Diary of a new brokerage #3: Build relationships within

In its third chapter, Aussie Warwick looks at achieving efficiency from the inside out.

Diary of a new brokerage #3: Build relationships within
Phil Barton and Natalie Duong began Aussie Warwick last year. Over 12 exclusive diary entries they talk about the personal and professional challenges of running a new brokerage.

After our last diary entry, our meeting with our Aussie Retail Business Consultant (Guy) went ahead as planned and with great results. The agenda was all about turning the focus onto ourselves and looking at how to improve our daily work processes, and how communication is the key.

We currently have three parts to the team; two brokers and one support person. We are all based in the store but had almost fallen into the trap of working independently of each other. This approach is not beneficial to establishing a solid platform to grow a new business or provide a seamless customer experience. It can promote inefficiencies and complicate what is, in essence, a simple operation.

We want to ensure a smooth transition from broker to support staff without any disruption to the client.

There was a concern that people who work well as an individual won’t necessarily work effectively as part of a team. Without over complicating the concept we discussed plans, swapped ideas and brainstormed solutions.

At Aussie Warwick, our support person has specific allocated tasks to oversee during the application process and through to settlement. This makes it imperative that the brokers hand over a complete application with effective notes so the application is ready to be moved along to the next stage of approval. Each broker must communicate the status of their applications to identify how settlements are tracking monthly against expectations and targets.

If communication fails then applications can take longer to approve and settlements can be delayed. Consequently the impact is felt on revenue for the store, not to mention a terrible customer experience.
To avoid this we have decided on a daily 15 minute group meeting to discuss applications for the day and week, monthly pipeline management and to highlight wins and share any concerns.

The key is to form a trusted and effective relationship with each other as a team, to maintain communication in all aspects of the business so that the basic functions and processes become automatic. The focus must be on the performance of the store overall, not the individuals within. As a team we can recognise each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. Without the correct habits and efficient behaviours from the individuals the store will not perform at its best. By having daily meetings we are now able to draw on each other’s strengths to ensure the overall team performance is at its highest, help each other address concerns before they become problems and share successes.

So where is the benefit in this analysis and the implementation of best practices? If the store is working together for the mutual goal of client satisfaction then the customer experience should be of the highest quality. Time to complete applications will be quicker and therefore clients will be more satisfied. Their positive experience will lead to a greater number of referrals. The store’s reputation will be enhanced, run off will be better managed and the income stream for the broker will be consistent with the loan book growing.

These principles are not rocket science but getting it right now in our first six months of business means that it is easier to work towards the concept of a sticky client and convert a customer enquiry into a lifelong client relationship with the store.

Phil and Natalie will be detailing their experiences every other Friday on MPA Online and in Australian Broker magazine two weeks following. You can find Aussie Warwick's website here.‚Äč

Previous diary entries: 
Diary of a new brokerage #1 “There are no shortcuts”
Diary of a new brokerage #2 "Our location is the foundation of the business"