7 things to consider before switching aggregators

Building your own business can be tough. Starting from the ground-up can take time, effort and money but there’s no greater feeling as a broker than to look back on your hard work and see the rewards – in particular the many clients and their families that you have helped along the way.

You’ve chosen to be in business for yourself. That shouldn’t mean by yourself.

Aggregators aim to provide the answer by partnering with brokers to support the growth of their business. There are loads of ways an aggregator can guide you in growing your business. Through:

  • improving your personal performance and business management through training and coaching
  • assisting you to source referral partners and new clients
  • integrating tech so you can run your whole business from anywhere
  • providing expert guidance in building and leading a successful team
  • helping you source new leads
  • keeping you safe in an environment of heightened compliance
  • delivering market solutions that delight customers, drive a better experience, boost your brand and win you back time
  • setting you on a path to be more than a broker – a Trusted Adviser

In short, an aggregator can be more. They can be a partner.

1. Will they support you recruit?

When growing a business you will inevitably come to the point where you need to hire someone into your team. Do you need a loan writer? Admin support? Loan support? The best solution to decide what is best for you, is to engage with someone who knows what they are doing – a business coach.

If you’re in search of a loan writer, business coaches can help you find the right person to fill the role, and get the most out of what will be a major investment for your business.

They’ll help you decide the type of loan writer you need/want – an employee, a contractor with experience, and provide guidance to ensure you meet all your obligations as an employer. Once that loan writer is on-board, a proactive aggregator will help get your loan writer up-to-speed with relevant training and workshops. Your loan writer will be able to benchmark themselves against others who are learning the trade, too.

If it’s admin support you need, an aggregator can help, too.

As you know, lodging a loan application process is highly complex, and can take a lot to wrap your head around. A quality aggregator will help you find & train your admin support.

This training can be done through a combination of in-room training and online upskilling such as:

  • how to optimise back-end systems
  • handle files efficiently and compliantly
  • gaining confidence in handling client queries
  • And how to add value to your business

The best aggregators create communities where admin specialists can network, ask for advice from one another and find solutions. This is vitally important for brokers who are out on the road, visiting clients and don’t have time to answer a myriad of questions.

When ‘insourcing’ is the best solution
We all know about out-sourcing, but have you heard of ‘in-sourcing’?

In-sourcing is when a team of admin specialists are trained to process loan applications specific to your business.

They’re more than an off-site service: they become a value add-on your business, with an individual specialist assigned to you.

When you’re growing your business, employee wages can be a drain. With an in-sourced solution, you can pass on the loan documents for processing to a dedicated team member for a fraction of the price of a temp or permanent admin support, saving you time so you can spend it prospect new clients.

2. Will they help you set and achieve your goals?

How do you know if you’re winning at business if you don’t have someone who’s in-the-know helping you?

Business coaches know that what works for one business, may not for another.

A top aggregator will have business coaches that take a deep dive into your business and help you push through to the next level. They will grow and diversify your revenue base and build a more valuable asset.

A business coach will help you grow your business by:

  • uncovering the key drivers of your business – financial, client outcomes, internal processes and employees
  • identifying key areas for growth and improvements for you and your team
  • defining numbers and goals to increase profitability and asset value

An aggregator with a commitment to upskilling its business owners has a blended in-room and online training calendar.

In-room sessions, from where you can adopt the latest in best-practice insights, are valuable to your growth. An aggregator that embraces culture will provide the support where, even outside the classroom, you can bounce ideas off.

It can often be hard to get along to a classroom session. There are clients to see, files to escalate, chasing referrers, building leads. It’s so hard to get $#!@ done!

Modern brokers are digital brokers, in every sense.

You need to find an aggregator that adopts a ‘future-focus’ to training. Opportunities for you to log on and learn, ‘anytime, anywhere’.

Modern-day CRMs have education and training modules built-in with engaging content that doesn’t make learning a chore – quizzes, videos, podcasts and other multi-media. No more brain numbing textbooks or manuals!

It should even have courses that allow you to gain qualifications.

3. Will they help you win back time with integrated tech?

Time is your most precious commodity when your in business for yourself. The old days of doing business across multiple tech platforms (and paper) won’t cut it anymore.

You need a cloud-ready and sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that covers every area of your business, and ultimately makes your job easier. CRM’s include:

  • lender and product information
  • managing commissions
  • accounting
  • tracking applications and tasks while you’re on-the-go
  • staying safe in compliance
  • measuring performance
  • managing referrals and leads
  • automating marketing and templating social media guides
  • education and training

Leading aggregators have also customised their CRMs with a customer interface. These features empower the customer, letting them collaborate with their broker and contribute to their financial journey.

Customers can now upload pay slips, employment contracts and bank statements directly into CRMs.

It also save brokers loads of time and enriches valuable, face-to-face time.

4. Can they set you up with strong referral partnerships?

Referral partners play an important role in growing business.

Real estate agents and brokers complement each other perfectly as referral partners. Having an aggregator that enjoys relationships with major real estate brands helps open many doors for business growth.

The best referral portfolios cover a spectrum of industries.

But how do you find them, and what are you going to bring to the arrangement? You need to consult business coaches who can help you broaden your referral base.

5. Will they automate your marketing?

Your personal brand is critical to growing a business. It’s why customers will choose you ahead of your competitors.

But how do you invest in yourself when you’re flat out!

Digitally savvy aggregators are saving brokers time by providing automated marketing solutions for post-settlement clients.

Automated marketing ensures brokers stay top of mind with post-settlement clients while they’re busy winning more work. Automated marketing saves you time, maintaining your personal brand via emails at critical points in the client journey – for instance, fixed-rate expiries – and creates sticker relationships. Are they thinking about buying a new car? Changing their personal insurances? All these things make you more than a broker – they make you a Trusted Adviser.

So what happens to the broker-customer relationship if the client doesn’t proceed?

Customers want to feel like they matter. And if they didn’t sign a deal today, they’re more likely to sign one later on.

And they don’t just want to be remembered as another piece of data: they expect the broker to know their personal circumstances, whether they’re a first-home-buyer, refinancer, investor, or generic borrower, and receive content and correspondence that’s relative to their own situation.

And brokers need to own the communications with personalised emails and the ability to reply to queries. This is how you stay front-of mind with customers, irrespective of how fleeting the engagement.

6. Can they help you be more than just mortgages?

Six out of 10 mortgages in Australia are generated by brokers.

And the figure is on the rise because clients have faith in their brokers to deliver the best outcome for them.

So, why not leverage this trust and service all their financial needs?

One of the easiest ways to grow business is by adding value for existing clients:

Brokers should build their businesses by strengthening existing client relationships.

They should be Trusted Advisers.

7. Will they keep you safe in a post-Royal Commission world?

In the post-Royal Commission world, it’s hard to keep on top of added compliance.

Having a team of experts in compliance supporting your activities keeps your business safe from harm.

Compliance experts can:

  • providing all the necessary requirements to enquire about a client’s financial position
  • bolt on compliance features to your CRM to tighten practices
  • organise random file audits and deliver step-by-step guides to improve for water-tight processing

An aggregator that puts your interests first will also enable ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning. This ensures you’re keeping up to date with all the changes in the industry, especially at the compliance level.

Trying to keep abreast of all your professional requirements is near impossible, on your own. You need someone who has your back.

Find an aggregator who wants to be your partner

If you’re wanting to grow your business, you need the support of an aggregator which does more than connect you with lenders.

You need someone who knows how hard business can be and is willing to get in the trenches with you, helping you find:

  • industry-leading training and coaching
  • the right people to grow your business
  • tech that wins you back time
  • leads to fill your pipeline
  • marketing that keeps you top-of-mind
  • the keys to become more than just mortgages
  • a better client experience

Want to know more about growing a business with the right aggregator? Visit here.

PUBLISHED September 30th, 2019 IN Stories and insights

Andrea McNaughton

Andrea is Loan Market’s Executive Director of Network Growth. Starting her career in real estate over 20-years ago, she has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge within the real estate and finance industries. Andrea's love for a challenge and restlessness for growth have made her an undeniable force of leadership within the Loan Market Group.