A Victoria-based broker has underlined the importance of brokerages forming strategic partnerships that are culturally aligned to their firms in order to thrive in their businesses.
My Mortgage Freedom CEO Anthony Alabakov has told The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast his brokerage focused on forming relationship-based partnerships which look beyond remuneration.
Mr Alabakov said he looks for partnerships that look after clients and consider the appropriate results for clients.
“[Partnerships] don’t happen overnight,” Mr Alabakov said.
“It’s probably evolved as an industry from that. Having one meeting with an accountant or one meeting with a real estate agent, that’s not going to forge your relationship. It does take time.”
He also emphasised the need to implement clear processes and structures within brokerages to ensure they can cement those partnerships.
“It’s [about] having certain processes in place that you can scale that relationship as well,” Mr Alabakov said.
“Showing you’ve got some structure with those relationships I think is what sets us apart, that we’ve got that scale.”
Mr Alabakov said he initially acquired a real estate group, which had around 20 real estate agents in the office, which he said benefited his brokerage. That has now evolved to a point where the brokerage predominantly works in the financial services space and partners with accountants and financial planners.
Mortgage Freedom conducts robust due diligence for the on-boarding process with a referral partner, where the firm attempts to understand the partner’s business, how they operate, and how the brokerage can fit into the partner’s business to add value.
The brokerage conducts one- or two-hour workshops where they attempt to understand how the partner works with clients, how they work with new clients, how it conducts reviews, and how the brokerage can operate within their operation.
The referral partners are asked to answer these questions as part of a fact find, which is then passed on to the brokerage. Mr Alabakov said this process has resulted in warmer introductions and leads.
Mortgage Freedom has employed brokers who each specialise in certain segments of the market. This includes a self-employed specialist, self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) specialist, non-residents, investors for first home buyers, as well as commercial development specialists.
“Having that certain segment and specialisation really provides us with a point of difference, whether we’re pitching work to deal with a new group, or clients need to deal with a specialist that understands [each segment],” Mr Alabakov said.
For example, the self-employed segment is riddled with complexity around companies’ trust dividends and how those are used by the banks.
“You’ve really got to know your stuff in that area. So, it’s something that we’re probably going to continue in that area of having these specialists. It works for us,” Mr Alabakov said.
To hear more from Anthony Alabakov tune in to the Elite Broker podcast.
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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