Arming oneself with knowledge and expertise around lending ensures borrowers are offered the appropriate loan product that satisfies their specific circumstances
The increasingly competitive broker market requires business smarts, expertise and confidence in order to excel. Here at Pepper, as a non-bank lender specialising in flexible loan solutions and individual credit assessment, we have seen how the broker market has benefited from educational resources and support. As a business we have a strong focus on helping brokers grow their own businesses. We believe that education builds knowledge, knowledge builds confidence and confidence attracts business.
The mortgage broking industry is constantly evolving; policies are often adjusted, new solutions and products are continually becoming available, and the client base is dynamic, which is why keeping updated and informed is vital to brokers’ ongoing success. Mortgage brokers are known for their ability to fill a gap within the home loans market, providing comprehensive, convenient and unbiased advice to clients. Therefore, to stand out from the crowd, and truly adhere to what mortgage brokers are known for, education needs to be front of mind to ensure continuous success.
Specialist lending is a particular area where we know brokers tend to lack confidence in writing loans to suit their clients’ needs. By learning about alternative home loan products and how to identify a specialist client, brokers undoubtedly benefit from greater awareness, understanding market trends, and borrower behaviour. Brokers today need to be up to date and aware of the alternative lending options available and reasons why borrowers fall into the specialist category and don’t fit the criteria of traditional lenders. After all, it’s not just borrowers with adverse credit history that fall into the category; specialist lenders can help a broad range of those seeking finance including small business owners and the self-employed.
For Pepper, broker education is a priority. We work with brokers every single day and we are passionate about supporting our network. For this reason, in April 2013 we launched our ‘Better Business’ education program, an ongoing professional teaching series that assists brokers to build stronger relationships with their clients through obtaining knowledge that will lead to better advice. So far, 1,800 of Pepper’s approximately 8,000 accredited brokers have completed modules from the education program. In late 2014 we released a new module for the program dedicated to specialist lending, to provide brokers with the tools needed to approach and successfully present a specialist home loan solution to a client.
We urge brokers to take the plunge or that next step to learn what else is available for their client, and take advantage of emerging opportunities in the specialist lending sector. If you don’t, you risk limiting the solutions that can be offered to your clients. Identifying and being aware of the opportunities that specialist loans offer your clients will not only satisfy and broaden your pool of customers, but also work towards giving you confidence in your ability as a broker to offer the best possible solution to your clients.
Great mortgage brokers are also great business managers and marketers, and our ‘Better Business’ education program is designed to help underpin better business growth and development. Not only can Pepper help brokers take advantage of the new opportunities in the specialist lending sector, we also facilitate rapid learning across a range of professional competencies. Our online e-learning modules include ‘The relationship management process’, ‘Creating your compelling value proposition’, ‘Interviewing clients to understand their needs’ and ‘Creating effective business plans’.
Later in 2015 we will be enhancing the platform with additional modules, with topics like ‘alternative documentation’ and ‘understanding financials’ likely to appear. At Pepper, we pride ourselves on offering brokers a program that is not only easy to engage with, but also equips them with the tools they can use to unearth the knowledge they need to truly succeed. After all, gaining competency and confidence in specialist lending and satisfying client demand provides a fantastic opportunity, as clients are often great advocates of your business – strengthening the referral part of your business is always a good thing.
A broker who can successfully identify customers’ needs and then match these needs to a product or loan will always stand out in the market place. Borrowers feel comfortable when a mortgage transaction is executed in confidence and this confidence comes from knowledge.
For more information about Pepper’s Better Business education program, please visit www.pepperonline.com.au/betterbusiness.