Mortgage Choice Cheltenham
“A lot of our business is from existing clients and referrals,” explains Shaun Curtis, who is presently running Mortgage Choice Cheltenham. As the numbers of first home buyers drop off in the Melbourne suburb, regular investor clients have become more and more important. Keeping them there, and drawing on their connections, is central to the brokerage’s strategy.
This starts with processing: “We like to track the application right through to completion, and even if the loan didn’t settle, we like to send a little survey out to find out if we can improve in any way”. The office’s three support staff play a highly important role in this; after the broker has sold the loan, the support staff deal directly with clients as well as the broker.
During the application period, support staff touch base with clients every day. Strangely enough, this policy actually reduces their workload, according to Curtis: “if you don’t contact them, they get nervous and contact the office, and you have the phone ringing all day.” This level of hands-on interaction pays off; often it’s the support staff who get the thank-you cards from customers.
This active approach to relationship maintenance also extends to the brokerage’s marketing strategy, which is heavily sponsorship-driven. They sponsor local football club Carrum Patterson Lakes (and do so seriously, attending every home game), as well as the local Baden Powell Cricket Club. Sports sponsorships can have knock-on benefits, says Curtis. “Through the footie club, we got exposure in the local newspaper, with the logo on the back on the jumper, and it definitely made people aware we were in the local area.”
Financial planning is the team’s focus for 2015; they only recently acquired an in-house planner, so they want to reach out to potential clients. “As for the holy grail of settlements,” Curtis concludes, “there’s always room for improvements there.”