How to deal with clawbacks

New to industry brokers are often faced with a raft of challenges when they start a business. Generating leads, knowing when to take on staff and developing the right systems and processes are but a few. But when it comes to dealing with clawbacks, even established brokers can struggle.

After starting his own brokerage in 2011, Daniel Hustwaite has been through the ups and downs of the industry as well as all the nitty gritty trials of being a broker.

MPA spoke with the Top 100 broker and principal at Aqua Financial Services about the art of running a successful brokerage and what new to industry brokers should do about clawbacks.

Know your strengths

When Hustwaite built Aqua to a reasonable size, he stopped broking for about six months to focus on running the business – but soon found this was not the right role for him.

“I found that I really missed the mortgage broker role in the way in which you can help customers.”

This gave him clarity around his strengths and what he loved the most about the profession, prompting him to step back and restructure his role.

“I was not good at running the business. I was not good with the day to day issues of staffing and all those little bits and pieces – so I got people in that were experts in that field.”

“I also got people in that were experts in building systems within the aggregator’s CRM because I just couldn’t do it.”

Having staff members run the business allowed him to focus on doing what he loves the most – helping customers with finance.

Be bold and brave

Hustwaite says patience is another key attribute that new to industry brokers must master.

“You’re not going to be writing and settling stacks and stacks of business at least for 12 months.”

“But if you can tough out the first 12 months in this industry and look after the customers you’ve got, and make them raving fans that refer you to friends and family, you’ll do really, really well.”

When it comes to generating leads, you need to be bold and brave while also thinking a little bit outside the square.

Hustwaite generates new leads through a strong referral network of real estate agents that he built up over time, but he says there are many ways to skin a cat.

“Pick an industry – it could be even the medical industry if you’re lucky enough to do a loan for a doctor.”

“Doctors have monthly magazines and journals. Try and become a broker that gets promoted in there.”

“Just be creative in the way in which you’re trying to generate business.”

Good customer contact can minimise clawbacks

When it comes to targeting existing clients, Hustwaite employs a full-time staff member to contact every one of their 6,500 customers periodically following settlement.

“Our customers are being contacted 30 days after settlement, 90 days after settlement, six months after settlement, and every anniversary. Those contact points are different. Some are phone calls, some are texts.”

They also use Connective’s CRM Mercury to its full capacity; subscribing to its marketing service and monthly e-mag for clients.

Due to this strong focus on customer contact, Hustwaite says that clawbacks haven’t been a major issue for the business to date.

He says aside from preventing clawbacks as much as possible by having a strong focus on looking after the customer, there isn’t much else that brokers can do.

“You’ve just got to suck them up.”

“But what you want to do is minimise the impact of clawbacks by making sure that your customers come back to you for their next transaction.”

Even so, he says there will always be situations such as separations, when you will just have to wear it.