What the broking elite have in common

Zak Wilford is a specialist recruiter that works with both commercial and residential finance brokers, sub-aggregators and other groups to help them grow through hiring great people. 

In 2015, I was lucky enough to work with some of Australia's best brokers. That is, Top 100 Brokers that were looking to grow their team and engaged with me to help them find the right person.
I had preconceived ideas about these brokers; I know brokers that write an average amount of business and think they are rockstars, so I could only imagine the ego and behaviour of a broker writing over a $100 million a year. 

But, what I noticed to be the common theme among these brokers is an intense focus on their processes. They are committed to creating and implementing streamlined, efficient and successful processes that allow them to run a successful high-volume brokerage. 

Not only have their processes been meticulously developed step-by-step, but they have made a conscious decision as to what needs to be invested in these steps in order to yield the best return. It’s apparent that these brokers recognise time as the most important asset; it’s something everyone has the same amount of, it isn’t something you can earn or get more of, and if you lose any you will never get it back. 

Within each of these processes, either an investment of the broker's time or money is made for tasks that take too much time for little return on investment. This usually means hiring someone or outsourcing. This could include particular areas of expertise too, such as creating, developing and implementing an effective social media strategy; an area in which these brokers invest the money to hire an expert rather than taking the time to learn the ins and outs of social media marketing platforms and looking after it day-to-day. 

Instead, their time is spent in areas that are most important to the business’ success. It seems anything that could effect the brand or business’ reputation, is something they really take ownership of. Their time goes into the dollar productive areas of the business. Clients, business relationships and anything with a direct impact on their business. 

I find these brokers to be some of the most responsive and easy to get hold of. For people that are so time poor they recognise the importance of timely responses and the perception that they are easy to deal with, easy to get hold of and are not the type that are too busy to respond to an email is a priority. 

Another aspect they have in common is the fact they have engaged with me; an industry specialist in recruiting mortgage brokers. They take a far more proactive approach to their hiring strategy, rather then seeing what they can get from an ad on Seek. They have rarely tried to find someone themselves, as they recognise their time is best spent on areas that match their own expertise, investing instead to leverage another’s expertise. Not dissimilar to hiring a social media expert, they invest the money in a recruitment expert that already has the network and infrastructure in place to drive the best results.

I’d like to think I have taken something away from each of them and I am grateful for each encounter. The biggest thing I have taken from them? To put processes in place within my own business that streamlines my day-to-day activities.

Zak Wilford first stepped into the mortgage industry in 2013, aggressively targeting aggregators and headhunting their brokers and groups to join the then start-up aggregator Finsure and 1300Homeloan. After a year with Finsure, he joined recruitment agency Drake International, and a year later he stepped out on his own to fill a gap in the market – to start a recruitment agency specialising in working with finance brokers. For more information, visit www.zakwilford.com

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