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Why this broker values word-of-mouth referrals

customer service ta

customer service ta
Malavika Santhebennur 3 minute read

Paul Wright, the recently crowned Regional Broker of the Year, explains what he thinks is the mark of good customer service, and why this is vital to his business.

The MoneyQuest Wollongong principal and owner believes the ultimate compliment for any broker is when clients are prepared to refer their acquaintances, family and friends to them.

“I think the mark of good customer service is when you get a referral from someone,” Mr Wright told The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast.

“At my initial appointments with new clients, I’ll say to them that they don’t have to pay me for my service. All I ask is that they refer friends and family if they’re happy with the advice.”

This strategy has paid dividends for Mr Wright’s brokerage, with 89 per cent of his business last year being generated from existing client referrals or repeat business.

MoneyQuest Wollongong has a client base of over 2,000 clients, which Mr Wright said is largely self-generated.

What his loan process looks like

When dealing with a client, MoneyQuest Wollongong asks the client to complete a fact find, which they must return prior to the meeting. Mr Wright then provides credit advice to the client around the loan structure.

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However, Mr Wright does not discuss specific lenders with the client during the appointment, he revealed.

“We’ll obviously talk about product and structure but definitely not around the lender piece. [That way] the client feels that they’re coming to us for the advice, not [to talk] about the particular lender,” he said.

Following the discussion with the client, Mr Wright’s team will prepare recommendations and a loan proposal and email it to clients.

“That’s a PDF document that I’ve created over the past 13 to 14 years. It includes at least two lenders that we believe are the most suitable for the client,” Mr Wright said.

“Once that’s sent to the client, the client will then select the lender, and one of my team [members] will move the application forward to get the loan approved.”

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The regional broker said that while borrowers can choose to directly approach a lender for a mortgage, brokers hold the upper hand because of the ongoing advice element, including post-settlement work.

“We’ve always made a very concerted effort to stay in touch with our clients, and from day one we always made sure that we captured people’s details even if they were only a prospect and never eventuated,” Mr Wright said.

He also ensures that he and his team conduct annual reviews of all their clients every 12 months to understand how customers are faring and to discuss any further credit or refinancing options they may want.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve our customer process, and that’s one thing that I try and emphasise to our staff,” Mr Wright said.

“It’s not just my role to identify that. That’s everyone’s role if we can improve it to make the client experience just that little bit easier.” 

Keys to success

Mr Wright, who was recently awarded the Regional Broker of the Year Award at the 2020 Australian Broking Awards, said he has always ensured that he focuses on factors he can control rather than external factors, such as regulatory changes or market movements.

“In times like now, like when the GFC hit, I really focus on just growing my market share and not worrying about whether the property market is going to dive,” Mr Wright said.

“I think that’s really helped us get through, because I haven’t been negative.”

In line with his mantra around customer service, Mr Wright recommended that brokers ensure no potential lead is lost.

He advised brokers to visit every lead and every potential client that has been referred to their brokerage, even without pre-qualifying them.

“We’ll at least make an appointment and have a discussion with them. I think that’s really important,” he said.

Mr Wright concluded by saying that one of the most valuable exercises he has ever done is to visit other businesses and brokerages, particularly ones he aspires to emulate, to see how they operate.

“Anyone who’s starting out, find other brokerages,” he said.

“Go and see how they operate and take lessons from them and implement them into your business.”

To listen to Paul Wright’s full Elite Broker podcast, click here.

[Related: Why this BDM-turned-broker set up his own franchise]

Why this broker values word-of-mouth referrals
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

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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