For Loui Daoud, the transition from banking to broking was a natural one. After starting his own business in 2018, the 27-year-old settled $40m in the 12 months to September 2019 – the third highest amount in this year’s Young Guns.
But, this level of success didn’t come without its share of challenges along the way.
Adding value to client interactions.
Daoud became a broker in 2018 after working his way through the ranks at CBA. With seven years’ experience across premier banking, corporate finance and mobile lending, the young Sydneysider had built a substantial client base and felt the move would allow him to add further value to these relationships.
Building on the fundamentals learned at the Commonwealth Bank, he was keen to add in some new processes and establish his own business.
“You don’t want to necessarily reinvent the wheel, you just want to take those foundations and put your own twist to it,” he says.
He started Dot; a one-man company that has simplicity and longevity at its core.
Keeping it simple
Named Young Gun at the start of 2020 and finalist in the MFAA awards for Newcomer and Young Professional, Daoud has gone a long way to establish himself as a broker.
Keeping it simple and understanding the customer have been key components to his success.
“At the end of the day it’s not a transaction, it’s a relationship that you’re building. You’re in there for longevity,” he says.
He adds that a lot of brokers he meets never make contact with their customers again after writing the loan.
“Which is so unfortunate, because for every existing client, you get maybe five or six referrals from each of them,” he says. “If you focus on your existing book you never have to advertise.”
Part of his approach is to keep technical jargon out of the conversation
“Give them an overall picture, let them understand the structure and why you are doing things, but keep it simplified because people are not in the finance game,” he says.
He explains that clients need to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it from an investment or tax perspective, without needing to spend time trying to understand all the technicalities involved.
“So, I work quite closely with my clients’ accountants and solicitors just to make sure that we’re all across the same page.”
The transition came with longer turnaround times.
One of the biggest challenges he faced when starting Dot was dealing with longer turnaround times.
“I had the authority to approve loans on the spot when I was at CBA, then to go to 5, 10, 15-day turnarounds came me a fair bit of anxiety,” he says.
“Things are done a lot slower as a broker when you start off new. Nobody really knows the way you work and you are still developing your own processes, your own systems and the rest of it.
“I think the first six months were probably the most challenging – I copped a lot of grey hairs over that six-month period.”
Reaching out to clients during COVID-19
As a one-person business, Daoud reached out to all his existing clients at the start of the COVID-19 crisis to make sure they and their families were okay.
He spoke with each of them to see if they had been financially impacted by the pandemic, and if so, explained the options available to them so that they didn’t need to look for the information themselves.
He helped a couple of self-employed clients in the retail space access loan deferrals by walking through each part of the application with them over the phone.
While doing all this without the help of an assistant may be daunting for some, Daoud says being a one-man show is an important part of the service he provides.
“I think clients value the fact that I look after absolutely everything. They don’t look at me as a corporation as such, they see me as a person. That holds more value than, here’s my assistant, let her deal with it,” he says.