NAB Broker distribution’s general manager, Steve Kane, believes ongoing training and education is the key to increasing professionalism and profitability in the third party channel
WITH A WEALTH OF INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE, DO YOU THINK CONFERENCES ARE STILL RELEVANT TO THE BROKING INDUSTRY?
Absolutely. I think the most important thing that conferences deliver is the ability to network with like-minded professionals. They also give you the opportunity to understand what’s going on in the market by way of formal presentations from experts in many fields, and enable you to understand new opportunities that may exist in your business that you were not aware of.
I think conferences fulfil a number of important functions and a majority of people who attend them come away with two or three ideas they can actually implement in their business.
NAB BROKER IS PRINCIPLE PARTNER OF THE ADVISER’S BETTER BUSINESS SUMMIT. WHAT SETS THIS EVENT APART FROM OTHER INDUSTRY EVENTS AND WHY HAS NAB CHOSEN TO ALIGN ITS BRAND WITH THE SUMMIT?
One of the things that really attracted NAB Broker to the Better Business Summit was that it’s a state-based event. Many opportunities exist at a national level but not all brokers can attend those national conferences, so having the summit on a state-based level is very important to us. It allows everyone across Australia to attend what is going to be a very valuable summit.
I think the other thing is that within each state there are specific nuances to be addressed, as well as networking opportunities to take advantage of. For the professional development of brokers – which NAB really views as important going forward – we wanted to lift the bar for the industry and continue to support brokers’ professional development.
THE BETTER BUSINESS AWARDS DON’T JUST RECOGNISE THE HIGHEST VOLUME WRITERS BUT ALSO THOSE WHO ARE EXCELLING IN CUSTOMER SERVICE, DIVERSIFICATION AND MARKETING, AS WELL AS RECOGNISING THE BEST SUPPORT STAFF IN THE INDUSTRY. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THESE PARTICULAR AWARDS FEATURE ON THE AGENDA?
The industry is made up of many facets and the support businesses that sit within broker businesses – the myriad functions that are carried out within that business – contribute to the whole performance of the business.
It isn’t just about the person who writes the most volume; it’s about customer satisfaction and the development of customer management strategies as well.
We all recognise the broking fraternity has made inroads to the mortgage industry, and consequently created a sector that now accounts for between 45 and 50 per cent of all mortgages written in Australia.
It’s a very important thing to recognise, and at the heart of that is customer satisfaction and the drive to improve the relationships brokers have with their customers. I think that goes a long way towards explaining why we need to recognise and support the additional facets within a broker’s business and how these help to further boost the levels of professionalism of their overall business operations.
WHAT IS NAB DOING OUTSIDE OF THE BETTER BUSINESS SUMMIT TO HELP SUPPORT BROKERS GROW THEIR BUSINESSES?
At NAB Broker, our goal is to be the number one bank supporting the broker channel in the marketplace in Australia. To do that we need to be continually listening to our broker partners in order to work with them across the areas of product, service and relationships.
In the service aspect, we have aligned our back-office processing teams with our BDM teams on the ground. We are also ensuring the discussion around the credit piece is more robust and direct, and our relationship with our strong team of highly professional BDMs is making sure that our relationship with brokers and our brokers’ relationships with clients continue to evolve. Going forward we are making sure we are a very good sounding board to listen to what brokers need in the marketplace.
It is a dynamic market, so we believe that while we are focused on delivering an excellent product, service and relationships, we will be able to deliver a superior offering to the broker fraternity.
HOW HAS YOUR PREVIOUS INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE HELPED YOU TO SUPPORT THE THIRD PARTY CHANNEL IN YOUR ROLE AT NAB BROKER?
I think my experience working with the aggregators while in the role of CEO at FAST gave me great insight into the needs of the industry and what we need to do to support the broker channel.
Coming from that background and spending many years working as a direct partner in association with brokers as an aggregator has given me a great understanding of what is required as a lender to make sure we fulfil our obligations – it gives me a view from both sides of the equation.
Having this view is an important thing when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction. It’s crucial to recognise there is an end customer of the broker, and we need to do all the things correctly and professionally to ensure the relationship between the broker, the customer and ourselves as a bank is maintained and always improving.
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