For Mortgage Choice broker Robert Borgia, one of the biggest challenges he has faced as a new-to-industry broker is now his biggest strength.
MPA spoke with the 2020 Young Gun about how he got started in the industry and what he thinks exceptional customer service looks like.
Broking was an attractive role
After finishing a double major in accounting and finance at university in 2015, Borgia was unsure which direction he should go.
He started out as a loan processer at Mortgage Choice, not really knowing what to expect.
“I was pretty open minded just to go into it. I did loan processing for about six months and then I started being assistant to the owner,” he says.
In March 2018 he launched his career as a broker at the same Mortgage Choice franchise.
“It was very attractive to me – just all the different aspects of being a broker, having to talk to clients and meet their needs and also the technical side of things like structuring their loans,” he says.
“I really enjoyed it and was happy to become a broker.”
Servicing a clientele with diverse needs
One of the biggest challenges he faced when starting out was understanding the needs of his clients.
“Since that is why they use you, you’ve really got to get on board with what their position is,” he says.
“They’re putting all their trust into you and you’re the one representing them with the bank.
“I think now after working for four years I have a really good understanding of providing solutions to my clients and understanding where they come from.”
Exceptional customer service is key
With all the technology and comparison sites available for clients, Borgia says customer service is really the main reason why customers engage the services of a mortgage broker.
He says there are three key factors to providing exceptional customer service.
The first one is providing knowledge to the client and making sure that they understand it.
He says anyone could tell them about a loan product, but ensuring the client is on board with it is the most crucial part.
Keeping the client in the loop and updated throughout the entire process is also very important.
The third thing is being responsive.
“That’s really what a lot of clients want. They never want to feel like they’re in the dark with the whole situation.”
Only one option to refinance
Recently, Borgia helped a single mum refinance to a cheaper rate under some tight lending constraints.
“This lady was a single mum with one child who had a relatively high mortgage around the $600,000 mark – which is quite a lot for one person to service,” he says.
“It was a bit difficult to get that one over the line because we also needed to use the rental income from the rooms that she was renting out at her property.”
There was only one bank he could take it to for consideration – and this bank had a restricted policy for certain postcodes in which they imposed a maximum loan amount they could lend against.
“Because this property was a freestanding townhouse in front of this apartment block, it was part of that development register where they could only go to a maximum amount,” he says.
“I had to fight with the assessor for quite a while, but I did end up getting it overturned by showing them the evidence that it is just a normal house.”
The client was able to then refinance to a rate which was 1% less and received a $4,000 rebate in the process.
Having an open mind and adapting to change
Borgia says in order to be successful, new-to-industry mortgage brokers need to be open minded to take in all the different client scenarios that come their way while being well rounded in a lot of areas.
“You need to be able to adapt fast and accept the changes that come through,” he explains.
“From the time that I started with Mortgage Choice until right now, everything has changed so much and it still does.
“So now if you weren’t able to change you just wouldn’t be able to keep up with the industry.
“That’s also where a good aggregator comes through as well. If you have a good aggregator support, you’re pretty much in the loop with everything as soon as it comes through.”