Nadine: How do you think someone could differentiate themselves from others within the same market?
Leah: I think it’s really important to differentiate yourself by formalizing those skills and abilities that you’ve already brought to your business. And that’s through the budgeting exercises that you’re doing with your client, the planning that you’ve been doing with them. So most brokers have been asking their clients about big picture future questions. They’ve been talking with them about their current cash flow. They’ve been talking about their goals and desires.
So formalizing that by actually drawing to the clients’ attention that what we’re doing here is making a plan for you from A to B in order to get your dream home or to build wealth through investments, or to do various things. I think that there needs to be a more conscious drawing a focus on all those education things, financial literacy that you bring to your clients by actually re-telling that story. And again, doing it through documenting procedures, or providing the client with information about, “This is the step we’re getting from A to B, but we’re doing it through X, Y, and Z, and these are the types of things that we’re gonna do for you along the way.
Whether it’s reviewing your budget, whether it’s looking at your cash flow, whether it’s reviewing your lending in one year or two years after it’s been set to make sure it remains competitive.” It’s actually telling your clients and letting them know formally what you’ve been doing all this time, anyway. It’s a matter of course in the business.
Nadine: Yeah, okay. So it’s also two ways to really formalize their procedures that you think. One is the process and procedures within their own broking business and also how they’re recording and I guess providing proof of why they’ve made a recommendation.
Leah: Yeah absolutely. And again, I think those two things are really important together.
Nadine: Both need to happen.
Leah: That’s it. Both need to happen. And I do think there’s a lot of tools and resources. MFAA has a lot of tools and resources that can assist brokers to drive their business in the right direction. To assist them with formalizing upskilling in terms of education. As well as lots of tools and practical assistance with digital marketing, social media, and like I said with that hands on practical assistance.
I’ve said before that I consider myself as a business development manager for our members rather than for the MFAA, because with over 20 years of experience in the finance industry and having grown my own broking business over about 15 years, I can bring some of those skills and those lessons, all the good things and the bad things, and bring those lessons into other people’s businesses. And just give them a fresh perspective about how I see that there could be areas for improvement or development, or different angles in terms of their marketing.
Nadine: Yeah. Every lesson that’s learned along the way of any of our journeys is of value whether it’s a negatively impacting thing at that time or not. You can take that and turn it into a positive decision or process moving forwards.
Leah: Yeah, absolutely. And coming back to that uncertainty piece as well. I think it’s an uncertain time in terms of staff and recruitment and whether or not people grow and develop. And the difficult part is we might be facing many years of uncertainty in that time. You can’t just pull out stumps and complain. It needs to be a really important time to consciously evaluate your business, make some plans for the future, a bit of analysis about what your potential future income could look like, even if there are changes. We’ve got some tools and resources to be able to do that. Some business planning tools and some forecasting tools for your cash flow. And be able to actually say, “Okay, what can we achieve in this period of uncertainty? How can we do that? How can we analyze our staff’s needs and our resources going forward and keep those turning in a period of uncertainty?”
Nadine: Yeah so that was another question that kind of came up for me was, how will they kind of resource some of these additional things they might need to kind of fit into their schedule?
Leah: Because there aren’t any imminent changes at this very moment, I think that it’s a really great time in the next 6-12 months to actually analyze what your potential cash flow could be with some really important forecasting. And then be able to say, “What’s the most important focus in the business?” and just start there. So start with those really important things that you identify are critical and then move from there.
Nadine: You just build on from each of those important critical points.
Leah: Yeah absolutely.