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Diversification the ‘only way’ to secure clients, says elite broker

by Reporter6 minute read

Offering more than mortgages is of increasing importance for brokers, and is “the only way you can really secure [a] client to you”, one of Australia’s leading brokers has said.

Speaking on The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast, South Coast Business & Financial Solutions’ general manager and broker, Karen Bashford, highlighted the importance of being a “full service” broker.

Noting that the Ulladulla-based brokerage primarily writes residential loans (comprising around 75 per cent of the business), Ms Bashford added that the company had always offered a range of financial solutions for clients. Ranging from residential home loans to seniors’ loans and commercial and equipment finance, the elite business writer highlighted that diversifying into other areas outside of mortgage broking can benefit both brokers and their clients.

When asked whether it was important for brokers to offer more than mortgages, Ms Bashford said: “I think it is, because it’s the only way that you can really secure that client to you.


“Because if they have to go to a bank or to someone else to get their business loan, the bank is going to finance their home loans while theyve got them there. So, ideally you want to be the one-stop shop for that client, and you want to be their finance professional, regardless of what it is theyre looking for.

“[I]ts really [about] extending your experience and your learning so you can be everything to them.”

Top tips for starting out

The NSW broker said that the “trick” for success when offering new services for the first time is “being up front”.

Ms Bashford elaborated: “[N]obody knows everything, but when someone does come to you for something that you dont really know how to deal with, its [about] being up front and telling them: ‘You know what? Ive been doing this for a long time, but its the first time something like this has crossed my desk. I dont know, but Im going to find out for you.’ It’s really [saying]: ‘Lets go on this journey together so we both know how to do it next time.”

The finance broker told Elite Broker that brokers were well positioned to provide borrowers with choice, given the current lending environment.

“People are a little bit scared at the moment, so more people are coming [to us], because as long as youre trusted, they do want to talk to you. And they also know that Im going to talk to every option, and find out the best option for them... You need to make sure that theyre fully informed so that they can make that right decision.                                    

“And thats what I keep coming back to. In a small town, where everybody knows you, thats paramount. If you dont have a reputation as someone whos trusted and honest, you may as well give up.”

The South Coast Business & Financial Solutions GM added that she believed equipment finance was a good place to start as it was relatively “easy to do” and “theres so much of it out there”.

“There is a need for it; theres a high percentage of people out there that are self-employed, and April to June every year, I dont know how many finance deals we do for cars, but I tell you what, they stack up.

“Its just really letting your clients know that you do it.”

Find out more about the ins and outs of offering diversified business services at The Adviser’s SME Broker Bootcamp.

Starting in Brisbane on Tuesday (20 November), The Adviser’s SME Broker Bootcamp is a national roadshow designed to help brokers propel their businesses, better understand the opportunity in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) market and transition into new revenue streams.

The free-to-attend bootcamps will be held in Brisbane on 20 November, Perth on 22 November, Melbourne on 27 November and Sydney on 28 November.

Attendees of the SME Broker Bootcamp will be able to claim up to eight hours of CPD points (MFAA and FBAA).

Secure your place at the SME Broker Bootcamp now to ensure you don’t miss out.

[Related: How this regional broker is writing 500 loans each year]



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