PLAN Australia BDM Greg Cooke tells MPA the reasons he loves his job
BDM in the spotlight asks a different BDM the same questions – giving you regular insights into the lives of some of the top BDMs in the country.
Name: Greg Cooke
Years in the industry: 5 in broking
Company: PLAN Australia (aggregation)
Location: North Sydney
1. What did you do before entering the industry?
Before I started broking in 2014, I worked for a large Australian hospitality group managing teams and running licensed venues. This is where my passion and understanding of business fundamentals really grew from. I was always open to learning and they were always open to giving me the opportunity to take on more challenges and more senior roles.
I truly learned a lot about driving sales, expense management, drivers of profit in business, how to read financial statements, business controls, hiring, HR and people management. It was a great experience that shaped a lot of what I know about the nuts and bolts of business now.
2. How often do you see mortgage managers in a week?
Typically, I do 8 to 10 broker visits per week. These are generally more in-depth sessions and go for 1.5 to 3hrs. We work on everything, from business process improvement or development, business planning, lead generation, collaborating with referral partners, hiring new staff, expense management, customer value propositions, compliance support, role purpose statements to anything else our members might need our support and guidance on to grow their businesses.
3. What do mortgage managers want most from you?
I always get asked, “What do all the best businesses do and why are they so successful?” This is an interesting topic because it’s easy to talk about but not simple to execute.
I think many of my brokers just want someone to discuss their business with. Many of our members are a one- or two-man operation and they don’t always have access to business coaches, mentors or people with an outsider’s view of how they can detach. Someone who can help them to work on their business, not just in their business.
4. What is your favourite part of the job?
There are two things I love about my job: 1. Every day is different, and 2. It’s a role which allows me to genuinely help people.
Essentially, I’m a resource that our members can use to help them in whatever business lifecycle or stage they are in. Sometimes I’m a sounding board for ideas, sometimes I’m just here to listen to their challenges and sometimes I’m helping business owners build new processes, plans or strategies. Nevertheless, every day we are out there in the field trying to help our members achieve their goals.
5. What distinguishes the best brokers you deal with?
They have a clearly articulated strategy around lead generation or their ideal customer. They have a detailed and documented process about how to get through the volume that comes in. They know what value they add and the specific services they provide. All these allow them to scale when that need arises.
6. What’s your ideal weekend?
The weekend is definitely my time to rest and recharge. I like to have coffee and breakfast out with my fiancé and/or friends. I love to swim in the beach, play some sport and see friends.
7. What’s the strangest lending scenario you’ve ever encountered?
The purchase of a private plane was probably the strangest I’ve ever worked on. This was just an odd scenario because it’s not something I would come across typically. The client looked fantastic on paper but the (very legal) line of work they were in was off-putting to most lenders. We had to let that one go.
8. What's your top time-saving tip and how much time does it save you?
Religiously using a to-do list on my phone. When I’m with clients and taking calls all day there are always things I need to get back to when I get back to my desk. Getting into the habit of putting these things on a list means I can deliver a good service to my clients while saving the time and stress of trying to remember all the little things I need to do each day. Simple but effective for me.
9. What’s your favourite meal?