While a lot of brokers could easily consider 2018 one of their most difficult years, what with the surge of market and lending challenges it brought upon the industry, Announcer Mortgages broker Tristan Cleggett views the period with fondness.
“That was by far my biggest year in terms of volume, and saw me look at equipment finance, car loans and commercial finance,” 2019 MPA Young Guns finalist Cleggett told MPA, sister publication of NZ Adviser. “In a tough market, I achieved great settlement results for my clients. Coming into the industry at that time has actually been an advantage, as credit policy and supporting documents have been the norm for me.”
In the last twelve months, Cleggett and other brokers at Announcer promoted mortgages that are independent of financial advisers. Their volumes increased as a result, and their target market widened.
Although Cleggett was open to serve a wide variety of clients when he started out in the industry, he gave more attention on providing solutions to first home buyers who had been declined or had credit issues. When credit became tighter and loans got harder to obtain, his referral sources started to expand his customer focus.
“Assisting a wide variety of clients with different needs demonstrates versatility,” Cleggett said. He, however, added that he treats every application the same, whether it’s a $2,000,000 purchase or a $25,000 top up, to provide customers equal levels of service and satisfaction.
A large part of Cleggett’s job, apart from writing loans, revolves around retention. He uses Salestrekker to manage deals from lead ups until settlement, providing clear insights on conversation rates and total number of served clients, including those who didn’t proceed to apply.
Great customer service means always fighting for the client, according to Cleggett. “Being a broker can often feel like being the meat in the customer-and-bank sandwich, which can be quite difficult,” he said. “Brokers are working for the client, so when dealing with a bank, the client’s interests should always be at heart.”
When confronted with customers with difficult credit histories, Cleggett still endeavours to provide them with an alternative, which can sometimes be a lower loan amount. He regularly communicates with clients in the weeks and months following settlement to ensure they’re happy with the product and everything is running smoothly.
That’s why for him, the assumption that brokers don’t produce anything for their trail commission was “a bit harsh” because he knows the remuneration works. It plays a big part in their day to day job.
“Requesting pricing for clients without them approaching us shows them we care, and we are looking for a long relationship,” Cleggett said.
“If the industry moves to a larger upfront fee in two years, brokers will have more incentive to refinance clients. It’s something I don’t think was taken into account.”