For Anthony O’Flynn, 2020 was a year he will never forget. While it brought tears for some and worry for many, the past 12 months also saw him achieve more than $111 million in settlements while being named 31 in the Top 100. He told MPA all about the importance of customer relationships and why he believes they transcend the professional nature of the job.
A rapid success
O’Flynn started his journey with IFA Mortgages and Finances back in 2001 when the financial planning group established its mortgage broking arm.
“I was brought in from Colonial to manage this arm of the business and worked as a one-man-band for much of this time in terms of the client-facing role,” he said. “We experienced modest growth and had a long-term and loyal portfolio but managing the new leads with the existing ones grew exhausting and something had to give – it was either going to be the business or myself!”
After employing a couple of support staff to help him manage the portfolio, the business grew at such a rapid place the staff members soon became brokers themselves, and O’Flynn took on even more support staff. The business has continued to boom throughout 2020, with annual volumes up 90% from five years ago and a portfolio growth of 126% during this period.
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It has been quite a year
Customer relationships have never been more important as they have been this past year, said O’Flynn, who is sure he will remember 2020 vividly – even from his deathbed.
“I recall a period of around two weeks at the end of March - the constant influx of phone calls, the tears shed by clients and myself, and this feeling of helplessness where people were worried what would happen to the roof over their heads - and me not knowing how this was going to play out,” he said.
“I would be on the phone to old friends who had lost jobs and weren’t going to be able to pay their kids’ school fees this term.
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“It took a few days for support measures to be put in place and, in the meantime, we were playing advisor and counsellor.”
He said since the nature of broking allows for a deep and personal connection with clients, he found this period overwhelming but also felt privileged that his clients felt they could lay their trust with him.
“The relationships we create are so genuine and transcend simply the professional nature of our role,” he said. “They are friends before they are clients and remembering this will ensure you are always doing the best by them – BID is just a formality at this point.”