Best practice panel shines a light on commercial finance

Brokers who want to specialise in commercial finance often find it challenging to know where to start and who to turn to for support, let alone how to set up their systems and processes in the best way.

This is something Tradeplus24 BDM Yasmine Shah aims to change. She says while there are a lot of talented brokers, not enough of them specialise in commercial – even though the interest is certainly there.

MPA spoke with Shah about the barriers that prevent brokers from entering the commercial space and how her upcoming commercial best practice web series aims to break these down.

Commercial brokers make up a small percentage of the population

With just 3,670 mortgage brokers also writing commercial loans in the six months to September 2019, it is clear that only a small percentage make the transition into the sector despite the excellent potential it holds for brokers who want to diversify.

Shah says the reasons for this are varied.

“On the outset we may see a stereotypical view that it’s more complex, it’s more niche and its more specialised and generally you need a lot of experience to specialise in commercial lending.

“But then the more deeply I started to work with brokers who were at various levels of expertise and knowledge in the commercial space,” she says, “I started to see that there was definitely a will in mortgage brokers to diversify.

“They were ready to heed the call – but then the isue became how to implement.”

A behind the scenes approach to best practice

Shah says while there is a big focus on celebrating achievements in the industry, not much is said about the systems and processes that lead to these outcomes.

“For a broker to aspire to specialise in commercial finance, they need to be able to visualise what it will look like to walk this path and be successful,” she says.

“I have always been fascinated by the practices of those who are successful – after all, it is most often the process and system that delivers their consistent success.”

She says often brokers don’t realise they even have a best practice – they simply operate in a way they have found to be the most efficient after trialling different approaches.

She believes those who are new to the sector can benefit from hearing first-hand how successful commercial brokers operate in their roles.

Stepping up to help SME clients

Launching in the first week of May, some of the topics set to be discussed in the best practice panel include the do’s and don’ts of asset finance, cashflow finance and private lending.

The series will also take a look at how to maintain mental wellness during the challenging environment caused by COVID-19.

“It is not an easy time to constantly be fielding calls for help and advice and not being able to find solutions. One needs to be mentally strong so as to be able to support others,” Shah says.

How brokers can help SME clients in COVID-19 impacted industries is another major topic set to be explored.

“The demand for the advice, guidance and support a broker can offer in this climate is more important than it has ever been, in particular for SMEs,” Shah adds.

“It is also a time when brokers should be banding closely together with their referral partners, accountants and other business advisers to ensure their clients current and proposed business models will sustain them through this COVID-19 environment.

“It is important to mention here that not all industries are negatively impacted, and regardless of industry or client, there is always a way that brokers can offer their expertise and supportive network of partners to help their clients achieve their goals.

“My message to all commercial brokers is that they are absolute rock stars in our industry and do an amazing job everyday for our SMEs in helping them navigate this difficult terrain brought on by this pandemic.

“I would love to see commercial brokers reach out and broaden their network, and where possible support their mortgage broker peers to help them do the same.”