Editor's Letter: Brokers at their best

What I learned from interviewing the MPA Top 10 brokers in the country

Editor's Letter: Brokers at their best

Many industries could probably learn a lot from broking. It’s an industry that stormed onto the scene as a disruptor in the 1990s; went through growing pains yet still weathered the GFC; met with change and continues to be confronted by it; faced off­ against the big banks and has seen exponential growth and sharp scrutiny; and is now the channel of choice for more than half of consumers.

And through it all, its participants have prevailed, and thrived, as this year’s Top 100 listing shows.

Our Top 100 may be writing much more than the average broker, but they’re still feeling the pinch from tighter lending standards, drawn-out decision-making and sometimes ludicrous exemptions. Nevertheless, no matter how hard it gets, these people absolutely love what they do. That’s my big takeaway after interviewing the Top 10 brokers on this year’s listing.

Despite the complexities and uncertainties in the present market, they’ve become even more motivated to work harder, train more and refi ne their processes and procedures. These heavy-hitters may be operating brokerages that are systematic and methodical, but they are in no way mechanical. In fact, the Top 10 were exceedingly friendly, humorous and eager to share what they’d learned. I can see why customers like them.

Although these brokers are extremely time-poor business owners, my 15-minute phone interviews with them often stretched into 40-minute conversations. Not only did they reveal their thoughts on the challenges they’d encountered and how they’d harnessed their teams, but they also told me about their families and hobbies, and whether they’d achieved any semblance of work-life balance. The answer on the latter is: it’s a mixed bag.

This life isn’t for everyone. Some brokers don’t aspire to write even $150m a year, and that’s OK. What this report is meant to showcase is what drives these individuals to reach such great heights – and how they got there. The journey isn’t easy, but if there’s one thing that can be learned, it’s that resilience, hard work and passion go a long way.

Otiena Ellwand