Some lenders are taking weeks to pick up a file – but that's not enough to deter this new-to-industry broker
Much has been written recently about the challenging environment mortgage and finance brokers now find themselves in, but for new-to-industry broker Leah Hutchinson (pictured), there is still plenty to love about the job. The MoneyQuest broker told MPA that despite blown-out assessment times and shifting lender policies, she was in it for the long haul.
“The rewards outdo the current challenges - or any challenges that have been thrown at us,” she said.
Such challenges include lenders “continually changing their goal posts” as well as the difficulty of meeting customers’ expectations when so many have unrealistic ideas of how lenders assess loan applications.
“That’s really challenging when customers have a specific expectation or they want a quick turnaround and not being able to overpromise and underdeliver,” she said.
Many expect what they pay in rent will be taken as proof of what they can afford to pay in mortgage repayments when sadly that is simply not the case, she said.
Numerous brokers have recently told MPA that blown-out lenders’ SLAs are one of the biggest challenges facing the third-party. This was also reflected in MoneyQuest’s Annual Franchise Owner Sentiment Survey, in which 50% of participants rated lender service levels as the worst they have ever been.
Read more: Lender SLAs – “It won’t be fixed overnight”
Hutchinson said she would like to see some improvements made in the industry around assessment times and clearer lender policy guidelines, however, the Sydney broker accepts the importance of agility when navigating her day to day.
“For me, the biggest thing is embracing the challenges and working with them instead of against them,” she said. “My motto, is that change is the only constant in finance.”
Launching her own business in May last year, Hutchinson started broking at a time when others were scrambling to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19. While many found using Zoom a challenge, Hutchinson saw it as a benefit given her base of largely interstate clients.
Hutchinson is not the only broker with such a positive outlook in a constantly changing environment. The MoneyQuest survey also revealed 96% of participants were either “totally happy” or “mostly happy” with their decision to become a broker.
She offered the following tips for brokers struggling to stay positive.
“Use downtime as much as possible to be productive,” she said. “I use mine to try and sign-up new referrals, undertake training, and work on expanding my different income streams.”
Other things brokers can do with their downtime include building their relationships with BDMs and lenders, tidying up their compliance and keeping in touch with their client base for new business opportunities, she said.