Last year, FAST’s commercial and asset finance settlements grew by 33% to $4bn from $3bn the year before - highlighting our brokers are walking the talk in getting commercial and asset finance deals over the line.
As an industry as a whole, there’s significant growth to come. Last month, The Australian Chamber and Commerce and Industry quarterly small business survey showed that investment is flourishing from small businesses with plant and equipment investment is at its highest level in more than six years. It even described that small businesses have been investing “with gusto”. That’s great news for brokers already tapping into the commercial and asset finance space but what can residential brokers do to start tapping into the SME space and tap into this growth?
Here are some pointers to help you future-proof your business through diversification into commercial and asset finance.
Make the most of referrals
Using a referral partnership arrangement will help you develop awareness and confidence in commercial transactions whilst still maintaining and harnessing your existing primary relationship with the client. Make sure that you are utilising your aggregator network for example if they have a national referral panel where brokers can refer a commercial opportunity to other brokers specialising in this field.
Business owners live and invest in homes too
It might seem obvious but at the end of the day, business owners need homes too! So, if you are wanting to tap into the SME space remember that you can always start by asking your residential clients about their business matters and work alongside them as their business financing needs grow.
If you are committed to developing your business, you’ve got to be committed to investing in it. While it might not be necessary to become a complete expert immediately, if you’re serious about this opportunity and want to future-proof your business from increased competition in the marketplace, take the time to build your offering in this space.
The power of technology
Make sure that your aggregator is equipped to support you through the process – if you have access to a good Partnership Manager / BDM, they can be a key resource for product support, training and strategic planning. However, beyond face-to-face support, technology can also offer support to brokers looking at expanding their offering.
When collecting feedback from our brokers recently, they told us that they wanted to be able to capture commercial data. As a result, last year, we upgraded our customer relationship management system Podium to include commercial data capture capabilities to give brokers the ability to find and record commercial lending and equipment finance data. With this data at hand, FAST brokers have the ability to find and record commercial lending and equipment finance data. They can then report and market to commercial prospects and markets, and at the same time keep records of their activity.
These sorts of enhancements and support features can help you as a broker lodge small business deals as easily as residential deals. With a single click, brokers can capture and record existing commercial clients' data as well as sending commercial deal referrals to affiliated commercial brokers with a single click! So make sure you are making the most of the support available to you!
Brendan Wright will continue to help brokers across the country learn how to unlock their potential in this blog series.
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