The director of a Sydney brokerage has pledged to give more money to charity this year, and explained how brokers can enhance their community engagement.
Jeremy Fisher, of 1st Street Home Loans, says the Sydney brokerage has continued with its charity of the month program which saw it win the Social and Community Service Program of the Year award at last year’s Australian Broking Awards.
“We get together at the start of the year and decide which charities we want to support, and usually there is some significance to the ones we choose as we find that a few of our employees have ties to certain ones,” he told The Adviser.
“We’ve increased the amount that we’re donating this calendar year compared to 2015, which is basically a portion of income from every loan that’s settled.”
Mr Fisher said that while supporting multiple charities gives 1st Street indirect exposure to the public, it is not the driving factor behind why the brokerage conducts the program.
“The initial benefit is that you feel good giving back to the community,” he said.
“We’re well-remunerated in this industry and giving back to those less fortunate is important. We don’t just support charities though, we also help out local schools and sporting organisations.”
Mr Fisher added that clients appreciate 1st Street’s charitable side.
“It’s well-received by customers because they see that you’re not just cashing in on writing a loan, but giving back as well, so I think it enhances their trust in you as a broker,” he said.
In order for brokers to engage effectively with their local community, Mr Fisher said they should be looking at the demographics of their consumer base and work out which ones they want to target.
“I think all brokers have an opportunity to be specific about what they want to support and not just say yes to everyone,” he said.
“You need to be smart about who you want to support.”
The Adviser will once again recognise the best social and community service program in the third-party channel next month at the Australian Broking Awards 2016.
To find out more about the awards or reserve your seat for the industry event of the year, click here.
[Related: Generating leads in your local community]