How to differentiate yourself as a broker and building a solution based business with Lloyd Thomas
This week we have Lloyd Thomas the director of business and product development at Direct Property Network based in New South Wales and broking for over 19 years. He’s consistently settling over $100Mil.
In this episode, we look at how to create a solid business, which is built on solutions. We discuss the different ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. By the end you’re going to feel charged, buzzing to get out and implement everything you’ve learnt.
What makes a successful broker?
Knowing your craft is key. It’s the difference between someone joining you and your business and sticking around, or working with you then moving on to someone else.
If you find you’re losing your clients a lot, it means you don’t know your craft enough. You’ve got to be solution orientated and listen to exactly what they need and discuss it thoroughly.
What solutions are clients after?
A lot of brokers think clients are only looking for good rates, but often it’s more than that. Speak to your clients and make sure there aren’t issues outside of a good rate that need to be dealt with, like an offset account. It’s not just about a product that’s going to suit the client’s circumstances.
What’s your main point of difference?
We are strategic about what we do and not transactional. It is very strategic what we do with people.
This gives our clients comfort and helps their achieve their goals.
What happens once the loan settles?
We’ve got a post-settlement team, and I tell people when we first sit down about how we pace out the relationship and what will happen. It’s not about just a once off relationship it’s about a slow burn, long-term process.
An ongoing relationship and I always let them know I’m only a phone call away.
Over the last 20 years, you’ve gone from three to 60 staff members, how did you manage this?
Well, it’s been over a period of time, but we’ve learnt to hire great people that are good at doing what we aren’t good at. I’ve got great business partners and it’s about our journey together.
A lot of brokers don’t know when to add more staff, what are your thoughts on this?
In some ways, you need to put them on before you actually need them. But you’ve got to know what you’re good at. For example, I hate admin it’s not my strength so I’d employ someone tomorrow to do that.
When you did this, what did it do to your business?
It grew! We’re also really selective about who we hire. I want to know who they are as a person and whether they’ll fit the culture and not just do the job.
What makes a successful broker?
In one line, I would say – don’t stay home. A lot of brokers try to do everything at home but it’s important to get out and get those referrals, staying front of mind for the product you’re selling. I ask myself, would I pay me today? Did I bring in income today? That’s the key.
What are the three key activities brokers should be doing day in, day out?
You should be calling people! I don’t have many quiet moments where I’m just driving or listening to the radio, I think of it as part of my office and will organise meetings while I’m driving.
Next is making lists, I like making a list of who I need to contact, then I prepare who I need to see.
Finally asking for referrals. I’m constantly training my clients to help them refer me.
The main takeaway points from this episode are:
- Don’t start with rate, start with understanding, with this you’ll focus more on the solution rather than the commodity
- Know your craft, become a master and spend time everyday learning and becoming better.
- Use transportation as a networking vehicle rather than something to go from point A to point B. Make time to call your business partners and referral partners to build strategic relationships with them.