Many brokers are dubious about outsourcing their business activity – except when it comes to marketing – one leading broker claimed recently.
Speaking with The Adviser, managing director and financial and lending adviser at Afirm Financial, Leon Spadavecchia, said while it is important that brokers maintain control over all facets of their business, marketing could be successfully outsourced.
“All enquiries, loan processing and post-settlement service is handled in-house,” he said.
“We have doubled our admin team to accommodate a heavy workload, allowing us to maintain control, producing efficiencies in our operation.”
Mr Spadavecchia said marketing ‘isn’t his forte’ and he would rather have professionals look after it.
“Delivering superior customer service is paramount and we achieve this by knowing our customers intimately as opposed to outsourcing,” he said.
Neil Christie from Aussie employs the services of a processor to help collate supporting documents for applications.
“By doing this it makes my business more efficient and also complements my skills, which is writing loans. Without my processor I wouldn’t be able to see the number of clients that I do within a week as my time would be bogged down in phone calls and emails to our panel of 19 lenders.”
However, director of xSource, Dalibor Ivkovic told The Adviser that brokers were a ‘mixed bag’ when it came to outsourcing.
“We definitely see a clear divide within brokers,” he said. “There are ones who are really reluctant to give away control of any of the files that they are managing, even if it’s a lodgement or a follow-up list. They’re happy to keep it all in-house and perhaps employ a full-time person or do it themselves.
“But then there’s the other type of broker who knows that if they outsource some of the more tedious work they have more time to spend in front of their clients, as well as saving themselves the cost of an in-house employee.”
When seeking to outsource, Mr Ivkovic claimed that brokers are wary of which company they approach, but gave some pointers to help find a reputable business.
“If you’re unsure about outsourcing, I suggest brokers ask to see privacy policies, data security standards and ask about business practices.
“For example, we are 100 per cent paperless and use encrypted electronic data storage; along with other processes we have in place we can safely say that data is more secure with us than with a home or in an office set-up.”
Mr Ivkovic also claimed that aggregator and franchise groups were embracing the capabilities provided by outsourcing companies, and that broker enquiry was on the rise.