Nine tools brokers can use to automate their businesses

Director of Hunter Galloway, Nathan Vecchio, started broking in 2015. Using the techniques from Joshua Vecchio's Top Broker Handbook, he’s been writing big numbers, leading to Vow Financial naming him Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016.

Now before you start telling me that your business is built on relationships, that the banks cause inefficiencies and all that, just take a deep breath….

I was just reading about a startup in the States called Atrium which wants to automate lawyers using machine learning. They have raised over $10m and acquired 220+ customers in the past year with their pitch being:

Many law firms are notoriously inefficient, spending hours to complete tasks that could easily be automated. In addition, most firms pay out any annual profits leaving nothing behind to invest in software or internal tools.

Sound vaguely familiar? How much time did you spend on chasing up, or reworking a file today?

Atrium isn’t alone. DoNotPay founded by a 19-year-old automates common legal needs using their chatbot. The bot was initially built to help people fight traffic tickets and has since expanded to handle 1,000+ legal problems. It’s already beaten 375,000 traffic tickets worldwide.

Now I’m not saying it’s going to be the attack of the killer chatbots, but what I am saying is that as Top Brokers we need to stay ahead of this wave and not be buried by it.

Building on this article, today let’s look at nine tools to help automate your broking business. To give you more time in the day to build deep relationships with your clients (something machine learning won’t be able to replace).

Nine Tools to Automate Your Mortgage Broking Business

  1. TryCall

  2. BurstSMS

  3. MailChimp

  4. FileInvite

  5. BankStatements

  6. Zapier

  7. Buffer

  8. DocuSign

  9. Evernote

1. TryCall
I’ll admit TryCall didn’t make sense to me at first – what’s the point in leaving voice messages for clients who might not ever listen to them? We’ve found this service really good for keeping in touch with settled customers, sending them an automated message at six months, and 12 months after settlement just touching base to let them know you’re thinking about them and if they need anything they can call you back. Because really, you save 10 minutes calling a customer just to say hi and can instead put that time back into the business!

Cost: From $83 per month

Website: https://www.trycall.com.au/

2. BurstSMS
I really love this service, as we’ll cover below with Zapier, I use BurstSMS to automatically send settled customers a congratulations SMS on settlement. It sends SMS confirmations for client catch ups during the day and Birthday SMS. It’s not super cheap at around eight cents per SMS, but given that it saves me about 30 minutes a day (which I would have spent manually SMS’ing people), it’s worth it.

Cost: Free Trial

Website: https://www.burstsms.com.au/

3. MailChimp
You’ve probably heard of MailChimp before, you might have even used it to send a newsletter or two, but have you used the marketing automation aspect of MailChimp? The part of it I love is that marketing automation helps you get rid of repetitive tasks and lets you focus on your business. Think about pressing a button and an automated welcome pack goes out to your customers or even an automated series of emails at settlement thanking them for their business and asking for a referral. How much time could this save you each week?

Cost: Free

Website: https://mailchimp.com/

4. FileInvite
The single best thing we’ve implemented in the business. To think of the hours I used to waste chasing up customers’ documents, telling them that their payslip had the wrong date on it, asking them to resend an email because I didn’t receive it… You know what it’s like. FileInvite changes all of that; it sends SMS and email reminders chasing up clients who haven’t completed their required document lists. You’ll easily get back two hours a week that you used to spend chasing up supporting documents once you’ve implemented FileInvite.

Cost: From $12 per month

Website: https://www.fileinvite.com/

5. BankStatements
This is probably the next best thing we’ve implemented after FileInvite. FileInvite and BankStatements can work together (so you can stick BankStatements on the FileInvite checklist) and it sends a link for your customers to log into their internet banking and download all of their statements directly. No more back and forth emails asking clients to send bank statements with an address on there!

Finally. Better yet, BankStatements does a high-level analysis of your customers’ day to day accounts and highlights issues with payments, late fees and shows when they are paid, making your compliance a little bit easier. I think we save about one hour per file using this, easily.

Cost: From $9.90 per month

Website: https://bankstatements.com.au/

6. Zapier
Zapier is like a conductor at an orchestra – It brings all of these different tools together and helps them work together. We use Zapier triggers from our CRM on settlement, to then send an SMS using BurstSMS to congratulate our clients and then trigger an email settlement series being sent from MailChimp on settlement, then one week after settlement, etc.

You can also use it to automate some of your social media marketing, so for example when you post an article on your website it will trigger a Facebook update. Very much worthwhile.

Cost: Free

Website: https://zapier.com/

7. Buffer
Another simple automation tool. It’s easy to become a slave to social media, trying to maintain your personal brand as a broker. However, Buffer finds a way to connect all your profiles into one platform and schedule your posts. I usually spend an hour at the beginning of each month and queue up my social media with content for the rest of the month. This saves me hours, which means I am not being distracted and checking social media during the day at work. As a result, I am focusing on the more productive activities like building relationships with clients. This could save you easily 30 minutes a day.

Cost: $99.99/month for small businesses

Website: https://buffer.com/

8. DocuSign
Ever needed to quickly sign a document but didn’t have access to a printer?

Well, forget about that old school technique. DocuSign gives you a place to save your digital signature and add it to a PDF. This one’s great to recommend to clients too, so that they can send back documents to you while they’re on the go. We integrated this with FileInvite again so it makes signing our documents quick and easy – and overall a better client experience.

Cost: Free

Website: https://www.docusign.com.au/features-and-benefits/mobile

9. Evernote
Evernote is an essential tool in my day to day activities. No matter where I am, I can access my notes or quickly jot down a bright idea that might come to mind. It can even read text from business cards or other paper forms and turn it into a contact. So when you meet clients while you’re out, you can easily grab their details. The best part is that it syncs across devices, so my phone notes connect to my computer, and so on!

This might not necessarily save you time day to day, but it will save you from searching for documents when they go missing!

Cost: Free

Website: http://www.evernote.com

If you implement at least one of these tools in your business, at a minimum you’ll get back at least half an hour extra in your day. Stop wasting time on manual tasks and start automating your business with these nine tools so that you and your business can stay afloat.

And finally tell me, what are some of your favourite automation tools?

This has been republished with permission from Top Broker. Top Broker's vision is to rally mortgage brokers from across Australia to share the industry's best practices to help brokers maximise client value, reduce their working hours and increase their overall settlements and profitability. Check out more at: https://www.topbroker.com.au