Home The Voyage Diary Brokers have a lot of haters (Episode 1 – The Voyage Diary Aug 2017)

Brokers have a lot of haters (Episode 1 – The Voyage Diary Aug 2017)

by alex brownbill

Ok, this is a new thing – a monthly chronicle of our journey to business success or failure. Join Matt and I as we attempt to blow up our company – but will it be an implosion of our reputations, finances and business? Or an explosion of clients, success and revenue?

I’m going to start sharing what worked and what didn’t so that if you EVER go in to business, you’ll have a sense of the ride.

Did anyone say it’s getting tougher to be a mortgage broker?!

Well, they’d be right and wrong. Right because:

  • Broking volumes in WA are down about 40% in the past few years.
  • Lending restrictions have made it tougher on investors (these restrictions have been put in place to dampen the east coast market, but do very little for the Perth environment).
  • The Perth market is in a slump anyway (we’re off just over 10% since the 2014 high).
  • Broking commissions are getting the thrice over from ASIC. The model (which seems to have worked pretty well so far) has been getting slammed by Choice, media pundits and various lenders (who are just annoyed they have to actually remain competitive and have an industry holding them to account – not that it’s affecting their profits!).
  • People seem to just love bashing brokers! We’re all super dodgy spruikers ripping off pensioners and putting people into loans that are too high. Sydney and Melbourne’s insane property prices were basically put at the feet of brokers in an ABC 4 Corners report a few weeks ago.
  • Online lenders and tech advancements are slowly starting to bite on the bread and butter for most brokers – PAYG clients with plenty of cash.


They’d be wrong because:


  • IT’S ALL MINDSET BABY (Business owners are the eternal optimists!)
  • These conditions kick the weak to the kerb, leaving the ones who stay close to their clients (wink!) to gather the shattered lives of those left without their broker.


About 3 years ago I foresaw some of the issues we’re now seeing, which is why I partnered up with Matt to provide financial planning as well.


We’re still offering amazing service for your home loans, but we’re starting a pivot towards financial planning as a hedge against further negative developments in broking as well as to enable the spread of financial advice (which we think is critical to EVERY Australian!).


In August (as we have been for the last year), we have continued to refine our online financial planning services. We believe they are very good.


The problem is, we can’t figure out how to market the damn thing! I have unsuccessfully tried to turn myself from broker and adviser to marketer, but in the last week have admitted defeat. We’re going to get someone in to help us.


We have a plan that will mean a new marketing concept will be launched at the beginning of October. This means all marketing efforts have currently ceased and it’s driving me a little crazy because I feel like we have no momentum at this very moment in time!! It’s ok though, that will ALL change very soon!


What worked:

  • We’ve invested a significant sum to bring in the expertise that I have been trying to master.

What didn’t work:

  • My August marketing efforts.
  • Our monthly strategy meetings now have only one goal – figure out how to get people onto our online workshop. It’s getting kinda boring.
  • One of the KEY rules in business is to double down on what you’re good at and find someone who is the strength to your weakness. This is a MAJOR issue for me. I don’t trust anyone. That’s why I’ve spent all this year trying to master marketing myself. Well, it hasn’t worked and even though we’re spending money bringing someone in, I may have cost us MORE money through the lack of clients my efforts have yielded.


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