Let me tell you about my journey going from a secure fortnightly wage and the comfort of an annual salary package to a dark unknown abyss they call ‘self-employment’.
Can I be successful going out on my own? This was quite daunting. Like many bankers, it was about moving up and not moving out. I was fortunate enough to build my lending and credit knowledge within these banks, so this surely would give me the edge and that’s all I need to become a successful broker...right? Wrong. Put simply I had to forget everything I thought I knew because I was faced with various banks, lenders, products, brands and more. So this was just the beginning.
Ok the decision is made, now what? Well, what the hell is an aggregator? How do I become accredited, do I even need one? What about training for various banks? Certificates, licensing, insurances and compliance? If you are anything like me, you would spend days, if not weeks, on researching and comparing before purchasing any big ticket item. So do I stay working at the bank and continue researching? What if I never stop researching?
This reminds me of a banking organization chart showing everyone in the department what roles they have and who they report to. Let me explain, if you reverse engineer it, at the top there is success, it cascades down to all these questions to which depending on the answer will lead you into a different direction and of course there is a lot of overlapping that doesn’t make sense. So I really need to nail down who I wanted to associate with.
I couldn’t be as successful as I wanted to if I was to go out on my own. I needed mentoring, a roadmap, backing and experience of an existing successful brokerage. You can effectively take out these initial questions when you find a brokerage you can partner with and trust.
As a banker I was used to getting customers who walked directly into the bank. They had specific needs so I could process their request and complete the transaction. The volumes would vary but there was certainly no shortage. But now I faced another round of hurdles. Why would people come to me rather than go to the bank? What makes me different from all the other brokers? How do I get my name out there and create a position in the market? Where do I start prospecting? Marketing? Influence? The stress levels started increasing again. Ok, now I wouldn’t even have considered leaving a good salary if I didn’t have a fair idea to these questions but in this day and age being distracted is as common as breathing. Everywhere you look you will see some kind of advertising (distractions). The biggest challenge to date going from banker to broker was ensuring I stayed focused, held accountable with my time and increased activity on what I already knew had to be done.
With over 10 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industry, PMM Australia broker Anthony Hong identifies that the key to building and maintaining client relationships is primarily down to a meticulous level of customer service as well as continually educating clients about ever-changing products and services available in the market.