Award-winning mentor and the founder of KnowHow Property Finance, Bushy Martin, shares how mentors can help sharpen not just the hard skills, but also the soft skills that are critical to the success of any broking business.
Adelaide Bank is proud to sponsor The Adviser’s Meet the Mentor series. As a lender solely dedicated to third-party distribution, our passion is supporting brokers while ensuring our industry continues to thrive well into the future.
A willingness to adapt underpins ongoing success. This is something we’ve grown to understand since pioneering the distribution of lending products via intermediaries in the ’90s.
We trust you’ll find the knowledge shared by our mentors valuable, and we look forward to partnering with you as our industry continues to evolve.
It’s the sense of fulfilment that comes from helping new brokers achieve more than they had imagined for themselves that makes mentoring a highly satisfying career for Bushy Martin, who was recently crowned Mentor of the Year at the Better Business Awards 2019 in South Australia.
The KnowHow Property Finance founder says he has been mentoring his entire career, throughout which he led a range of architecture, project management, management consultancy and finance businesses.
Mr Martin likens his mentoring style to that of a “good parent who works tirelessly to give our children opportunities to build self-confidence, to create safe environments to try and fail, and to help and empower them to achieve more than they imagine for themselves”.
“I work for our team, not the other way around... I prioritise the wellbeing of our tribe first and, in return, our broker cubs give everything they’ve got to protect and advance the wellbeing of one another, the business and our clients,” he says.
The KnowHow founder notes that the practice of placing greater importance on the wellbeing of others has had a “compounding and reciprocal effect”.
“If I look at our results from 2017 to 2018, this simple shift in mindset from being selfish to selfless has [contributed to] our loan volumes increasing 260 per cent, and the number of loans settled increased by 232 per cent,” Mr Martin says.
He observes that many of his mentees start out focusing on low-rate loan solutions rather than positioning themselves as the “go-to person for all things property and finance”.
A lot of brokers also tend to focus on the volume of loans settled, which Mr Martin says “creates an individual, selfish, self-centred, dog-eat-dog mentality where internal competition kills the potential collaborative synergy to create exponential results for a business”.
“The massive loan writers out there are generally working seven days a week. That’s not sustainable. That’s not success. You might be getting big paychecks for a while, but you won’t last the distance,” he warns.
The KnowHow founder advises new brokers to dedicate 20 per cent of their time on personal development outside of loan product knowledge, explaining that “it’s the soft skills, the relationship-building skills that are going to make or break a broker”.
When it comes to choosing a mentor, Mr Martin’s tips are:
“You’re only as good as the five people you spend most of your time with, so make sure a good mentor is one of those,” he concludes.
Tas Bindi is the features editor for The Adviser magazine.
Prior to joining Momentum Media, Tas wrote for business and technology titles such as ZDNet, TechRepublic, Startup Daily, and Dynamic Business.
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