Total value of residential loans FY2018/19: $120,000,000
Total number of residential loans FY2018/19: 120
A “frustrating” year has not stopped Finance Made Easy director Tony Bice from making his way up to the top 10.
In a period of tighter credit and “endless extra questions”, he says he has had to have a lot of patience. The scrutiny and policy decisions have meant time has been added to each transaction and brokers are having to work out the logic behind what is a deal and what is not.
“I’d like a dollar for every broker that has said, ‘This time last year that same deal would have sailed through’,” he says.
Bice noticed from about 2012 that his business model was gaining traction, and the past year has just been a case of really focusing in on that model. The key element is that the group offers financial planning to each client who takes up a home loan.
Concentrating more on the fi nancial planning side, Bice has a team of loan packagers who package the loans before he reviews them, which he says allows for a greater volume of loans.
With the tougher environment and longer transaction times, customer education has also been an important aspect of the business over the last year.
“It’s all about positioning,” Bice says. “If the client is educated as to why there are time delays, and they understand that it’s not our fault, then it makes for a smoother, albeit longer, transaction.”
For Bice, that communication with the client is a key part of what makes a good broker. He says he could say that “caring for the customer” is important, but that should be a given.
“You can be the smartest broker in the world productknowledge-wise, but if you can’t communicate with your clients then you can’t sell, and if you can’t sell you don’t get business – it’s that simple,” he says.
Along with the patience needed to get through the last year, he says it’s been important to not take things too personally. Not only did the scrutiny of the royal commission make brokers feel bad, but brokers are now also facing scrutiny from the banks.
However, Bice says he takes a deep breath, dusts himself off and moves on to the next transaction.