How competitive is the life of a mortgage broker?
Whenever a business is booming, more people want to join it - something mortgage brokers will know all about. The most recent data from the ABS Labour Force survey shows 25,400 people were employed as financial brokers in 2015, with the numbers projected to hit 30,300 by 2020.
Apart from growth in their numbers, what is contributing to increased competition among brokers?
Changing economic and political tides
At any given time, there is a fixed number of people in the country that are potential property buyers. When unemployment and job insecurity increase, and housing affordability decreases, the pool of potential buyers - and therefore customers - shrinks.
It's important to stay abreast of economic conditions, as they directly influence the pool of potential customers. If you're finding it hard to get customers but unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high and housing has become more affordable, you'll know the problem is something specific to your business and not an industry wide problem.
Government action on the way brokers are paid may also be imminent, following the Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration undertaken by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) earlier this year. Submissions to Treasury in response have been made by industry bodies and consumer advocacy groups, but the timeline in which changes may be implemented has not yet been announced.
The advance of technology
Mortgage brokers don't only have to compete with other mortgage brokers - they also have to compete with new technologies. Aggregator websites allow consumers to compare different loans against each other. These may prove a challenge to compete with, but savvy brokers will be up to the task. An IBISWorld report on mortgage brokers in Australia pointed out that brokers have a distinct advantage they can capitalise on, in that they bring a personal approach to advising a client in ways that a website can't.
How can you stand out as a mortgage broker?
While many of the challenging factors involved in increased competition are not under your control, there are a few things you can do to make yourself different from your competitors.
The first is being easy to contact. Emails can go days without seeing a response, which is a frustrating experience, especially when you're a customer. Endeavour to reply within 24 hours of receiving them. Another is to have a social media presence. To many, sending a business a message on Facebook is easier than sending an email. It's simply another potential avenue for generating leads.
Joining a broker's group like Red Rock might be just the boost your career has been looking for. To find out more about what we can do for you, request a free information pack. It contains all the things you would want to know about the services we provide.