While there are no silver bullets to becoming a successful new broker, the mentoring and learning process will play a crucial role, says Bernard Desmond, winner of the 'So You Think You Can Broker' social media competition by National Finance Brokers' Day.
In a new interview series titled 'MFAA Groundbreakers', the MFAA spoke to Bernard Desmond about his fears and aspirations of the new job, and how he deals with them.
MFAA: Why did you choose broking as your next career step?
BD: Having worked as a bank mobile lender for over 10 years, across three continents including Dubai, India and Australia, I knew I had a passion to help clients with their single biggest financial and emotional investment - their goal towards home ownership.
It was a natural progression for me to choose to become a broker as I wanted to stay relevant to today's customers. I wanted to be 'diligent' and 'thorough' in my offering to my clients and I wanted to work for them as an expert in finding the right solution to meet their immediate and long-term goals.
I knew mortgage broking was the way forward. It is a rewarding career and I think there is potential for the industry to be future-proofed.
MFAA: What were the key challenges that you thought you would face as a new broker?
BD: There is a lot to learn and get across before you can become a great mortgage broker. I made it simple by writing my challenges down, then my next step was to find the right answers:
Who will educate me, motivate me and keep me updated? - I knew I had to find a reliable mentor. I took my time to research and found Therese O'Neil at AlphaBroker Mentoring. She shared the same passion as I did for achieving excellence. We, also, hit it off from day one.
Who will help refer me to my next customer? - I wanted to align myself with a reputable, innovative, quality brand. My bottom line was to match my abilities and provide unique services to a brand to help them enhance their customer experiences. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of Porter Davis Group, one of Victoria's most reputable brand names.
MFAA: How do you feel about your decision to move to broking?
BD: Easily, the best decision I have made. I know this is a profession that would get me out of bed every day. I'm excited and can't wait to see how my journey as a mortgage broker unfolds.
I am confident that I am here to stay and I am here to make a difference. There is no looking back and I have put everything that I have into this major decision to shape my future.
MFAA: What do you think it takes to become successful in this industry?
BD: I think having a trustworthy mentor who shares the same values towards client servicing is important. The learning process will be tough so the learning and mentoring experience is a crucial factor in adopting new business processes and driving my ambition to bring value to my clients.
As one of my favourite quotes from Richard Branson goes: "The missing link between a promising businessman and a successful businessman is often a good mentor."
MFAA: How do you see the future of the industry?
BD: People are becoming increasingly busy in today's fast-paced lifestyle and are looking to engage with specialist business professionals. They value, flexibility, agility and responsiveness when it really matters. Clients want reliable but frank advice, but most importantly they want to feel valued and be provided with a genuine service. It's comparable to going to a good solicitor or a good doctor.
I believe mortgage broking has a great future ahead. It will take over the mortgage distribution space as today's customers need CARE.
I use the acronym: CARE which, to me, means:
C - Choice
A - Advice
R - Research
E - Education
A good broker will always CARE for his/her customers. From my experience, when you do CARE you will get repeat customers and great word-of-mouth referrals from your partners.
While there will be challenges to the learning pathway to becoming a good broker, you don't have to do it alone. Put your professional career in the right hands and speak to your local MFAA accredited mentor to learn how to build your business success.