Providing “value add” to clients is key to ensuring brokers don’t risk losing business, the YBR executive chairman has told the National Finance Brokers Day conference.
With competition among brokers increasing as the number of brokers rises – coupled with the fact that fewer borrowers are coming into market as a result of rising interest rates and falling confidence – Mr Bouris has told brokers that only those who offer something more than their rivals would be successful.
Speaking at the National Finance Brokers Day conference at the Amora Hotel in Sydney on Wednesday (17 August), Mr Bouris warned: “There’s always another broker around the corner... there’s always somebody ready to pull your pants down every single time.
“In this environment, when we’re fighting for a new client, [brokers need to] actually add something better than their opposition.”
During the event, co-ordinated by National Finance Brokers Day founder and head of third-party relationships at Marketplace.Finance, Dino Pacella, Mr Bouris said that brokers needed to “assume you are just as competent – or, more importantly, that the other person you are competing against is just as competent as you are.”
“Never underestimate the enemy,” Mr Bouris said.
The YBR executive chairman and Wizard Home Loans founder said that there were therefore two kinds of brokers in market: “competent brokers” and those who provide “value add”.
He explained: “Competency is an important factor. It’s a necessary factor. But it’s not a sufficient factor in terms of getting new business in a tough market... and this market is getting tougher.”
Mr Bouris suggested that, as lead times were getting longer and the risk of losing a client to another broker was higher, brokers needed to consider how they were “keeping clients interested in their conversation” and gaining more from them than their counterparts.
He told delegates: “How do I keep that client – or potential client – interested in my conversation? How do I make sure that they don’t go somewhere else?
“We have to not only outperform everybody else, we have to outperform the system. And the way you do that is through the value add.
“The value add, as far as I am concerned, is about the conversation you have with clients… around the current narrative that exists in the marketplace. And the current narrative that exists in the marketplace today is about house prices.”
In order to become better informed on the trajectory of the housing market and interest rates, Mr Bouris recommended that brokers read and analyse the RBA minutes from each cash rate meeting, as well as the economic analyses from major bank economists and CoreLogic data. By analysing the data and understanding the rationale behind them, he said brokers would be able to provide insights and detail to ensure they “remain relevant” and “maintain their client base”.
“Make sure you have something to tell your client that is valuable. So, for example, provide the ‘why’ something is happening as opposed to just ‘what’ is happening,” Mr Bouris said.
“Once you explain something to a customer, you give them confidence in you and that you know what you’re talking about. But also you put them at ease.
“So you want your customer to feel as though you’re someone that is the hand of reason in uncertain times. That’s the value add.”
Mr Bouris elaborated that the delivery of these conversations could range from social media or direct, but added: “At the end of day the best medium, the best platform, is face to face. There’s nothing better than face to face.”
He concluded: “So, remember: as a broker, you must be competent; you’ve got to know your products, you’ve got to know your clients.
“But you’ve also got to add value in this current climate… It’s explanation; making people feel like they understand something, giving them more logic, giving them the history behind something that is happening, giving them something that they can talk about.
“Try and lock into the national narrative, whatever that is... and parlay that back to your customers.”