What does it take to be a top broker?

Manshil Krishna, director and senior financial advisor at Benchmark Mortgages, was recently named among this year's Top 25 Brokers. In this edition of NZ Adviser TV, he talks about his story, specialisms and how he builds strong relationships with clients to keep them coming back.

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Kylie Speer  00:00:07 Hello and welcome to New Zealand Advisor TV. I'm Kylie Speer and joining me today is Manshil Krishna, Director at Benchmark Mortgages. Manshil has been named amongg New Zealand Advisor's Top 25 Brokers for 2024. Welcome to you, Manshil, congratulations. And thank you for joining us today. 

Manshil Krishna  00:00:28 Thank you, Kylie. It's a pleasure being here today. 

Kylie Speer  00:00:31 Well, firstly, Manshil, what can you tell us about your brokerage and what they do to becoming an advisor? 

Manshil Krishna  00:00:39 Yes, so Benchmark Mortgages, we started the company about two years ago. So it's relatively quite new in the New Zealand market. But within this timeframe, we've done well, you know, we won the New Zealand advisor award this year, which is a great accomplishment for the for the firm. So pretty much what we do is we cater for all clients, whether they be first time buyers, seasonal property investors, or even mom and dad's looking to get into the property market. In terms of my passion to becoming an advisor, it started when I started working for one of the main banks in New Zealand. So I worked for three of the four big four banks in New Zealand. And pretty much it was one of my roles as a home loan specialist. Lea, I dealt with a lot of customers who came you know, they're really excited buying their first house. And then when you discuss the loan to get, you know, they get really excited that one want to know the whole process. And when they actually purchased that first house, the joy and excitement they have. That's pretty much what motivated me to becoming an advisor. And so far, it's been a great experience. I'm enjoying it and loving every moment of it. 

Kylie Speer  00:01:43 How do you keep clients informed of the best options in a changing market? 

Manshil Krishna  00:01:50 Yeah, so the key thing is pretty much keeping up to date with what's happening in the market, what you know, like, what the forecasts are, what's happening in the media, reading articles, blogs, especially in the current market in New Zealand, with what's happening with inflation. So a lot of our clients, you know, they look at social media, and they ask those questions. So what do you think has happened with interest rates, and you need to know, like, what's happening? Right there. And then, so, so yeah, pretty much keeping in tabs, and also, knowing what other banks offering and understanding what the client's needs are, because each client is different. So you can just like benchmark them into a particular category. Some have different goals, some of like short term goals, which they want to achieve, some have long term goals. So I guess the key things is knowing the market and also understanding your customer. And that's why I think benchmark mortgages is good, we will, unlike larger firms, we give that personalized service, we really try to understand what our client is trying to achieve. So we don't just offer a like a standard product, we try go into detail and explain why we offering it. Obviously, interest rates, low interest rates, everyone wants that on the market. But that's not the only thing. There's a lot more we can offer in terms of the supply service. And also, we take a holistic approach. We just don't think about mortgages, we refer them to all other external partners, which are well partners, insurance partners, even lawyers, or even builders, so we try to give them out easier service, are they you know, access to all the professionals?  

Kylie Speer  00:03:21 Speaking of what you offer? Do you specialize in a specific mortgage type or offer a wider range?  

Manshil Krishna  00:03:29 Yes, so we don't have actually a niche product we offer. So we look up to first time buyers, property developers are building four or five houses six houses, we do construction funding. So we we personalize our service, like I said before, so with first time buyers, we guide them through the whole process, we explain everything because they're quite new. So we understand that. So you know, we don't rush them into anything we take our time. We sit down with them. And they do have a lot of questions because they're really excited, which is fair enough. So in without investors, they like the numbers, they want to see what their returns are. So we give them like a breakdown or prospectus on how the investment would be. So So to answer your question, we pretty much look after pretty much all the broad aspects of mortgages, first homes, refinances, construction loans, and even development funding. 

Kylie Speer  00:04:18 How do you build strong relationships to keep clients coming back?  

Manshil Krishna  00:04:22 Yes, I, the key thing would bench buy mortgages does is we keep them updated throughout the process. So even even if they send an email, you know, we tend to respond within 24 hours. Even if we don't have an answer, we you know, we just say hey, we've got your email, we're looking into it. Other thing we do is we cater for the needs, we try to understand what they're trying to achieve. So obviously they want a mortgage. But But what's their goals? Like it could be their first home buyer. They want to get into the property market or they want to sell their house, they want to buy a new house. And then we ask this is a question We ask all our customers, what is your long term plan? What do you want out of the homepage in five to 10 years. And that pretty much gives us an opportunity to discuss the goals and structure the right way. Because we can give a mortgage product, and then in five years time, it might not suit the needs in, that's something we don't want for the client. So we try to understand what the long term goals are. And we try to align them to the right provider, and give them the right product from the start.  

Kylie Speer  00:05:28 And finally, man, so how do you view the current market? And what advice do you have for other advisors to help them thrive? 

Manshil Krishna  00:05:38 Yeah, so the current market is quite interesting, especially in New Zealand, given the current high interest rates, the banks test rates are quite high, which is making you don't getting loans approved quite difficult. But I think that's the key and having a mortgage advisor in this sort of environment. Because what we do, like, especially binge by mortgages, is we have access to over 20 lenders. So if a deal doesn't work with, let's say, one particular lender, we always have options. And that's the reason why we have quite a high success rate of approvals. So year to date, let's say 12 months, it's at about 98%. So when clients come to us, we find a way of getting loans approved, and we think outside the box as well. So you know, like if it's all working at a main bank, we will, we will find other ways of getting it done. And that's what something our clients really appreciate. Because we don't just stop trying, we keep trying until we achieve that result for them. For new advisors, like coming into the market, it is it is quite a tough market to come into. But one thing I would say is your existing clients, keep in touch with them, readily update them on the market as well. Because if you don't keep in touch with your clients, you know, there's lots of advisors out there. If someone else is providing the right service, they'll they'll go to another provider. So the key thing here is looking after your your customers.  

Kylie Speer  00:07:05 Well congratulations and thank you so much once again for your time today and man shell it was wonderful speaking with you. 

Manshil Krishna  00:07:13 No worries, Kylie, thanks for having me. It was great having to chat to you.  

Kylie Speer  00:07:16 And thank you, of course to our viewers for watching the latest episode of New Zealand Advisor TV. We look forward to seeing you again soon.