What is the mark of a good mortgage adviser?

Broker discusses what makes someone successful

What is the mark of a good mortgage adviser?

Being regarded as successful is subjective, with each individual holding their own definition of success.

However, for Kim Balasubramaniam​​​​ (pictured), senior mortgage broker at The Mortgage Mum, there is no better distinction than a client feeling better off for having spoken with their adviser.

What are the keys to success for a broker?

Balasubramaniam said achieving success does not come overnight, and it involves a combination of hard work, perseverance, and a thorough knowledge of the industry.

“One of the keys to success as a mortgage broker is the ability to build strong relationships with both clients and lenders,” she said.

This, she added, requires excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and a willingness to go above and beyond for clients.

“I believe my background in managing complex luxury events has put me in good stead as to being able to juggle the expectations of demanding clients, alongside managing good relationships,” Balasubramaniam said.

For clients, Balasubramaniam aims to simplify the complex and transform what can be a daunting experience into a transparent process tailored to their needs. 

“I empower them to be intentional about their property investment and encourage them to question their goals and think about the long-term prospects as much as the immediate future,” she said. It is also important, Balasubramaniam said, for a broker to build up a credible reputation as someone who dedicates time and effort to finding the right outcome.

Balasubramaniam said another useful application for brokers is to have a genuine interest in the market, which means staying informed on the latest trends and developments in the mortgage industry and wider economy is not a chore.

“From speaking at and attending conferences, networking with industry peers, contributing to team meetings, and keeping up with the latest news and trends, I believe they are a vital part of being a broker, and it is not just to get those CPD hours up,” she said.

What are the issues successful brokers must overcome?

For many, Balasubramaniam said, one of the biggest hurdles in the career of a broker is getting started.

“Certainly, changing my career in my 40s was not a decision I took lightly, and I wondered how this would affect both how I was seen in the industry and by clients,” she said.

Balasubramaniam challenged herself from the outside to say ‘yes’ to opportunities, however daunting they may be.

“This has led me to be featured in many media outlets, presenting at both industry and client events, and ultimately being promoted to senior broker within 12 months,” she said.

Balasubramaniam said that establishing a client base from scratch can also be daunting, particularly in a competitive and challenging market.

“I have invested a lot of time and effort into establishing myself and growing my audience but it certainly has not been easy; some months have been leaner than others, and without the backup of a historical pipeline, it has felt like an uphill struggle at times,” she said.

However, Balasubramaniam said she has always worked on the principle of quality over quantity, and has worked hard to build a loyal and engaged following on social media, which has seen the majority of her business now come from client referrals.

One piece of advice and word of warning, Balasubramaniam said, particularly in a turbulent market, is a broker could potentially never stop working.

“I made sure I was clear on my boundaries from the outset - that does not mean providing anything less than a stellar service to my clients, but being firm with what works for me and my family,” Balasubramaniam said.

Ultimately, she said this is what helps make the job work so well, the freedom and flexibility to cater for a positive work-life balance.

“My career and my family are both important to me, and I am looking forward with excitement to seeing what the future brings for each part of my life,” Balasubramaniam said.

What do you think makes a quality broker stand out from the crowd? Let us know in the comment section below.