Two successful mortgage and finance professionals have shared the benefits of running a fully-diversified financial services business.
Kylie Platt and Susan Lepidi, who have a combined 32 years of experience in the finance and mortgage broking industry, established fully-diversified business The Local Financial Group a few years ago to offer clients a holistic financial service.
After joining forces in 2015, Ms Platt and Ms Lepidi initially started under The Local Loan Company, before adding The Local Car Finance Company, The Local Financial Planner and then most recently The Local Financial Coach. All businesses now sit under the banner of The Local Financial Group.
Speaking to The Adviser, Ms Platt emphasised that the business is “truly diversified”, with all branches operating independently but cohesively.
Ms Lepidi explained that she and Ms Platt aim to empower and educate their clients, part of which includes being able to offer them all aspects of finance.
“We don't want them to go elsewhere looking for products or services, we like to think that they will come to us for everything that they need and we treat them like family,” she said.
Ms Platt pointed out that already their clients come to them naturally to make financial enquiries, which was a factor in her decision to obtain her financial planning diploma.
“Often, I've been asked a question, I knew the answer but I couldn't legally give them the answer. I tried to outsource to different people, it would start well and then it would sort of lapse,” Ms Platt said.
“Sue and I had this common feeling even before we joined: why would we want to outsource when the clients are coming to us and we are trusted by the client?
“So, that's what really drove us together, and now that's what drives our whole business; it is about empowering our client and making them feel nurtured and safe.”
In particular, adding financial planning to their business has helped to enhance the brokers’ overall customer service proposition.
“It's around knowing your client. If you know your client, you can then offer them services, whether they've got a loan, or whether you need to look at their insurances, or help them with their goals, or financial wellbeing, whatever it might be, because we have that all under the one roof, we can then offer that to our clients. I think that's an advantage,” Ms Lepidi explained.
Ms Platt added that the range of financial services ensure that the brokerage’s clients are “lifetime clients” who have a close relationship with the business.
“If a client goes over here for this and goes over there for that, your relationship with your client is often not as strong. But having financial planning on board, for example, just strengthens your relationship with your clients.
“Having it all within the same business, sitting under the Local Financial Group roof, we can then at least have people who are like-minded and treat their clients the same way that we do, so anyone that works for us has to have the same philosophy that we do, and that philosophy then extends out to our clients,” she added.