In chapter five, Anthony Hong reflects on lessons learned during a particularly difficult application.
This is now my fifth instalment of ‘banker to broker’ and being half way through my journey writing this mini-series, I cannot stop but think how much have I actually changed?
Am I still having a basic transactional conversations or do I speak more holistically? And how is my brand coming along? Have I improved my position? Am I more influential? Basically, if I was to put out an initial public offering (IPO) on myself, am I more valuable than I was before?
Let me briefly tell you about an application I had been working on which seemed simple at the beginning however it proved not to be the case. The clients were in stable employments, purchasing land and building with a 10% deposit. A block that was near the parent’s house, reasonably priced for a young couple and no bad credit ratings. The application was declined because of unforeseen issues that came up and after additional documentation was called for, more unforeseen issues developed. This got tough and to describe how tough it got, I touched this application at least 10 different times and each time it required a double shot of espresso. So this application took at least 20 shots of espresso to get through.
After sheer perseverance and strategizing we restructured the application within the banks policies and limits, we finally got the loan approved by that same bank a few weeks later. The clients could have walked away from the contract earlier, but we pushed for an extension and we got in just before the extension ran out. When I met them in the beginning I started with a holistic approach, we spoke about everything from family to long term goals and related it all back to finance. I got to know them really well.
By having a holistic approach, I felt closer to my clients and it didn’t allow me to give up so easy. By turning a difficult application around to a loan approval, it cemented my position as a finance specialist and took my brand another step higher. By strategically persevering, I had improved my position and credibility within that bank. Because I never gave up and we ended with a positive outcome, I am now more influential with my clients.
But am I happy with the outcome? Yes and no, I want to be a broker who put through smoother applications without the added stress to my clients. As a banker I had experienced stressful situations where once a declined decision had been issued it was easier to build a wall and walk away early. Now I continually look for improvements and persevere, this I feel makes me more valuable than I was yesterday.