The new CEO of PLAN Australia shares her enthusiasm for the role and key advice on succeeding in the mortgage broking industry.
Speaking to the Adviser, PLAN Australia chief executive officer Anja Pannek, who has been in the role since October last year, said she has found it “fantastic” so far.
“I've been working a lot more closely with our team but very, very importantly being out on the road and meeting our members.
“And I'm really hearing how their business is going, how they’re finding the market, where they see opportunities and how can we help them continue to grow,” she said.
In meeting the aggregator’s members, Ms Pannek said that she has been struck by the passion that brokers have for their clients.
“And the passion they have for their businesses around wanting to grow them and really make a difference. Both for the people who they work with, but also for the industry,” she added.
“I think there’s a lot of passion for the value that these individuals create in their day-to-day interactions and what the industry as a whole does. I think that's absolutely wonderful and delightful.”
On succeeding as a broker
In revealing her best advice on how brokers can flourish in the industry, Ms Pannek firstly emphasised the importance of developing a clear business plan.
“Encompassed in that business plan is to be very clear of what your value proposition is, and how to take that to your clients, because that helps you be very focused. And it also helps you differentiate,” she explained.
She added that it is crucial to have “a really good handle” on understanding the power of marketing and how to connect with and create advocacy with your client base.
“What we do know is that referrals are a significant force of business growth. And referrals come from strong client advocacy. And that's accepted reputation which can be reinforced through marketing and talking to your customers often,” she elaborated.
Finally, Ms Pannek highlighted the value in choosing the right business partners to help you grow.
“Not just to provide you with the tactical day-to-day advice, but to bring insight to the table around how you operate not just as a broker but how you need to operate your business and continue to evolve and grow going forward.”
‘Very hopeful’ outlook for the industry
Ms Pannek told The Adviser she is optimistic about what the future holds for the broking industry.
“There’s not one interaction that I've had with a broker where I don't walk away just feeling really energised. I feel really hopeful around the future that we have for this industry,” she said.
“We've seen significant growth in consumers choosing to use brokers to help make some of the most important financial decisions in their life, and I think broking as an industry will continue to grow.
“But in saying that it is also very important that we as an industry continue to evolve. I think the outcome of the recent ASIC review will play a really key role in terms of how we, as an industry, should shape everything going forward.”
Reflecting on the history of the industry, Ms Pannek noted that it has continued to evolve and change, both from a regulatory perspective as well as the services that brokers offer clients.
“I think the industry has moved beyond just transactional to really a relationship-based business and bringing value to the table for your clients,” she said.
“I'm very hopeful around the outlook for the industry. And I absolutely know it won't be static and it will continue to evolve. And I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this.”
[Related: Aggregator to launch new council]