Broker in Focus: Siqi Kramer, XIN Mortgage

Lending manager shares story of career shift from banking to mortgage broking

Broker in Focus: Siqi Kramer, XIN Mortgage

Siqi Kramer’s journey from the banking sector to becoming a successful mortgage broker at XIN Mortgage is a testament to her adaptability and commitment to excellence.

Her insights into the positive developments and challenges in the industry, coupled with her valuable advice for aspiring brokers, provide a comprehensive perspective into the dynamic world of mortgage broking.

As she continues to navigate this ever-evolving field, Kramer (pictured above) remains dedicated to delivering exceptional value and service to her clients.

Transition to mortgage broking

Kramer transitioned into the role of a mortgage broker just last year, marking a significant pivot from her extensive career in the banking sector. Her decision was largely influenced by restructuring initiatives at her former employer, which curtailed her professional growth prospects.

“During my tenure in banking, I had the privilege of serving a vast segment of esteemed clients, one of whom happened to be my current boss,” said Kramer, who worked for major banks such as CommBank and ANZ.

“Through our professional exchanges, he imparted invaluable insights into the dynamics of the finance broking industry and shared perspectives on his own successful ventures. These interactions acted as a catalyst for my eventual venture into mortgage brokering.” 

Recognising the opportune moment, Kramer seized the opportunity to channel her expertise into a new avenue.

“Not only am I now pursuing my passion, I am also fortifying my ability and experience in offering clients a comprehensive lending solution,” she said.

“This strategic move has not only enriched my professional path but also enhanced the value proposition I bring to my clientele.”

Positive developments in broking

For Kramer, the diverse range of product offerings across different financial institutions is a significant positive development in the broking industry. From traditional banks to non-bank lenders and private lending entities, there are tailored solutions to meet the diverse needs of clients.

“In today’s rapidly evolving world, these products each carve out their unique niche, offering tailored solutions to address specific demands,” she said.

“This ability and privilege to select the most suitable solution for customers is arguably one of the most valuable assets and differentiator in becoming a mortgage broker.”

Industry challenge and proposed solution

Despite the positive developments, Kramer acknowledges that the clawback policy remains a primary concern for the broking industry. This policy, which allows lenders to reclaim part of a broker’s commission if the loan is repaid early, is an unchangeable reality.

However, Kramer suggests that brokers should adapt to this policy by consistently enhancing and exceeding customer expectations.

“This involves providing timely, high-quality responses and execution, offering valuable and relevant insights, and delivering ongoing customer support both before and after the sale,” she said.

Interestingly, Kramer points out that the clawback policy can indirectly promote excellence in customer satisfaction.

“Brokers face the risk of losing business if they fail to provide prompt responses and offer substandard lending solutions,” she said.

A challenging experience and a lesson learned

Kramer shares a challenging experience that underscores the complexities of the broking industry.

A few weeks ago, her firm secured an exclusive deal with a non-bank lender, offering a highly competitive interest rate. One of her clients, who qualified for this Easy refinance, was set to reduce her mortgage rate by over 120 basis points.

However, after submitting the application, Kramer was informed that the deal could not proceed because both financial institutions shared the same funding source — a detail not included in the lender’s checklist.

Despite a series of high-level discussions and interventions, a favourable outcome was not achieved for the client.

“This experience serves as an important lesson: in the future, we must ensure that checking the funding source is part of our criteria,” she said. “This should be incorporated not only for our own organisation, but also for our non-bank lenders.”

Advice for aspiring brokers

For individuals aspiring to become brokers or those new to broking, Kramer stressed the importance of planning and target market strategy.

“Being a broker is akin to running your own business,” she said. “It demands a meticulously crafted plan before entering the industry.”

According to her, properly sourcing a database and establishing robust pipelines are crucial for ensuring the sustainability of the business, and maintaining a consistent stream of quality leads is one of the most challenging aspects of the brokerage industry.

“This requires identifying target market channels and tapping into various avenues to expand your clientele,” she added. “Moreover, prudent time management, strong execution, and diligent relationship development are essential ingredients for success.”

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