Victoria-based broker Jonathan Lee explains why it is important for brokers to take stock of their business processes and eliminate doubling up of tasks.
Mr Lee, who has been the principal of Mortgage Choice Williamstown in inner-west Melbourne for almost nine years and recently won the Franchise Office of the Year award at the 2020 Australian Broking Awards, said one the biggest challenges he faced when he began at the brokerage was not having a clear process.
“That was very difficult. I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” he told The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast.
“I sat down and just figured out what I am doing, thinking about where I’m taking this business, what’s the end goal, and just trying to head in that direction.”
“Sometimes you get bogged down with the day-to-day work, but you don’t know what you’re doing.”
In fact, Mr Lee and his wife, who manages the operations side of the business, recently paused and allotted an entire Saturday to sift through the brokerage’s end-to-end processes and remove any kinks.
“We sat down and she was asking me the questions,” Mr Lee said.
“She’ll try and take it out of my head about what the process is. Because I’ve got it in my head, but it’s hard to get it onto paper. It was good to have the two people working together to try and get what that actual process is.”
They decided to stick post-it notes all over their office boardroom to map out all of the processes they had implemented, and identify what they should retain, dispose of, or improve and refine.
They evaluated what their process was when a client calls into the business, from what they were saying to the client, how they were introducing the client to their business, to how they were taking and inputting notes.
They matched every process with an action item and found that their processes were filled with double ups, Mr Lee said.
“What we were finding is we were inputting notes in many different spots, and it was becoming counterproductive,” he said.
He said this exercise, coupled with new software platforms created by Mortgage Choice, helped in streamlining that process.
Mr Lee also identified tasks that he could delegate to others in his business, which enabled him to focus on his face-to-face time with his clients.
“I had a bit of, I guess, growing pains,” Mr Lee admitted.
“When we opened shop, it was just about finding the right people for the job, but [we] also need to find what that job was for those people. I think I did a lot of hiring people without knowing what they were actually doing.”
Mr Lee said implementing processes first was useful because he could then “slot” staff in suitable roles, provide structured job descriptions, and provide a clear indication of what their roles would entail.
The importance of outsourcing
Mr Lee suggested to both new brokers entering the industry and to those contemplating starting their own business that they should outsource certain tasks “sooner rather than later”.
“I hear a lot of brokers who go, ‘I just want to know how to do it first and then I’ll get somebody to do it’,” he said.
“I think that’s counterproductive because you spend all this time trying to perfect something that somebody else is going to be much better at.”
Mr Lee advised that brokers should outsource tasks like processing deals or packaging deals, or even managing social media to someone who is an expert.
“You want to get people around you that are better than you. It’s easier to find people who are better than you,” he concluded.
You can listen to the full episode of Elite Broker with Jonathan Lee, here:
Find out more about how to implement the strategies, business plans and processes to take your business to the next level at next week’s Business Accelerator Program 2020, run in partnership with HashChing.
The packed agenda, being held over three half-days (25-27 August), contains content that is usually only exclusively shared by high-priced consultants.
Tune in to the virtual workshop, run by director of Broker Essentials, Jason Back, as he shares his proven strategies to remodel your existing plans and shake up your business.
You can register for the Business Accelerator Program 2020 here.
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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