What has this broker learned from sitting in other brokers' offices?

by NZ Adviser04 Feb 2019

by Abel Riototar

Birdie Wealth director Nathan Smith is demonstrating how the prevalent principle of iron sharpens iron can be applied to broking in a practical sense via broker exchange, an idea that came to him at an aggregator Christmas party last year.  

“I was talking with other brokers and wanted more details than the generic questions of ‘how do you do marketing or how do you manage staff?’ I wanted to know their specific processes and get down to the finer details of these processes,” Smith told MPA.

Time for a health check
His team wants to give Birdie Wealth a “health check” as it enters its 2nd year in business. While they have found that their systems and processes are still running well, Smith wants to find out what they’re missing or what they can improve.  

Smith plans to meet other successful brokers twice a week for two months, starting January; once at their office and once at his. He has already spent time with Fabio De Castro, a mortgage broker from Simply Finance, and with Joel Wyld and Amanda Christmann, director and customer care manager respectively of Peasy.

The businesses of these seasoned brokers enjoy a fantastic reputation due to the volumes they write and the quality of their work. And since their expertise is in a different lending area, the exchange of information between them and Smith was quite open. 

Sharing best practices
What Smith learned from those other businesses centred on handing over files to staff, keeping internal notes on client files, and working with internal and remote staff. He has already implemented his learning into his business.

“One broker built his own loan tracking software which walked any staff member through the steps involved. It made it really simple during changes in team members to know where each file was up to,” Smith said. “We currently use a program linked into email so we can see any contact made by our team to the client.”

The main takeaway other brokers got from Smith centred on using marketing agencies and getting in-house and remote staff working harmoniously together. Smith helps streamline Birdie Wealth’s daily setup by giving certain brokers more defined roles, so everyone would know what their exact responsibilities are and who controls a file at each point.     

Smith’s team knows about the broker exchange, and they have been supportive of the changes brought by those meetings, including helping them better understand their roles and clearing up much of their communication.

“I have another day in February scheduled to meet two other brokers at their offices. I think it’s a valuable way to spend two hours of your time,” Smith said.  

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