Plan of attack

Stuart Wemyss, Director of Melbourne-based ProSolution Private Clients, reveals his insights into building and growing a successful mortgage business.

What is the biggest issue for brokers at the moment?

Business systemisation is probably the biggest issue I see. Many brokers will tell you that lead generation is their number one challenge to writing more business but systemisation is the key because what typically happens is that brokers will do some marketing and then get busy and stop marketing while they deal with the new leads. Then, because they haven’t done any marketing, they hit a slow patch. Instead, brokers need to work on implementing lead generation and sales systems so that they are regularly marketing and their sales system automates the sales process as much as possible. I believe that one hour working on your business systems will save you more than one week of time per year, every year. Always look for ways to automate and systemise.

What is the biggest challenge in business right now?

I think the biggest challenge at the moment is to fight commoditisation. Mortgages are commoditised products. Brokers that market on the basis of “saving borrower’s time” and “getting the lowest rate” also risk being commoditised – because a web-based business can promise these things and probably deliver at a lower cost. Instead, I believe that brokers need to develop a client value proposition that can’t be commoditised – a unique sales proposition. The most obvious way of doing this is through focusing on the advice that they give as a broker – ie. not just simply sell a product. The quality of the advice then comes down to the experience, trustworthiness and education of the advice and that’s something that cannot be commoditised.

How do you see the rest of the year panning out for business, and with the as yet unannounced Federal Election?

The lower interest rate environment and the improvement in the property market has certainly helped business, particularly compared to last year. I hope the election doesn’t interrupt the spring property market too much. If it doesn’t, I think brokers are in for a pretty strong year with more ‘purchasing’ business and probably less refinancing than in the past.

What is the greatest opportunity for brokers at present?

Most good financial services businesses grow by referral (i.e. most new business comes by referral). Therefore, the greatest opportunity for all brokers is to market to their existing database. Spend half-an-hour per day, each day calling past clients and you’ll probably enjoy a steady stream of referrals – assuming you have happy clients of course.

Words or advice you live by in business?

I believe in karma. How I treat clients, staff and colleagues today will come back to me at some point. That means if I treat people with kindness, respect and honestly, I will get the same back.

Who is the most inspiring figure in the industry and why?

I don’t really have one person that inspires me. I get a lot of enjoyment from meeting brokers that are very client-focused and look for ways to help their clients as much as possible. It is brokers like these that will make this industry super successful and push our market share above 50%. Outside of the industry, a lot of my inspiration comes from Seth Godin and I highly recommend subscribing to his daily blog. It is pure genius.

Where to next for your business?

My business’ focus is to develop deeper relationships with less clients. We now offer tax/accounting, financial planning, insurance and mortgages. So our challenge is to offer at least three (and sometimes all four) of these services to as many of our clients as possible. I doing so will create a strong, sustainable business and also give us enough capacity to truly work closely with existing clients and help them build wealth.

Stuart Wemyss is the founder of The Broker Revolution:

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