In this final entry of the series, Choice Partnership Manager for Victoria, Tim Schneider, discusses key growth strategies and how brokers can leverage their aggregator partnerships to achieve their growth goals
At Choice, supporting brokers to grow their business volumes is a top priority for us and we work with a variety of businesses at different stages of business maturity to achieve their growth goals.
Exactly what business growth looks like is of course different for each of our members, depending on which stage they are at in their business development. However, over the years I have found that there are several key pillars that underpin most growth strategies.
If you’re keen to expand your broker business, I hope this article provides some useful food for thought.
- Expand your pool of opportunity
It’s only logical that to grow business volumes, you’ve got to grow your lead opportunities, and so increasing your flow of referred business is a great way to grow your business’ footprint.
We work closely with our broker members to help them establish and maintain successful referral partnerships. For example, we recently worked with a member to identify key referral opportunities and support them to establish several new referral partnerships. This involved putting together marketing collateral and strategising how to approach each referral relationship to highlight the potential business synergies.
In the space of just 12 months this business grew by 50 per cent and we are now working on the next phase of the business plan – recruitment.
- Increase your bench strength
Investing in your team is an important growth strategy for businesses looking to help more customers. An aggregator can work closely with you to grow your team strategically and to recruit key staff who are the right fit for your business.
For example, your Partnership Manager may be able to use their own networks to identify potential candidates or even provide guidance throughout the interview process. They might also be able to put you in touch with other brokers within your aggregator’s network who showcase complementary skillsets and are also looking for growth opportunities.
- Increase efficiency
Increasing your operating efficiencies is essential to growth and there are many ways an aggregator can help to identify opportunities to streamline processes and better leverage technology to make the most of your time.
When it comes to increasing member efficiency, three key things we focus on are:
· Software - the right software, used to its full potential, can enable broking businesses to more quickly manage loan lodgment and compliance, as well as launch quick and efficient marketing campaigns. For example, the Podium platform we use at Choice enables brokers to automate touch points throughout the loan cycle and creating targeted emails based on customer data.
· Education - with ongoing education, brokers can become and remain more informed and confident in their business approach, resulting in faster decision making and greater business success. At Choice we place a high value on peer-to-peer learning, providing regular sessions that give brokers the opportunity to network with and learn from peers and industry leaders.
· Lender relationships - strong lender relationships foster open and honest communication and result in a greater understanding of products and policies. This ultimately leads to more efficient loan selection and lodgment. If you would like to learn more about a particular lender, ask your aggregator Partnership Manager to facilitate a joint meeting.
By limiting your service offering to mortgages, you could be missing out on other valuable revenue streams and could be more susceptible to fluctuations in the property market. This is why so many brokers are seeking to diversify their offering into other areas, including commercial lending and asset finance. Today, one in four Choice members, for example, is writing commercial business regularly.
There are a number of ways to expand your service offering and your aggregator should be able to work with you to identify what strategy will work for you.
A great way to diversify your offering is via a referral arrangement with an existing specialist. A quality aggregator can help with this by connecting you with potential partners within your local area. Another option is to upskill to provide an additional service yourself. Again, your aggregator should be able to provide essential support throughout this process by providing access to relevant training courses and individual advice on what diversification may work best for you.
No matter what your business’ requirements, having a relationship with a top aggregator can help you to formulate the right plan to give your business the growth-kick it needs.
Tim Schneider is a Choice Partnership Manager for VIC/TAS with Choice. This article is part of a series featuring Choice Aggregation's broker support team focusing on how they help their brokers overcome common challenges. Find out more http://www.choiceaggregationservices.com.au/success.
Previous diary chapters:
Recruiting the right people
Getting the most out of peer-to-peer learning
Ella Moradi on tips for tackling marketing
Making the most of your lending panels
Compliance causing you strife?
Building strong business networks