The director of multi-state brokerage Infinity Group Australia shares his insights and top tips on running an award-winning brokerage.
Speaking on The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast, broker and director of Infinity Group Australia (which won the New Office of the Year award at this year’s Australian Broking Awards) Graeme Holm revealed how he runs his brokerage and some of his top tips for success.
Mr Holm outlined that he believed there was a “real shift in the market that you need to understand your client before you can advise them”, and he highlighted that the role of the brokers “really goes back to the needs-based sale”.
“We shouldn’t be selecting a product or features and so forth until we’ve actually identified the clients’ why,” the director said. “Why do their two feet hit the ground each morning? What motivates them? What drives them? And why do they actually need a loan? Not everybody is happy to pay the minimum repayment over 30 years. A lot of people do actually want to do better. They’re just not sure how to [do it].”
The director added that brokers should also consider the type of broker they want to be, outlining that he believed brokers had a particular role to play in a client’s journey.
“It’s important to think about [whether] you want to be a broker who writes the loan, waves the client goodbye, and sends them a Christmas (or birthday) card from your CRM once a year; or do you want to be a broker who invests in the clerical administrative and support side, and wants to build a relationship with your clients?” Mr Holm said.
“Because they aren’t the same person. The broker is very different to the person who’s passionately keeping them [the clients] accountable and coaching them along the way. And that’s something that Rebecca [Walker], my partner, has made significant investment in and built a whole administration side of our business there as a whole other entity.”
According to the Infinity Group director, a successful broker is one that commits fully to the industry.
He told The Adviser: “I know that you have to be very passionate and hungry to want to grow within this industry. I don’t think it’s an industry for people who want to write a couple of loans and where you can spend a few days on the golf course.
“I know that I sleep very limited hours and tend to function fine on that, but I’m very passionate about what I do. People talk about work/life balance, whereas I just talk about the passion and the outcomes of what I’m doing with clients and what we’re achieving. And that’s my passion. That’s my life, so to speak. Inside, outside of work, that’s all I live and breathe.”
Mr Holm noted that outsourcing has also helped the brokerage run efficiently, adding that “a lot of award-winning brokers that are handling significant volumes will outsource a lot of roles that aren’t served in their best interests”, such as the administrative back-end loan processing.
He revealed that Infinity brings in external compliance auditors, while the team focuses on client relationships and administration.
“I think it’s important that you focus on what you’re very good at,” the director said. “The old saying goes, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’, but if you can acknowledge what your strong points are not, and you can hire or consult with the right firms and people to fill the gaps, then you’ll build a very successful business.
“And I know, from us being bouncing between different sites and different locations, we’re trying to stay small and boutique. But we definitely have to rely on consultants and external business partners to really plug what would become gaps if we weren’t investing in them.”
However, Mr Holm warned against growing a business for growth’s sake. He said: “The problem you can have with growth is it needs to be sustainable. Otherwise, you can compromise quality and brand. So we’re really focused on improving everything we do.”
The NSW-based broker said that his group’s favourite saying is “Never be satisfied”, adding that while he wasn’t yet satisfied with every aspect of the business, the company was “exceeding and delighting client expectations every day”.
“We’d really like to improve on that and fine-tune it before we replicate into too many more locations and too many more family members,” the director said.
In conclusion, Mr Holm said that he had the following advice on running a successful brokerage: “My tip would be to really focus on the nucleus of the business: the people, the processes, the systems, the training, and just getting really, really invested in people. You have to have the right people.”
If you’d like to learn more about how to run an efficient broking business, then make sure you attend The Adviser’s Business Accelerator Program 2018.
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[Related: Infinite innovation: How Graeme Holm does it]
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