There is a lot to consider when changing aggregators and the task can appear to be quite daunting when staring down the barrel of some of the unknowns. In recent times there has been increased scrutiny of brokers and in particular, their ability to meet the industry requirements when switching accreditations with lenders.
Top 100 broker Fabio De Castro made the tough decision of changing aggregators this year and said the decision was one he knew would improve his business, but he was very aware there would be some frustrations.
“Whilst I had a good home at my previous aggregator, there were some limitations that was the catalyst for me look around and see what else was out there,” he added.
When a broker leaves their current aggregator, it has become more prevalent for the outgoing aggregator to complete exit audits and the challenge is compounded by alleged lender impositions of switching accreditations to the new partner.
This often includes the need for retraining. For De Castro, the challenge is met with having excellent systems and processes in place along with strong relationships with all business partners.
“Reputation is vital to me and my business’ success and it is a badge we have earnt through excellent performance and going above and beyond both in compliance and customer service, which I wear proudly,” he said.
“When I switched aggregators recently, my files were all in order and compliant and lenders were quick to switch my codes over.
“If anything, there were a couple of days where I could not lodge deals but in the scheme of things, this minor inconvenience will be paid back in spades with new systems and different support. I welcomed the re-training requirement for some as it enabled me to refresh my knowledge of the different offers” he said.
De Castro said his decision was not an easy one and was some six months in the making.
“I would encourage any brokers looking to change to do their research and make sure that your aggregation partner can help your business in the areas you need it to,” he advised.
“I made the final decision some three months before the change and used that time to ensure I was familiar with the new systems and the people at Specialist Finance Group. We were strategic in pre-warning the lenders of the change so that the switch could be made swiftly and seamlessly so as to have minimal impact on our clients or our business.”
De Castro landed with Specialist Finance Group after a rigorous due diligence process comparing many aggregators. A significant factor of his decision was the technology platform on offer that binds well with the brokerages current model and future plans.
Speaking on behalf of Specialist Finance Group, which has seen strong growth in both broker numbers and year-on-year settlements, aggregation manager Blake Buchanan said, “We are thrilled that Fabio has chosen SFG as his partner. I would encourage any broker who is considering switching to look at 4 things:
“1. The timing of the switch – often the down time of Christmas is a great period;
“2. The CRM on offer at the aggregator – this is arguably the most important item to consider as it drives efficiencies, compliance, marketing and more.
“3. The support the aggregator can offer both for day-to-day needs but also strategic guidance.
“4. The value of the partnership, including lender panel, diversified partners, strategies, commission cycles.”