really systemise the way you do business with automated emails, SMS, and Trycalls.
Lastly, be happy and be positive. Sometimes you have ups and sometimes you have downs but you have to get on with it and stay positive and optimistic, even if everyone around you is negative. You want to block it out and be positive and become known as a happy, positive person and people will come to you. They will be drawn to you.
What do you expect the market to look like in 2018?
I reckon the market will continue to grow for mortgage brokers. I feel like we are getting a lot more business now and our names are getting a lot better in the industry. I feel that people are losing a bit of trust with the banks and are coming to us with a bit more wisdom and knowing. Also, these awards that you do are very important, because people do research on who are the best in the industry and calling us because we’re a top broker and know what we’re doing.
We have to move with technology. We can’t sit here and be dormant. We have to keep innovating. We have to see things like Trycall be with aggregators that enable us to use a whole different multitude of resources via APIs and so on, which makes keeping in contact with our clients easier and enhances the customer experience... and ultimately, giving our clients ultimate satisfaction, because that is what it comes down to — looking after your customers.
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