2 Years in, you can confidently say that this is what you want to do with your life, you enjoy helping people with their financial needs. You have realised that although the job is not exactly “Rocket Surgery”, it takes a lot of hard word to be successful and you need to be open to every opportunity that you are faced with.
So where to now?
You have a couple of good referral partners, but the leads dependent on their busy periods, if you had more referral partners, you would be able to level this out and remove some of the peaks and troughs. Your business success wouldn’t be so reliant upon your referral partners’ success.
The good news is that you now have a database of sorts, probably building at about 80 clients a year, but you have no time to manage the database, your time is spent in the business fighting fires on specific files. A settlement issue on 1 file can take you out of your business for a whole day trying to fix it up, liaising with the client, conveyancer and bank, what happens to all the other clients that need your expertise during this time?
Now let’s not kid ourselves, settling $20 million a year can earn you a fairly good income, but you want to do more. How? Your time is all accounted for, how will you see more clients, speak with more referral partners, you don’t have the time to take your family on that holiday you have been promising them, how on earth would you have the time to write more business!?
This is where you are faced with some decisions. Do you take on a PA to free up your time so that you can see more clients? This comes with its own challenges; now you have to manage someone, pay a salary and where are they going to work? Where are you going to house them? At home with you in your makeshift office?
Maybe you decide to outsource your processing where you pay per file. The cost for this varies across the board, I have seen as low as $30 per file to as high as $500 per file. The obvious point to make here is that you get what you pay for. Also, when you are paying per file, maybe you don’t send every file to the outsourcing company, maybe you just send in the ones that you are confident that they will settle, not the pre-approvals for example. Now you are having to keep two processes going, one for the outsourced files and one for your submissions that you will need to track yourself. How much are your outsourcing company doing on the file? Is it just data entry of the loan application? Does it include file tracking? Valuation submission and tracking? Managing the settlement process? Looking after discharges? Taking care of your clients’ construction progress payments? Are they communicating with solicitors, agents, referral partners and the client at milestone stages of the application process, or are you still doing this?
This is the point in a broker’s life cycle where the RateOne proposition really comes into its own. We will help you to implement strategies to attract and build new referral partners which will spread the lead source, which in turn will alleviate some of the business risk. We will help you manage your database by staying in touch with your clients at specific milestone stages of their financial journey and marketing to them on a monthly basis. And that 1 settlement that took you out of your business for a day, our settlements team will be following the file up with the conveyancers and banks to ensure that these instances do not happen, and if they do, they are there to support you through the process so you do not have to get too bogged down with it.
Now what about that holiday that you promised your family? Our Co-Op style culture allows RateOne brokers to take holidays knowing that their submitted files in the system are being looked after by our experienced broker processing unit and if they need any sign ups or client interaction, our buddy system has them covered! You can go away safe in the knowledge your business is in safe hands.
As for taking on a PA, our process means that you really should not need a PA until you are writing more like $40 million a year (we have brokers NOW that can attest to this). Then there is the option to outsource your application lodgements. At RateOne, every broker regardless of their level, and every file that they write regardless of the whether it is a full application or a pre-approval, gets the benefit of our well-oiled machine, the broker processing unit, the team that submits and manages your deals through to settlement and beyond.
I mentioned this in a previous blog, but with the complexities of compliance and with the evolving technological world, the expectations to do more than just offer mortgage recommendations to your clients, to be more of a relationship manager understanding all facets of the clients’ needs, the days of a one-man-band broker are numbered, it’s time to team up, share resources and knowledge. I found an African proverb that I think sums this up;
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.