Strict documentation process "isn’t sexy", but top broker gets the job done right

Mortgage Choice (Berwick) owner and manager and 2018 Top 100 Broker finalist David Thurmond prefers a straightforward approach when it comes to what brokers should do at the front end to help submissions get through at the back end. The process he adopts “isn’t sexy” but it gets the job done.

“The more organised you are upfront, the more you update your processes to avoid making mistakes, and the more predictable you are to your team, the better,” Thurmond told MPA.

“With the lending landscape changing on a regular basis, our business constantly creates new checklists and updates the information we provide to our clients in the initial appointment.”

Thurmond’s team requires their clients to submit all supporting documents before they come in for the initial appointment to allow Thurmond to gauge the client’s level of commitment, and to allow his team to conduct early research. By implementing a strict early submission rule, Thurmond’s team can reduce the number of appointments and create efficiencies as they work towards submission. The strategy works so well that they are able to finalise the lender and product of most clients in the first meeting alone.

“If I’m going to invest time researching the best loan options, I need the client to be as invested as I am in seeing the loan application through. If clients don't provide their documents upfront, it shows they either aren't seriously interested or they're not ready,” Thurmond said.

First shop pushed the mark
Reflecting on the last 11 years in broking, Thurmond says hiring new team members and upgrading the business’s retail presence have had the biggest impact overall.

Bringing an administration staff person on board in 2008 helped him increase the number of loans he could write while maintaining a consistent level of service. Opening a retail shop shortly after gave them more leads and boosted their credibility to compete with more established brokers. The investment pushed the business over the $50m mark.

“Wow your clients”
Thurmond believes brokers, regardless of the number of loans they write, can have a positive impact on the industry by simply providing exceptional service.

“I doubt any single broker can impact the current direction of the royal commission, but if we do the right thing by our clients — give them the best solution to suit their needs, and follow that up with great ongoing service to justify our trail — then we will prove to the market that we provide a valued service,” Thurmond said.

According to him, clients and business partners should be looked after because they are a broker’s biggest advocate. “You have to ‘wow’ your clients by communicating to them more, educating them more, and offering them more than what the banks can give. If you're doing that then your reputation will grow.”