How can brokers find their brokerage’s identity?

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Establishing the identity of your brokerage is crucial for your success and for standing out from the crowd, says a Sydney mortgage broker.

Birdie Wealth general manager and broker Nathan Smith (pictured) said it is important to look at your client base, who you are working with and what your clients’ needs are.

“These factors are not the same among your clients so it should not be the same between brokers either,” Smith said. “It is important to set up your style that best suits you to work in an authentic way for your clients, colleagues and yourself.”

Smith said with lots of competition from other brokerages in his local area, he needed to think about how to attract business to his brokerage.

“Find your niche and stick with it,” he said. “You do not need to be a broker for everyone, you can be a broker for a specific clientele or specific clients you want to work with.”

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Smith said finding your businesses identity was key to attracting new business.

“As brokers, we cannot differentiate between different lender products and prices like other businesses can, so we need to find a reason why clients are choosing to work with us and not the broker down the road,” he said. “We all offer the same products and loans from the same lenders, but we need to prove to our clients why they want to work with us instead of our competition.”

Smith said he surveyed what his clients liked about his brand on social media and was surprised at the results.

“We were told we were authentic, approachable, clients liked our t-shirt and jeans approach, that our Facebook videos were not overly polished and mistakes were made,” he said. “I think this shows the level of transparency and honesty from my team and I when we are discussing finance. People should be comfortable when talking with their broker about arranging a loan.”

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Smith said he conducted a poll on Instagram three years ago asking his company’s followers if they would be happy if their broker wore a t-shirt and jeans to a client meeting, with 99% saying they would be happy for that.

“At the same time, I ran the same poll on LinkedIn and 99% of other professionals said you cannot wear a t-shirt in a meeting,” he said.

“This was pre-COVID, however it was interesting to see what the industry thought was and wasn’t acceptable at the time. Across a number of industries there is a more casual approach to uniforms and the way people work, as businesses are more focused on their teams working through tasks rather than what shirt they might be wearing.”

Smith’s advice to other brokers who might be struggling to find their identity was to not follow the crowd or what everybody else was doing.

“I say find what your clients want in a mortgage broker and why they decided to pick you,” he said. “Double down on your strengths and be different. It is boring if we are all the same.”

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