One successful regional mortgage professional predicts that the profile of regional brokers will rise as the banks continue to close branches outside the major cities.
Wilson Financial mortgage and finance broker Liz Wilson, who is based in the NSW Southern Highlands, says her regional location is an “extremely positive thing”.
Ms Wilson told The Adviser that she has witnessed the major banks closing branches in her local area.
Speaking to The Adviser, Ms Wilson said that her business has recently seen major banks closing down in the regional area in which they are located.
“We’re seeing branches offering less service or turning clients away to deal with online services,” she said. “I think brokers will become, even in a short 12-month period, in higher demand. Their profiles will rise and they’ll be seen as the alternative option for experienced service.”
Ms Wilson said that while this is good news for brokers, they should ensure that they keep their standards “extremely high” in order to take advantage of the opportunity.
In doing so, Ms Wilson recommends that regional brokers focus on tapping into networking groups in order to “get their name out there”.
“I find that people in regional areas are very authentic, and more often than not, very warm-natured. Go out there, get out of your comfort zone and tap into that, because it’s sitting there waiting for you.”
She highlighted that there is a substantial amount of networking information available online, such as the Chamber of Commerce and local meetups.
“[Meet] a few business people around town that are quite established and simply [ask] them if they know of any informal networking groups that are up and running.
“It would [also] be a good idea to go and approach someone that’s a busy accountancy or real estate agency to say, who do you network with, what groups are out there?
“Formal or informal they’re all fantastic for business. So, it’s all out there to find.”
Being regional is ‘a very powerful benefit’
Ms Wilson emphasised that brokers working in regional locations are able to “make a name for themselves” faster than when working in a city.
“I have brokered in Sydney when I started; it’s very cut-throat, everyone has established networks, you can get lost in the crowd whereas in a small-town you can grow a very strong following and it’s more viral in nature, so that’s a very powerful benefit,” she explained.
[Related: Perth broker thriving in a difficult market]