Investing in tech is crucial, says Empower Wealth's head of broking

Digitalisation is a key way that brokers can future-proof their businesses during the current economic uncertainty says Ben Magnus.

MPA spoke with the mortgage broking manager of AMA winning Empower Wealth about the ways a good tech platform and marketing plan can make all the difference moving into the new normal of broking.

The importance of having a digital presence

If you haven’t invested in good tech, now’s the time to do it.

According to Magnus, the pandemic has revealed that consumers expect a digital presence when it comes to dealing with brokers and lenders.

“I believe investing in technology is one of the key things that COVID-19 has taught us,” he says.

“Consumers are telling us how they want to interact with banks, brokers and retail distribution areas.

“If you don’t comply with that, your customers are going to go elsewhere. So, investing in a tech platform and communication via tech will be critical.”

Marketing through an automated CRM

Having a solid marketing plan that is aligned to the core value proposition of the business is important for customer retention and lead generation, he says.

“At Empower wealth, our value proposition is supporting customers in creation of their wealth and financial transformation underpinned by property investment.”

 “We stand by that, we market to that and we’ve got an audience that’s engaged in that space.”

Investing in an automated CRM function can also help to future proof the business against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.

“You need to have the right analytics so that you’re in touch with clients as their interest-only period expires or fixed rate expires because those clients will be looking for a better deal at those milestones.”

“When moving or operating in a digital environment data security is going to be critical.”

He says having a strong data security and protection plan in place can help to protect the business if under threat by a “sophisticated scheme”.

Improving compliance through risk management

Commencing stronger risk management practice can also help brokers to future-proof their businesses in an industry where regulatory processes are currently evolving.

“If you’re not on top of those compliance processes, you’re going to be impacted from an ASIC or an audit review.”

“Those risk management practices are what will keep the business alive and future proof.”

Diversity and empowering staff

When it comes to managing staff, Magnus says diversity and inclusion are paramount to a successful team environment.

“I believe in embracing diversity in the team, whether it’s gender or ethnicity.”

“Having an inclusive environment, where the staff can thrive and learn from each other will be the key to success.”

Empowering staff to be the best they can be and providing opportunities for continued education are also important for Magnus.

“I think if we open up opportunities in the business to cross skill our existing staff amongst the mortgage broking arm of Empower Wealth, we’ll be able to gear ourselves up for growth.”

“We’re building a broker academy where I’m hiring for attitude and training for skill.”

“That’s bringing in green staff and setting them up in our settlements team, in our loan support team or our annual review team so that they can actually be well rounded as they progress careers through into an advisor role.”

“It’s also about succession planning within that.”

“Empower Wealth is big on that through its broker academy.”