How one of our Asset Finance BDMs is navigating work during COVID-19
Find out how Anna Scotter, our Business Development Manager in WA, manages her customer relationships remotely and how she sees the broking industry changing post COVID-19.
How are you managing and maintaining your relationship with your brokers?
For my existing portfolio, it is a relationship conversation. More to see how this situation has affected their business and to remind them that lenders are still lending in the asset space. It is about continuing that holistic conversation with their clients. As well as also seeing if they are getting everything, they need out of me as their BDM at this strange time. To reassure them I am still available to answer their questions, meet their needs and it is business as usual for Connective Asset Finance.
How has your workday changed now that you don’t have face-to-face meetings?
It took a couple of days to adjust and to put a routine in place to work from home. A structured calling plan and cemented time to step away for exercise, or lunch, definitely helps maintain my now ‘everyday’ routine. The use of Microsoft Teams has been invaluable to stay in touch with brokers and lenders alike.
How are you building relationships with new clients during this time?
Technology, once again has been invaluable with meeting potential new brokers. I normally place a phone call to a new broker and have a discussion. I have found that many are willing to wait until we can meet in person again, to move forward with the conversation. I feel that with new people, we cannot lose sight of how important that initial 30 seconds is in making an impression. And that can be lost online!
I just pick up the phone and have a conversation, it is not about the ‘hard sell’. I find many of the new brokers I am speaking to just appreciate me touching base, getting an update on their business, having a chat about lenders and asking if they are getting what they need from their current aggregator in term of COVID information.
How are you supporting your clients who are struggling with their business during this time?
For many of my asset brokers they are busy! I am getting lots of commercial scenarios come through and assisting them with information regarding the Federal Government stimulus SME packages and payment relief packages from lenders. This current environment definitely has a different feel than the global financial crisis back in 2010 and this is coming up quite frequently in my discussions. Being in WA, majority of my brokers feel fortunate to have mining with services to mining about to boom with ongoing projects up north.
How do you think your job will change post COVID-19?
It will be business as usual. If anything, I think we will see more brokers looking to diversify as they did during the Royal Commission at different revenue streams (asset finance). For brokers under other aggregators, it will be a good opportunity to see how they were supported during this pandemic from them. There will be opportunities.
How does the broking industry look to you post COVID-19?
The same as it was. Brokers will continue to be a backbone to lending in both residential, consumer and commercial asset. And a ‘good’ broker will maintain strong relationships with clients through both the good and unforeseeable times. What will be interesting is how quickly the lenders will loosen up their COVID policies for business appetite again.
What common questions are coming from brokers at the moment? How does Connective Asset Finance provide support to address some of their concerns?
Majority of questions from my asset brokers are around low doc policies, which there are very minimal at the moment with lenders.
Because lending policies are changing quickly, I am filtering a lot of questions around this topic. Also, many questions coming through regarding asset finance contract payment deferrals.
My brokers have certainly told me that they enjoy having a source to phone and talk with. Some have even phoned just to vent frustrations regarding the tightening of credit policies. Connective Asset Finance has put together a list of lender contact details available, find out more.
Note: Anna Scotter has been named a finalist as WA Aggregator BDM of the Year in the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Excellence Awards 2020.