In last year’s Top 10 Brokerages MPA said the year prior had been one of the toughest years in recent memories. But then along came the next 12 months, where we saw continued scrutiny during the royal commission and a sudden realisation that Commissioner Hayne might actually recommend to ban commissions.
Then of course the recommendation came in the final report in February, sparking a deep fear within the industry of those worried about their livelihoods and the job they were passionate about. But out of that came a strong resilience and the fight for mortgage brokers really kicked off.
Brokers did not have to be part of the big advertising campaigns or conversations with government, simply working for the best interests of the customer and having conversations with them was part of that fight. Speaking to the number one brokerage in this year’s list, he said customers began phoning him voicing concern for the industry because brokers had been there through some of their toughest times.
Talking to the finalists in our Top 10 Brokerages this year, the biggest theme to come out amongst them all was their passion for the customer. For some of them, falling house prices and tightened credit simply gave them more time to educate themselves to better service their clients – and that was what was important to them.
Many brokerages hold frequent training sessions to keep their brokers on top of the changing credit policies and encourage group support sessions to workshop through scenarios so that brokers who have experienced similar situations before can guide the rest of the team.
These changing credit policies were the biggest challenge for these brokerages over the last year, but they explained how they were prepared for it. In some cases, they diversified their product portfolio, and in others they had already introduced systems to start taking extra documentation.
Although it is easy to say that the biggest challenge of the last year has been changing credit policies or the impact of the royal commission, it was interesting to hear from these brokerages what had really affected them.
There were two resounding answers. The first was the royal commission, but not the impact of changing regulation or the anger of what was said in the hearings, these heads of brokerages were most affected by the worry for their team and their team’s families. They saw how difficult it was for their brokers to focus and how disheartened they were.
The second was the challenge of recruiting new brokers. All these brokerages want to continue to grow, but they each found it difficult to recruit. The challenges were ether assessing for the right fit beyond what was written on a resume, or that new brokers were too nervous to enter the industry at a time when no one really knew what was going to happen.
Read on to find out more about how these brokerages overcame the challenges of the last year.
Thank you to everyone who took part, featuring in this list at this time is a significant achievement and a credit to all your hard work.
How were the winners selected?
In recent years, MPA has produced two separate Top 10 Brokerages lists; one for independents and one for franchises. This year, we have decided to bring them together to form one overall list. We asked broker groups to submit their top franchises and aggregators to submit their top independents. We ranked them on a combination of three areas: total loan book size, total settlements over a 12-month period and conversion rate. Each brokerage was given a ranking for these three areas and these were then combined to produce a final tally.