When Innovative Finance director and 2018 MPA Young Guns finalist Michael Gavan was still working at Westpac as a business banker, he took great notice on how getting a loan was becoming a drab.
From that observation, inspiration struck. In 2017, Gavan launched Innovative Finance to take the stressful experience of getting a loan and make it an enjoyable process.
In an interview with MPA, Gavan said his team of five focuses on providing ease and convenience in getting financial help because they work primarily around the needs of customers and not on the terms of lenders.
“We get to know clients and what’s important to them and what they enjoy,” Gavan said. “We make sure our clients get a positive experience that make them look back and go, “We weren’t stressed. It was easy. It was simple.”
To provide an exceptional client experience, Gavan’s team makes use of a software and a sales web system to provide their clients the convenience to communicate concerns, send through documents, monitor loan applications and ask questions in and outside the banking industry.
They also do the little things that really give clients “a personalised experience” upon settlement, such as working with restaurants to create a unique dining moment for their big clients.
“We get to know clients on a personal level, so we try to tailor the experience for them,” Gavan said. “It’s basically to make them feel important because they made a choice to be with our firm and to allow us to help them.”
“We want to show our clients that we don’t take that commitment for granted. We want to have a personalised relationship with them now and in the future.”
According to Gavan, finding the technology and setting up a line process that will make things simple and easy is only as important as understanding what clients really want.
Gavan’s team measure productivity by being proactive. He expects his brokers to proactively contact clients, and his client services manager and processor to proactively keep themselves updated with the work of brokers, even during fall.
Little things matter
What Gavan considers his greatest achievement is found in the “little things.” For him, nothing quite beats seeing his clients surprised by how easy they got through the loan process and able to save money at the same time.
“I look at how many clients we’ve been able to help in different ways,” he said. “So many people that we come across go, “We think this is going to be really hard.” And then at the very end, when we catch up with them around signing the documents and at settlement, they go, “We always thought it was easy.””
Gavan has already expanded his business footprint in Maitland in the Hunter Valley and will continue to see how he can further refine its process to make things easier for his team and to improve their service.
“We always want to do better. We’re just not content with doing what we’re doing at the moment,” Gavan said.