The first in our series of monthly Broker Insights webinars for 2022 kicked off on Monday, 21 February, with a variety of essential topics for brokers.
Approximately 500 brokers attended the webinar to hear an impressive lineup of industry experts and AFG staff sharing the screen.
Here is just a small taster of some of the engaging topics that our guest speakers discussed:
Mike Felton (MFAA)
Our first guest presenter for February’s webinar was Mike Felton, Chief Executive Officer of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), who gave us his take on Labor’s stance heading into the Federal Election. Labor have stated that they will not be touching broker commissions and supporting our current model.
“It’s great to get those public comments from the Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Stephen Jones, that they’re comfortable with our current structures, and they have no intent to change them,” Mike said. “It is pleasing to see them articulating that publicly now in the lead up to a Federal Election, which of course needs to occur by 21 of May this year.”
On the other side of the political fence, Mike also discussed the Liberals leading up to the election and their continued support of our industry throughout their term.
“The Federal Government continues to be strongly supportive of our industry, the competition and the choice that it drives,” Mike said.
Phil Waugh (NAB)
Phil Waugh, Executive, Broker Distribution of NAB talked about his new role leading the broker team.
Before entering into the world of banking, Phil was a professional rugby player, with 136 matches for the NSW Waratahs and 79 for the Wallabies, including time as Captain and Vice-Captain.
“In my Rugby career, culture was everything, and I’m definitely bringing this forward in my role at NAB,” Phil said.
In his new role at NAB, Phil is also utilising his previous experiences working in the financial sector to shape his team culture.
“I came to NAB from Westpac, where I ran their COVID-19 response unit, which was an enormous amount of work in mobilising people to be agile,” he said. “One key benefit of the pandemic has been the advancements made in technology and being more flexible in how brokers operate while working from home.”
Shirley Elliot (AFG)
Our National Compliance Manager, Shirley Elliot, spoke to us about what is important for brokers to focus on regarding compliance for the year ahead, including a reminder about reporting breaches.
“Breach reporting started on the 1 of October,” she said. “Whilst the regulators have been saying that a lot of reports have been coming through, just always remember that you need a solid policy and process to identify, report and remediate breaches within your license.”
Them Lam and Joseph Khal (AFG)
Them Lam (National Manager – Strategic Partners and Recruitment) and Joseph Khal (Head of Broker Experience) gave us a few quick tips on how AFG’s recent acquisition of BrokerEngine can benefit brokers, based on the growth they’re currently seeing within the industry:
- Them: “A lot of brokers are moving from broker to business owner. They’re needing to add resources, which could mean either people or better tools to help them facilitate managing people. By acquiring BrokerEngine recently, we’ve allowed for a lot of the pain points in workflow to be removed.”
- Joseph: “One of the biggest call-outs with BrokerEngine is, not only is it a workflow and process management tool, you can manage your time, manage your team, manage your performance and also upskill people pretty quickly.”
- Them: “A lot of data is being passed from BrokerEngine into Flex, and as we migrate over to the new system that data is just going to get stronger and stronger.”
Eliza Owen (CoreLogic)
Our last guest speaker for the event was Eliza Owen, Head of Residential Research at CoreLogic, who gave a very detailed update on the housing market landscape.
Here are a few key takeaways from her presentation:
- Residential real estate in Australia is currently valued at $9.7 trillion, with 10.7 million dwellings around the country and $2.0 trillion in outstanding mortgage debt.
- Commercial real estate in Australia is currently valued at $1.1 trillion.
- In the 12 months to January 2022, dwelling value hit a new cyclical high of 22.4%, with price growth expected to slow throughout 2022.
- Stretched housing affordability is a major factor contributing to the slow-down in some cities across Australia, particularly Sydney, where some first home buyers are having to make a choice between density (such as getting an apartment instead) or distance far away from the central business district in order to afford a house.
- Clearance rates and auction volume have seen robust results already throughout the start of 2022.
- Many institutions do not see it likely that there will be a downturn in housing values until 2023.
I missed the session, what do I do?
If you’re an AFG broker, remember that you can catch-up on this edition, and hear more essential insights from this impressive array of guest speakers by watching the recording here.
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Each month’s webinar is devoted to tackling a different topical issue with the help of industry leaders, brokers, and AFG staff.