The aggregator has encouraged brokers to change their mindsets and prepare their businesses for “long-term disruption” from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to The Adviser, CEO of Choice Aggregation Services Stephen Moore has stressed the importance of “mindset” in the face of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Mr Moore urged brokers to prepare themselves and their businesses for an extended period of disruption, which he said could last well into the second half of 2020.
“Rather than thinking about COVID-19 as a short-term disruption, Choice’s advice to brokers is to consider this at least a six-month play,” he said.
“We need to adjust the way we work for a significant period, and taking this long-term mindset and really investing in new ways of operating will be critical.”
The Choice CEO joined peers in urging brokers to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues through the use of technology to help them better manage personal challenges and customer needs.
“Keeping connected is also important during this period of social distancing and isolation. We need to be looking after each other, and ourselves, now more than ever,” he added.
“Whether it’s by phone, text, email, FaceTime or Zoom, there are so many ways we can still be interacting with colleagues, peers, friends and family.
“Only by looking after your own wellbeing will you be able to look after the wellbeing of your customers.”
According to Mr Moore, customers are likely to depend on brokers “more than ever” throughout the crisis as they increasingly seek financial guidance amid ongoing economic uncertainty.
“What we are hearing from brokers right now is that many of them are as busy as ever, working with clients to identify support options or looking at their refinancing options, given that interest rates have fallen significantly,” he continued.
“In times of uncertainty, there is a natural flight to those we trust, and the critical role that brokers play in supporting customers is really going to be apparent during the coming months.”
Mr Moore added that Choice is focused on providing its broker network with access to information they need to deliver positive outcomes for their clients.
“Lenders have been quick to bring hardship packages to the table, which is a real positive, and we have been working hard to gather all the details of these to share with our members,” he said.
The chief executive also claimed that Choice has been actively consulting with lenders to provide members with clarity regarding trail commission arrangements in the current environment.
Mr Moore said that in the meantime, Choice would help brokers adopt practical measures aimed at minimising disruption to their businesses.
The measures include embedding video conferencing into broker businesses, strengthening digital ID capabilities and streamlining online processes.
“Technology has a key role to play in supporting broker businesses to continue looking after their clients during this period,” he said.
“Adopting digital tools is also smart business, and so investing time into getting up to speed on these is a worthwhile investment.”
Mr Moore also noted that Choice would provide more online learning modules to enable brokers to adapt their businesses to the new landscape.