Support to deal with life’s challenges and a deep dive into broker business models

Man watching an AFG webinar

Did you happen to miss our March 2022 Broker Insights webinar? Check out our summary of the session!

Our second monthly Broker Insights webinar for 2022 kicked off on Monday, 21 March, with a variety of essential topics for brokers.

This month’s webinar featured an impressive lineup of industry experts sharing the screen.

Here is just a small taster of some of the engaging topics that our guest speakers discussed this month:

Looking after the mental health of our brokers

Our first guest presenters were Rick Osypenko and Dr John McManus from Mind & Matter, who provide mental health services to our brokers through our AFG Broker Assistance Program (BAP).

Mind & Matter support our brokers and their staff who are dealing with some of the many challenges thrown at them over the last few years and months.

John discussed some of the common issues that Mind & Matter are seeing reoccurring across clients using their services, primarily how the COVID-19 pandemic and current world events have affected people’s mental health.

“(COVID) has really impacted people. There’s been all the pressures around, there have been things like homeschooling, pressures at home, anxiety that’s given rise, depression has been part of the story. Just recently, there’s been a real upset about things like flooding and what’s happening in the Ukraine.” John said.

“So then, reaching out to a service like ours, can be a really good thing to do, just to have a discussion, offload a little bit and look at some strategies that might help that person get back on track.”

Rick then spoke about how stigmas around mental health have shifted over time and how this has helped to break down barriers so that people feel more comfortable accessing support.
“Sometime people do just need to have that one intervention. Sometimes people will determine through strength vs. weakness. Thankfully that’s getting a bit in the past, people are recognising that, particularly with publicity about ‘just reaching out’ and the “RUOK” movement and governments getting on board. In other words, normalising it. (Mental health issues) can happen at any time throughout (people’s) lives.”

As John explained, sessions with Mind & Matter are treated with the utmost anonymity and confidentiality.

“The centerpiece of our work with people in the workplace is confidentiality. Nobody needs to hear about it at all, and they don’t hear about it. Your own personal and private information is protected. It’s just between the person having the consultation and the individual who’s attending.”

Mind & Matter have a variety of support options available for brokers and their staff by arrangement for a variety of work and personal issues, with many different specialists for different issues. In addition to this, they also offer additional services such as trauma response and 24/7 phone support.

To access support from Mind & Matter, AFG brokers can call the confidential 1800 number previously provided.

Broker business models: hearing it from the experts

The next part of the webinar featured four industry-leading brokers providing an inside look at how to build a successful business model.

The four guest speakers were Mark Kevin (Mortgage Advice Bureau), Jai Hobbs (Evolve), Kieran Jefferies (KJ & P Finance), and Katrina Rowlands (Mortgage Success).

Mark Kevin is a prolific broker with over 20 years’ experience in banking and finance. He is the Managing Director of Mortgage Advice Bureau in Sydney, who have over 150 international awards for exceptional advice standards through industry-leading brokers and technology. He was our first guest speaker, who talked about his early experience in other areas of financial services and how this informed his business approach.

“I had spent a 20-year corporate career in various financial disciplines (banking, life insurance, wealth management, financial planning and superannuation),” Mark said. “I was doing my MBA, finished that and I did so to climb the corporate ladder and did that. Then I realised I didn’t want to be there anymore.”

“I had this burning desire to build a business, and I was looking at this industry and the change that was going on, and I just saw a wonderful opportunity to build a business and help people… The way I was going to build my business was with a rolodex of 20 years in financial planning and wealth management, and my go-to was to talk to financial planners and accountants and building off that, which accelerated our growth since we started.”

We then turned to Kieran Jeffries, who is the business owner and broker for KJ & P Finance in the Greater Brisbane Area. He is embedded in his community, with excellent referral sources and great customer rapport. Kieran was thinking about whether he wanted to write loans for the rest of his life or whether he wanted to build a business before deciding to switch up his business model.

“I just thought to myself, I can keep writing the big numbers, but you still need to have that time out and the mental capacity to be able to do it. I just thought if I’m going to build, I’m going to have to scale. For me to scale, I currently need to find a medium-sized broker who is content with $40-60 million per year.”

Katrina Rowlands has a business based in Wollongong and Alstonville (near Ballina) and has been a highly successful mortgage broker for over two decades. In her career she has settled over $2 billion in loans, which is made even more impressive that a lot of her work has been in regional centres where loan sizes are generally much smaller. She spoke about the 50-300 rule, the idea that when starting a broker business, the first 50 clients are the hardest to obtain and when you have 300 settled clients you have built a business that “cannot be knocked over, it is then sustainable for life.”

“The first 50 clients are a learning curve, and you will make mistakes, that grows confidence. Once you get to 300 that organic growth is always the key, as well as relationship building, processes and practices. You learn really quickly, when you get to 300 what you don’t want to do four times! You start going from having a go to actually having a career and having a business.”

She also revealed what she feels is at the heart of her enormous success as a broker.
“The secret for me is just always being willing to modify and be dynamic. It doesn’t always mean that what you did before was a failure, it just means there is a better way of doing things. Constant change is my friend.”

Lastly, we heard from Jai Hobbs. Jai is the founder of Evolve, and has over 16 years’ experience in finance, business and property investing. He talked about the idea of rebuilding a business once you’ve become established and when to make that decision.

“People who want to go down the line of being a principal broker – that’s a good business model that creates a good cash flow. However, there’s always the challenge of ‘where do we want to go to next.’ It is all about identifying and understanding your skill set. If you’re a sole broker you’ve got a lot of things to do, but if you’ve got a bigger business, you’ve also got a lot to do – things don’t get easier, they just get different.”

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.


Register for the webinar today

Anyone who is not signed up to watch the webinar can join in and listen! Over 900 leading brokers nationally have already registered for their monthly dose of relevant industry content and updates, in 60 action-packed minutes.

Each month’s webinar is devoted to tackling a different topical issue with the help of industry leaders, brokers, and AFG staff.

Register for Broker Insights here.

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