Mortgage brokers have an opportunity to “own” the space of being educators on property as an asset class, YBR chairman Mark Bouris has said in a webinar marking National Finance Brokers Day.
Speaking yesterday (19 August) in a webinar for the fifth annual National Finance Brokers Day, the executive chairman of franchise brokerage Yellow Brick Road, Mark Bouris, outlined that he believed that brokers need to position themselves as being well versed in all aspects of property investment.
Mr Bouris noted that the role of brokers had changed over his career, stating: “Brokers have evolved from where they were in the days when I established Wizard. [Back then], we were basically just pass-throughs. You came into the office, and we gave you a loan. The approval process was very simple, very fast, very efficient. And we asked hardly any questions and all it was about was you getting it done.”
He continued that he believed mortgage brokers had now become much closer to advisers and could do more to educate buyers on property: “I think all the brokers who are listening to this, if you are talking to your clients, you must remember one thing is that you… should use all the mediums – social mediums, emails, text, telephones etc – to talk to your clients and educate them.”
According to Mr Bouris, brokers have an opportunity to position themselves as the go-to knowledge source for all property buyers and should spend time and effort tracking trends and analysing property buying behaviours to better service their clients.
“The most important thing is we need to talk to our clients about property as an asset class that gives you yield. Even if it’s an owner-occupier home, there is yield involved [because] there is an assumption that the property will go up in value over time. Or if you are an investor, you get rent yield out of it etc.
“So, property must be looked at as an asset class. And if you’re a broker, you need to be communicating to your client base about this asset class. And you need, therefore, to understand about this asset class and the drivers of this asset class,” he told viewers of the Experience the Broker Effect webinar.
Mr Bouris continued: “We’re all interested in whether the property market is going up or down… So, if you’re addressing your client, you need to be able to have a conversation with your client, and you need to be able to talk, not necessarily as an expert, but with knowledge and confidence about that particular asset class.”
He concluded: “There has been a change in the way we live our lives and our working lives in particular [due to COVID-19]. I think that you as a broker need to be very clear on your ability to express how important it is to invest in property today because of the changing ways people are going to live their lives for the future and the need for people to own their own home and/or have an investment property.
“I think one of the greatest things that is going to come out of COVID is a far greater appreciation of the value of having your own digs and doing things in your own place that allow you the flexibility to work from home etc. I really think that’s very, very important, and you, as a broker, need to understand this stuff.
“[People] can go and talk to a stock broker about stocks [because] they are specialist in that asset class. [They] can talk to financial planners about other asset classes that they may be experts in. But really, this is an area that brokers can own. They can own this [space] and be someone that the client can have a conversation with about [their] aspirations in relation to this asset class.”
As such the YBR executive chairman urged brokers to liaise with economists, buyer’s agents, real estate agents and other “experts” and then share their insights with the public to ensure that brokers remain the trusted channel of choice.
The webinar, organised by the founder of National Finance Brokers Day (NFBD) and sponsored by Clear Credit Solutions, also heard from two leading brokers – Infinity Group’s Graeme Holm and Astute Ability Group’s Mhairi MacLeod.
Mr Holm provided a presentation on how he had helped borrowers pay off a 30-year mortgage in under 10 years, while Ms MacLeod showcased why brokers can help deliver extraordinary results and the importance of providing financial literacy education to the next generation of home buyers.
Speaking to The Adviser about the national awareness day, Dino Pacella, the founder of the event and new national manager of partner acquisition for Marketplace finance, said: “The objective of NFBD has always been to raise awareness of brokers throughout the Australian market and this year’s day is no different.
“However the live summit was aimed at giving everyone who has been involved within the broking industry – either as a professional who works within the broking channel or as a consumer – access to not only three talented individuals in Mark Bouris, Mhairi MacLeod and Graeme Holm, but provide some real value during these challenging times.”
Mr Pacella concluded: “We aren’t alone, and brokers want to help, they want to educate. They live and breathe finance.
“It’s why brokers commence a new relationship as a finance broker but become that trusted go-to adviser for consumers.”