BDM in the Spotlight: Sarrah Fariha

Aggregator introduces relationship manager for WA

BDM in the Spotlight: Sarrah Fariha

BDM in the Spotlight and State Manager in the Spotlight are a regular series, giving brokers insight into the lives of some of the country’s leading relationship managers.

MPA spoke to outsource Financial relationship manager for Western Australia, Sarrah Fariha (pictured above), about her favourite part of the job, what sets successful brokers apart and why outsource Financial is different from other aggregators. 

Having worked within the financial services industry for almost a decade, Fariha started out as a bank teller before progressing into lending and now aggregation.

As outsource Financial’s first permanent relationship manager for WA, her goal is to provide brokers with in-person support and help ensure their business runs smoothly. 

“As being on the ground is a first for us all, my immediate goal is to immerse myself into learning all about our members and the intricacies and strengths of their business,” she said.

“From there, I can focus on more bespoke and targeted support to assist our members to diversify, fortify and ultimately cater to more borrowers, helping our brokers to expand their market share.”

Name: Sarrah Fariha

Title: Relationship Manager - WA

Years in the industry:  Almost 10 years

Company: outsource Financial

Location: Rockingham, WA

1. Briefly describe your role and how you support brokers

It’s difficult to sum up the role of a BDM or relationship manager in a few sentences, but I’ll give it a red-hot go!

On paper, I offer technical support and software troubleshooting to our brokers.

I conduct new member onboarding, coaching and ongoing training … everything to make their professional lives more seamless, efficient and a little easier.

Off paper, I build strong and trusted business relationships with my brokers and lender BDM counterparts, to ensure that I am a useful and valued resource for all the brokers under my portfolio.

The requirements of a relationship manager aren’t complex. The job just needs to be done right and done well.

2. What is your favourite part of the job so far?

Without a doubt, my passion lies in helping new-to-industry brokers to get up and running (and prosper) within their new business as quickly as possible.

Being part of a broker’s journey to becoming a successful business operator and owner is what I love to do. While there are certain things in the onboarding process that are the same, when it comes to establishing business goals and strategies, everything is bespoke, and it is a unique process each time.

Helping brokers to become established and effective within their business is always interesting and by far my favourite part of the job.

3. What sets successful brokers apart?

I believe that there are three things that set successful brokers apart from the rest.

Firstly, they get their business operations and processes right. This is the admin part of business ownership (which most brokers seem to detest), but once these processes are in place and running correctly, it makes everything so much more efficient and streamlined. It also makes teaching any new admin or loans processing staff easier.

Successful brokers also invest time in their marketing and branding. 

The feedback I receive from almost all brokers is that they don’t have the time or creativity to allocate to marketing (digital or otherwise). Many even view this as a low-value aspect of their business. However, we know that recognition builds trust in a brand, and recognition comes from the right exposure. This starts with clear and effective branding. It is important that brokers prioritise this at the start, while they have the time.

Thirdly, they prioritise their education and professional development. If there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that those who don’t adapt get left behind. Evolution is as relevant to business as it is for all living things. To maintain a competitive edge, it is crucial that brokers take charge of their professional development and stay abreast of this ever-changing industry.

4. How is outsource Financial different to other aggregators?

My comments on the importance of professional development are a nice segue into this question because at outsource Financial, we champion education for brokers as well as consumers.

Our mantra is “education is empowerment” and we live by that. We offer a revered New Entrant Mentoring Program, as well as our market-first (and market-leading) Commercial Mentoring Program and Loan Admin Program. These programs are all complimentary to outsource Financial members and are designed to bolster their professional development along with business growth.

Ongoing education is an example of the time and effort we dedicate to our brokers and is a key differentiating factor.

I say this based on the feedback I have received from brokers personally, who have transferred from other aggregators to outsource Financial. From the first phone call, all the way through to their first decade with us, brokers’ loyalty stays. We don’t treat our members as a number – we treat them like our business partners.

Our brokers’ success is our success, so we invest in them and back them. This filters through the business from the top down. Tanya Sale (our CEO) very much leads by example, and this is inspiring to see from the executive level.

5. What should brokers demand from a BDM and aggregator relationship?

In one word, access.

Whether brokers are new-to-industry or seasoned, access to relationship managers (or BDMs) is critical.

For mortgage and finance brokers, time is always of the essence. Whether brokers are workshopping a deal or have a time-sensitive question, having fast and efficient access to their relationship manager is a fundamental requirement that should always be met.

6. Describe your ideal weekend

Every weekend is an ideal weekend!

I have a big family and we are very close, so Sunday is always family day.

We cook, share good food, laugh, and spend quality time together. We do more group outings in summer, but there’s something very special to me about connecting with each other at home.

I have two little ones under four, so Saturday is set aside for the kids. Whether it’s the park, the aquarium or zoo, we always make time for some adventurous fun!

BDM in the Spotlight features a range of BDMs and relationship managers within the industry.  Among those most recently featured were RedZed NSW BDMs Cassandra Vella, Trent Homann and Tamara Rozova.