Location: Melbourne, Vic
ALIC has jumped two places from fourth in 2012 to second in this year’s Top 10 Independent Brokerages report. Managing director Jason Back offers his advice to aspiring brokers
What’s the secret to building a successful brokerage?
Passion and commitment is mandatory to succeed, and if you don’t have the time to put in, you will have a difficult time in the new broker space.
What are the advantages of being an independent brokerage?
The world is your oyster. Banks close up regularly due to funding issues etc., and franchises etc. can control you, so if you have some amazing ideas to assist the industry of broking, you can be very limited. You are also able to leverage your own brand and reputation.
How do you think independent brokerages can continue to thrive in today’s market?
By being entrepreneurial, like at ALIC we are purely an investment lending model and I feel this would have been hard to manage elsewhere. A broker is a broker? Well, we don’t believe you can think that way.
What advice would you offer to brokers who would like to set up an independent brokerage?
Definitely go at it alone if you are good at what you do. And something that will surprise you – referrals handed to you under a franchise model, for example, are overrated; you don’t need them if you have the skills.
What’s your strategy for generating new business?
Deal with the best clients possible and ensure they grow; if they grow, you will grow. Additionally, make everyone you deal with a success, and in turn what goes around comes around. Work your stakeholders and business partners hard for the benefit of the client.
What is the most important thing a broker can do to grow their business?
Choose your clients and the market you want to work in, and stay true to it. It’s a great industry to be in if you get this right and, as mentioned above, make everybody you contact a success.
What trends have you noticed this year? Have you had to adapt your business strategies to the market conditions?
Investors are very active, but the time will be limited in certain states in Australia. You need to have a national focus.
What are your goals and strategies for the year ahead?
To grow and edge a little closer to becoming the biggest independent brokerage in Australia, and to deepen our relationships with our amazing business partners who understand ALIC as a business. To deliver exceptional client service and be an employer of choice for brokers who want to be different and operational staff.
Have you diversified outside of mortgages? If so, how have you incorporated this into your business?
No, and the need to do it is not required when we hand out 1,200 referrals annually to our partners. Specialisation is the key to our success, and we really believe branching out your skill base can be a recipe for disaster if you want to be great at what you do. Revenue-wise it is great, but that really depends on what your motives are as a business operator, which can be skewed.
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