A WA-based broker and elite business writer reveals how offering financial advice and a budgeting service has helped create sticker clients.
Speaking to The Adviser, Kevin Gomer, managing director of Nicheliving Home Loans, revealed how offering his clients – and would-be clients – a budgeting service and education around saving has created more loyal clients.
The WA-based broker, who featured in the Elite Business Writers ranking last year, explained: “We were getting plenty of inquiries about savings history, and a lot of people coming to us for a home loan just didn’t know how to do it.
“They just had no idea about money or how to save and we really had to get down to breaking it down to almost daily amounts . . . by just saving five dollars or ten dollars a day.”
Stating that he was frustrated by the costs some budgeting service providers were charging his clients, especially when they were trying to save money, Mr Gomer started his own education and financial advice programme.
“We're very lucky in WA that we have state bank here where you only need one per cent to get into the property market, so we thought if we could build up an army of people that were saving their money to get into a home, they only needed to save anywhere between $4,000 and $6,000 dollars, and we'd be building up a big client base of people that we could help with their home loans in the future.”
Mr Gomer continued: “We genuinely want to help people get into the market, but a lot of people have no idea how to save or feel the amount they need to save is too overwhelming that they just give up.
“So, we were trying to educate, saying that the dream might not be five, six, seven years away – it might only be 12 or 18 months away.”
Working in tandem with his business partner Phil Stevens, who manages the investment and financial advice side of the business, Nicheliving Home Loans sets up savings plans and checks in with clients along the way to ensure that they are sticking to them.
Mr Stevens said: “These savings plans and introductory meetings do take time and a lot of work. And while it’s an expense to the business and although you don’t get a direct return, you do get client retention and you do have a lot of internal referrals from those clients.
“The benefit is that you might get one out of five [clients] that do listen and do come back for their loan down the line.
Mr Stevens said that this level of dedication to clients does lead on to business in the future and results in clients referring them to their friends and network.
He added: “Any mortgage broker can write a loan, but can they take you on that whole journey and give you that hand-holding when everyone else says no and take the time to get you on that pathway and take you to a yes?
“There's a niche in the market for people who have been turned down by banks, or even brokers, because they might not have their finances in good check, to offer them a service where we can work with them and get them what they need.
“There’s a huge amount of them in WA and people's situations do change . . . they do have windfalls, they do get higher paying jobs, etc. And that’s when it comes back to you and all make sense.”
Are you an elite broker? The Elite Business Writers survey has become the essential indicator for the broking industry’s finest, evaluating Australia’s top business writers across a range of revenue streams.
Submissions for this year's ranking are open until Friday, 28 July 2017.