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Lean on me

Jessica Darnbrough 5 minute read

Branded businesses can offer brokers much more than simply a recognisable logo and a trusted name, as The Adviser discovers

In any business, support is critical.

Regardless of whether that support is from your manager, technology, or your parent company, the reality is all businesses need support.

For mortgage brokers, that’s one of the benefits of being aligned with a branded business.

Branded businesses offer mortgage brokers the best of both worlds – independence and support.

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Brokers can enjoy the independence that comes with owning and operating their own business, yet receive business support when needed from their ‘branded’ parent company.

But what kind of support can they expect from their branded parent company?

Choice Home Loans’ Marco Meloni says the answer to that question really depends on the individual broker and their needs.

According to Mr Meloni, brokers can receive support in any area they need.

“If you don’t have the time to market your business, they can help you with that by launching local area marketing campaigns, sending client newsletters on your behalf or even designing and printing personalised business cards,” he says.

“If you are happy marketing to your own clients but feel as though you could do with an extra pair of hands in the office, they will help you recruit the right person for the job.

“There is no limit to the amount of support you can receive from your branded business. It all depends on what you want and how much you want.”

Mr Meloni says some brokers prefer to do all of the hard work on their own, so they can feel as though they are truly runningtheir own business and only look for help with lead generation.

“They can help with that as well,” he says.

“I have received a number of leads from Choice Home Loans over the years. Better yet, these leads have introduced me to a number of people I would never have met myself.

“These people have then introduced me to a number of other people, which ultimately helps my business to become self-sustaining.

“At Choice Home Loans, they work hard across the marketing and communications side of the business, so we don’t have to.  Their hard work allows us to stick to what we are good at – writing loans.

“Today, Choice Home Loans features among the top few selections for ‘mortgage brokers’ on Google, which is really good for me and the strength of my business.”

More than a Google optimised webpage, however, Mr Meloni says his branded business also provides him with a sound technology platform that allows him to conduct his day-to-day activities in a timely and efficient manner.

“Podium has been great for me and my business and I still don’t think I am using it to its full potential,” he says.

Fellow Choice Home Loans broker Wayne Banks-Smith also agrees.

Mr Banks-Smith says Podium has been really effective in helping him engage with clients.

“Podium has definitely helped me speed up the entire loan process and engage with my clients in a far more effective and efficient manner,” he says.

More than a brand

Of course, Mr Banks-Smith says he understands all aggregators, not just branded businesses, will provide their broker partners with a user friendly software platform.

So while Podium is an added bonus, he says, it is not one of the reasons he joined Choice Home Loans.

Mr Banks-Smith says there are many reasons for joining a branded business, namely the support brokers receive from their parent group with regards to growing their business.

“Branded businesses like Choice Home Loans assist in any way they can,” he says.

“I think brokers forget what is behind the branded piece. They don’t realise how much support and guidance a branded business can offer a broker.

“There is a common misconception amongst brokers that they are going to pay a huge amount just to be associated with a brand, but that is simply not the case. You pay a little more, but you get a lot more.

“I have been approached by many other aggregators over the years, but I have never left because I have never been given a reason to. Choice is a simple and efficient player in the market and I have been very happy with the level of service and support I have received from them.”

That “support” includes business coaching, qualified business leads, sales and marketing collateral, recruitment and staff retention assistance, as well as compliance management.

Mr Banks-Smith says his branded parent company is very diligent when it comes to compliance and does all it can to ensure every broker business adheres to the new legislative requirements.

“In today’s world of legislation, it isn’t hard to step off the line, but a branded business will keep you in line. They check [sales and marketing collateral] before it goes out. They make sure everything we do is in keeping with the company brand and the various legislative requirements,” he says.

Choice Home Loans chief executive Stephen Moore says by assisting with compliance management, it ultimately frees brokers up to focus on their core competencies – including writing loans.

He says the level of support a branded business can provide has to be one of the biggest benefits of being associated with this type of company.

“At a macro level, brokers need support to run a successful business and that ranges from brand and advertising to online presence (including social media), practice management and business coaching. Brokers need ongoing support to realise their business plans,” he says.

“That tailored support that brokers receive is not only important, but I believe it’s unique to branded businesses, and it is something that Choice Home Loans provides.

“Whilst it is absolutely critical for brokers to market their business in order to attract new clients and communicate with existing clients, it is difficult for brokers to be all things. Brokers need to be able to focus on their core competencies, like providing tailored advice. However, if they are doing that, then by default they need to outsource to a business partner. Choice Home Loans can be that trusted business partner.”

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