We don’t like to make blanket statements at AFG. Our industry works in facts, figures and codes. But the words being used to describe AFG’s National Broker Conference 2017 are worth sharing here and the 1,150 who attended will confirm them:
- An industry first
- The largest gathering ever of mortgage brokers in Australia
- Insights from ASIC to help future proof your business
- Networking opportunities to meet and learn from other successful brokers
- The introduction of Australia’s first smart commercial lodgement portal, AFG Business
With so many people flying in from all over the country, the check-in time was a mix of brokers catching up, networking with lender partners, tired post-flight eyes heading straight for the coffee cart and plenty of exchanging of agendas for the afternoon.
Rob Carlton’s welcome to the conference was heard throughout the venue with our brokers always appreciative of Rob’s intricate knowledge of the industry and his ability to apply this to all aspects of his role as MC.
Thursday provided a smorgasbord of content for attendees, providing the chance to choose from eight different breakout sessions. Topics ranged from insights into Olympic competition with swimmer Cate Campbell, motivation techniques from the World Champion surfer Layne Beachley through to economic and business updates from lenders, and a change management session with TED speaker Marty Wilson.
All of the business breakout sessions were standing room only and the applause could be heard throughout the venue at the end of each session. These times also presented a great opportunity for brokers to speak to AFG’s Executive and Directors, with many taking advantage of the chance. Hearing the strategy for the business from our CEO is an opportunity that as any AFG staff member will tell you, is not to be missed.
Friday followed with a full day of conferencing content and, once again, the coffee cart was fuelling some energetic discussion, or in Jeff Kennett’s case – perhaps debate.
Highlights of Friday included:
David Bailey, AFG’s CEO
David Bailey took the audience through our plans for AFG’s future and helped our brokers get to know him better. Not only did we all learn that David’s 12-year-old batting average was abysmal, but we also heard about his passion for CX (customer experience) and advocacy for the broker channel.
David Bailey – really appreciate what this man is doing for our industry and us as brokers.
– AFG broker
Keiran Evans, AFG’s General Manager – Commercial
Keiran Evans introduced the conference to AFG Business, the Australian first in smarter commercial lodgements. Keiran’s knowledge of the commercial space is an asset to all AFG brokers and his contribution to AFG Business is helping us to shape the future of this diversification initiative.
AFG Business looks like a game changer, cannot wait until this is rolled out. Will help my business a lot!
– AFG broker
Peter Kell, ASIC’s Deputy Chair
Peter Kell explained topics currently under the ASIC spotlight in human speak. Peter won the crowd over with his personable presentation and the feedback from our brokers was overwhelmingly appreciative. Peter also put forward suggestions for our brokers on how they can work towards positive consumer outcomes and protect their business, encouraging them to “prove how you deliver great outcomes for your customers.”
Brokers can help to match the needs of a consumer with the right product and lender.
– Peter Kell on the function and benefits of mortgage brokers.
Hon. Jeff Kennett AC, former Premier of Victoria and founding Chairman of beyondblue
The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC charged the stage and had the audience in awe through his entire presentation. Jeff helped the room to understand how to prepare themselves and their staff for change. His time on stage finished with questions from the audience with his honest and frank answers resulting in the room erupting in laughter. Jeff challenged the perceptions and predetermined attitudes to change of the audience, reminding them that resilience takes training and preparation. Jeff’s positive influence on the management of AFG resulted in a new AFG initiative launched on the same day, Healthy State of Mind.
When properly structured and conditioned, we will all get through change. Preparation is key in challenging times.
– The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC on how business professionals can get themselves and their staff through change.
Andre Eikmeier, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Joint CEO of Vinomofo
In his laconic, laidback manner, Andre Eikmeier shared with us the failures, triumphs and learnings that have shaped his disruptive wine business into one of Australia’s fastest-growing start-up success stories. The audience enjoyed listening to his personal story of resilience and never giving up, attributes that we can all apply to our every day.
Andre’s story showed how persistence and self-belief can really pay off.
– AFG broker
Dr Catriona Wallace, Founder and CEO of FinTech company Flamingo
Catriona Wallace is a customer experience futurist, and she took the audience on a ride into the future, as she ran us through how customer experience technology may change the face of the finance industry. With predictions that by 2022, 30% of customer interactions in financial services will be conducted by machines, Catriona made us think about how our industry could be impacted.
Having an interest in technology and its role in the workplace, I found Dr Wallace’s presentation fascinating.
– AFG broker.
At the Conference evening functions, the attendees placed the formalities of the daytime business sessions aside for a few hours of reward and recognition, and to do what many considered was one of the most valuable aspects of the Conference – networking and the opportunity it provided to share ideas, learn new things and get a better understanding of how fellow brokers operate their business.
The social gatherings were invaluable for networking. New relationships were forged and many ideas were shared.
– AFG broker.
On the final night, the inaugural National Broker Conference culminated in the presentation of the following awards to our high achieving brokers throughout the country:
Brokers of the Year
Broker Groups of the Year
AFG Champion Broker 2016/2017 – The Bradley McGougan Memorial Award
Paul Miron – Strategic Financing, NSW
It was certainly an excellent two days packed full of content and the huge amount of positive response we have received is overwhelming. Our events team are reviewing all of the feedback provided by athe attendees to ensure that the next AFG National Broker Conference continues to meet the needs of our members.
There were mixed feelings at breakfast on the final morning with many lamenting the end of the Conference they’d enjoyed so much.
When large groups of our brokers gather, the comradery, spirit and supportive discussions are unrivalled in their ability to help businesses grow. The passion of our brokers continues to amaze us, their thirst for great outcomes for their customers and their advocacy for the industry is impressive.
We look forward to sharing the details of 2018’s AFG National Broker Conference with you in the future. See you there!