BONUS EPISODE: Jeremy Fisher on broker productivity and client retention

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In this bonus episode of Elite Broker, 1st Street Home Loans founder Jeremy Fisher discusses the group’s broker productivity, the investment they’re making into the retention and management of their loan book, as well as his thoughts on 1st Street placing fifth in this year’s Top 25 Brokerages ranking.

In this episode, find out:

  • How the 1st Street team wrote over $91 million in loans
  • How Jeremy recruits new brokers
  • How he’ll manage his workload as the business matures

Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

Full transcript

James Mitchell: Hello, and welcome to a special episode of Elite Broker. We've got a bonus episode for you today, coming off the back of the Top 25 Brokerages report, which we launched last week.

We've got Jeremy Fisher on our next interview. I caught up with Jeremy, who's from 1st Street, a couple of weeks back, and here's what he had to say about his success over the last 12 months. He was quite eager to find out where he came in this year's ranking. Check it out.

Jeremy Fisher: So, where did we come?

James Mitchell: I can officially announce that you came fourth in this year's Top 25.

Jeremy Fisher: Okay. I don't know what we came after. Is that good or bad?

James Mitchell: I think it's pretty good, considering there's three major national franchise groups in the top three spots. You've come ahead of Loan Market, and you've come ahead of some other franchise groups, like Oxygen, for example. But I think, what's most important, and the reason why I wanted to have a chat with you, is that for broker productivity, 1st Street's number one by a long shot.

Jeremy Fisher: And that productivity's based upon ... What is it? Per head settlement, or based on what?

James Mitchell: Exactly. It's based on a metric of the number of loans settled and your total volumes over FY16 -

Jeremy Fisher: Yep.

James Mitchell: - versus the number of brokers you've got. I understand you've got 15 brokers and a couple of support staff?

Jeremy Fisher: Correct.

James Mitchell: Yeah, the broker productivity. So, the average volume of loans that -

Jeremy Fisher: And out of that 15, there's a couple that are fairly new to us, which means they haven't even contributed a lot to us. So, in fact, it's probably even slighter stronger, but it's always been the backbone of 1st Street, I think. We've always been a smaller group, but with brokers here that are a lot more productive in terms of volume -

James Mitchell: Yep. Yeah, well, I -

Jeremy Fisher:  And that's always -

James Mitchell: Well, I mean, is that like a culture which you've fostered, or is it the processes that you've got?

Jeremy Fisher: Yeah. I think it's both. I mean, there's certainly, with the processes that I've ... How I've evolved over the years has been adopted in the office, and everyone generally follows suit. We always work together to work at best practises as a general rule. We're not a franchise, so no-one here is forced or told this is how you've gotta do it, but certainly, because we all work together and definitely look at best practises, we all just naturally want to adopt it.

Our unwritten rule – it’s always been the case here that it's not just about saying yes to a broker that wants to join 1st Street; it's always about if we're the right broker with the right fit. It's gotta fit the culture, and it's gotta be a broker that is self-sufficient and is a high-performer. It's how it works here. I mean, I think ... That's been an important thing that I've always kept going here over the years is just, it's not about saying yes to every broker that wants to join. It's all about association.

So, you have good-quality brokers, who are writing good volume that are all striving for success, and it kind of … The association's having with that like for like people here. It's motivating, so -

James Mitchell: Yeah.

Jeremy Fisher: I think it helps everyone.

James Mitchell: It's a huge achievement this year. You guys came first last year as well, in terms of broker productivity, but you've actually increased that number, that productivity metric, this year. It's just over $91 million dollars -

Jeremy Fisher: Yep.

James Mitchell: Which the average 1st Street broker is writing, which is pretty huge.

Jeremy Fisher: Yep. I mean, I still write a big chunk of volumes, so my volumes will obviously raise someone else's that's a little bit lower, but obviously, on average, yes. They're big numbers.

James Mitchell: Yeah, of course. I mean, especially, the number one brokerage this year – national brokerage, huge presence. Their broker productivity, by comparison, is under $17 million, so there's an interesting, I guess, correspondence happening, where you've -

Jeremy Fisher: Well, it's a different style of business -

James Mitchell: Yep.

Jeremy Fisher: We're a smaller group with high volume successful brokers.

James Mitchell: Mmhm.

Jeremy Fisher: And I'm not saying a guy writing $17 million is not successful; they are.

James Mitchell: Mmhm.

Jeremy Fisher: It's just a different style of business, so we have less brokers, so obviously, the volume that's available ... The businesses available, we've spread across less business.

James Mitchell: Of course.

Jeremy Fisher: Less brokers.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Jeremy Fisher:  So, they're going to write more volume. If we had double the amount of brokers, the volume would potentially be similar, but each broker would be writing less.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Jeremy Fisher: It's just a different model to other larger groups and ... But I think, look, over the next-coming year, it will probably change slightly on the downside because we're probably going to be looking at being on more brokers. So obviously, our volumes, or the productivity side of things, may look like it's dropping by the number of brokers joining – I'm not sure, but yeah.

James Mitchell: But no, yeah, congratulations again. Really big achievement. Just before I let you go, I thought I'd tell you that you're number five, so you're in the top five for Biggest Loan Book as well. You've got the major brokerages, and then 1st Street is fifth, so in terms of a non-franchise group, you're right up there.

Jeremy Fisher: Yeah, look, you know what? I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing because the larger the book, the more clients we've gotta manage. We invest a big amount of time and energy and money into retention and the management of our loan book, so as that grows, it's bigger jobs. So I'm certainly starting to struggle a little bit in managing both new and existing clients, but to me, it's more important ... What I'm doing now, a little bit more so, is just focusing on the existing clients and the management, and making sure that they're happy. And it means that some of my new business opportunities are actually being now referred within the office, just so that those clients get the same experience. I guess that's a ... Not a problem, but it's just something that I have to ... Something that I'm basing around, as the business is maturing, just making sure the existing clients, which is kind of how I got to wear I am -

James Mitchell: Mmhm.

Jeremy Fisher: It's maybe another whole conversation, but yeah. Can't believe I'm having to keep front of mind.

James Mitchell: Yeah, no, for sure. Client retention. Very important. Well, it's been great to speak to you, Jeremy, and congratulations once again on your achievements.

Jeremy Fisher:  No, no. Thanks heaps, and obviously, we're happy to chat anytime.

James Mitchell: Great, thank you.

Jeremy Fisher: Cool. Thanks for chatting, then. Thanks, mate.

James Mitchell: Bye.

That's all we've got time for this week, and for all the latest news, insight, and analysis, do check out TheAdviser.com.au. I've been your host, James Mitchell. Catch you next time.

 

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