Reduced volumes and bank commission cuts have reinforced the need for solid broker sales and marketing strategies.
The importance of marketing and support services like business coaching were revealed as the two most important areas where aggregators could better service their members in the most recent Mortgage Business straw poll.
National Mortgage Brokers, Choice Aggregation Services and the Australian Finance Group (AFG) have all recently introduced initiatives to help their members maximise revenue in what has fast become a challenging market for the nation’s brokers.
The average broker stands to lose around $13,000-14,000 a year in upfront income as a result of commission reductions, according to AFG.
“By extending the average loan life by 10 per cent, generating three per cent more referrals and retaining an extra two customers per year, brokers should be able to recuperate that loss,” said AFG general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt.
“Retention of customers in the current market is paramount,” he said.
Simon Dehne, head of sales and marketing at Choice Aggregation Services, believes that brokers face at least an 18 month period “before the market will return to anywhere near normalcy”.
“It’s time for brokers to sit down and make a roadmap for how they are going to improve profitability,” he said.
Helping brokers understand, in terms of revenue, exactly what they need to do to stay in business is essential, Mr Dehne said.
Mr Dehne said Choice has recently launched a new initiative called ‘Get fit to go the distance’ to help brokers focus on the coming 18 month period and gear their businesses to better capitalise on opportunities via better sales and marketing.
This mirrors a similar programme called SMART (specialist marketing acquisition and retention tools) launched by AFG to assist brokers retain and acquire customers.
National Mortgage Brokers has recently developed a new CRM system which it said will contribute to better client communication among their brokers.
Sal Cinque, director of sales and marketing, highlighted the importance of direct marketing strategies – particularly in slower markets – and said “brokers must view their client base as a valuable resource and focus on maintaining regular client contact”.
National Mortgage Brokers has urged its brokers to make contact with customers a least four times a year, with at least one of those a telephone call.
The new CRM system, it anticipates, should help brokers manage communication more effectively and provide a number of channels through which brokers can maintain close contact.
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