Top 100 Brokers 2016 - 6 JOSH BARTLETT

Contact Information
Loan Market
Cheltenham, Vic
Aggregator: Loan Market
Total value of residential loans FY2015/16: $166,000,000
Total number of residential loans FY2015/16: 390

Currently Australia’s most decorated franchise broker, Bartlett has been in the spotlight for so long it’s surprising to learn that this is his first year in the Top 10. It’s been a long-held ambition of his. “When I started five years ago I kept looking at these MPA results and thinking, ‘You know what, I can do that’.”

Much of Bartlett’s approach to broking has been extensively discussed: his alliances with real estate agents, his referral tracking apps. But less is known about his use of support staff. Bartlett has three loan processors, one tracker and a part-time prospector, and he’s aiming to grow this group. “Every year my whole goal, as soon as my trail goes up, is to hire more people.”

The goal of hiring staff is to allow Bartlett to do what he does best. “If I’m doing things that aren’t sitting in front of people, then I’m not creating business.”

That means not only client interviews but making the initial contact with referred clients. “A lot of brokers who do get busy get their PAs to make those phone calls … my team are so skilled at what they do that it allows me to make that phone call to that client.”

Bartlett’s team can handle processing and client contact after the initial interview, and he intends to upskill them further, to keep the team motivated. Additionally, having built up a level of trust among referral partners, Bartlett doesn’t need to sit down with them so regularly. These developments have allowed him to change the ratio of effort to outcome. “A lot of brokers say, ‘I don’t want to work as hard as you’… but I can assure you, once it gets to a certain stage, say $150m, we work just as hard as a $50m writer or a $70m writer; it’s just that we have more support … I wrote $166m easier than I wrote $70m.”

Rather than waiting for the trail income to build, new brokers should hire staff now, Bartlett believes, and more experienced brokers should concentrate on training their staff. Changing one’s mindset is hard but necessary, Bartlett concludes. “I sometimes stress if my phone’s not ringing, but if my phone’s not ringing, my staff are doing their job.”