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Connective Excellence Awards Profile

Laura Sillano is a highly successfullaura-sillano
residential mortgage broker with
over 11 years’ experience.

She is passionate about educating her clients and provides mortgage lending advice that is grounded by her own life experience.

Laura was nominated for four Connective Excellence Awards in 2017, was a finalist in two categories, and won the Mercury Hero Award. Laura’s success with POD Financial has made her an industry thought leader and role model for women in the Queensland mortgage market.

Last year’s Connective Excellence Awards were Laura and POD Financials’ first foray into the awards arena and this year they are a Finalist in the 2018 MFAA Excellence Awards. We know you love hearing about your successful broker peers, so we asked Laura to tell us more about her business and what she took out of winning the Mercury Hero Award.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Laura Sillano and I am the owner of POD Financial. We focus on residential lending in the Brisbane market.  POD Financial consists of a team of four – myself, Grace my mentee broker and two support staff.

Our support staff Angela and Jolyn are based in the Philippines – I spent a week with them in May this year. And I have to say it was one of the best trips I’ve ever done.

What Connective Excellence Award (CEA) did you win in 2017? Why did you enter this award?

I was thrilled to win the Mercury Hero Award at last year’s Connective Excellence Awards. We use Mercury to streamline our assessment processes and leverage our activities with outsourced staff. I believe that the best way to maximise my time is to use great technology to develop clear processes that people can easily follow.

Having used a variety of systems and software, I have found Mercury to be intuitive and comparatively easy to use. I wanted to share how I use the system with others, so they can see what it’s capable of, and how using it effectively has helped build my business and empower my team.

I use Mercury as an assessment and compliance system. I know I have so much more to learn about its capabilities, and I’m excited to see how I can use it even more effectively as I grow the business in different areas.

What did you include in your CEA submission that helped you win the award?

Probably my attitude towards the software helped me win the award – I really do consider it an essential part of my business – as well as providing some real examples of how Mercury helps me create a stable business foundation.

How did winning a CEA positively impact you and your business?

After winning the Mercury Hero Award, we all felt an uplift in our outlook. It feels good to be recognised! This was the first time we had entered any industry awards – and we did so much work to improve our business processes, so it was great to be acknowledged for our efforts. POD Financial is now a finalist in the QLD MFAA Excellence Awards for 2018. Winning the CEA helped build our confidence to enter – and just being a finalist is a great success.

What advice would you give your broker peers about entering the 2018 Connective Excellence Awards?

Entering an award competition makes you take the time to really look at your achievements and communicate them. We are all under so much pressure now our industry is under the spotlight, and I believe we need to take that spotlight and shine it on the tremendous value we bring to our clients and communities through our work.

Did you enjoy the experience? Was it fun?

Loved it! The Gala Awards night was such a terrific experience for my new team to be able to share with me. I think that Connective Conference and the Gala Awards night helped us to forge a common vision and to embrace excellence as part of our culture. It was also heaps of fun to dress up.

Have you entered the 2018 Connective Excellence Awards yet?

This year’s Connective Excellence Awards have more categories than ever, giving you and your staff more opportunities to shine! Submissions close on June 30 – so you still have plenty of time to get your entries in. To find out more, simply click here.