Policy changes and difficult scenarios keep this asset finance broker engaged
From a $5,000 personal loan to a $6.5 million boat, you never know what you’re going to get as an asset finance broker, and that’s part of the fun, says Acquired Financial Services Director and Connective Asset Finance member, Michael Woods.
Tell us your story: How did you become an asset finance broker?
I was working as an insurance distributor for my dad’s company when his business partner decided one day that I would make a good finance broker. He spent a couple of weeks showing me the ropes; nearly 20 years later, I’ve never looked back! With all these years of experience, I have developed a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of asset finance.
What type of clients do you serve and what sort of deals do you write?
We take care of everything, from a $5,000 personal loan to a $6.5 million boat and anything in between. We are well-versed in any kind of asset.
What do you like best about being an asset finance broker?
Although the process is systematic, every scenario is different, so you need to be on the ball at all times. I like the fact that you need to constantly stay on top of policy; it keeps me engaged.
How has Connective Asset Finance helped you get where you are today?
Connective Asset Finance offers great support to all brokers through its robust learning and development programs. The aggregator’s training is top-rate and I really value that Connective Asset Finance keeps us informed of industry changes as they happen. This is massively important, so it’s good to be part of a business operation that prioritises communication, transparency and keeping its members informed.
While I generally don’t attend conferences, I do make time to attend Connective’s Asset Finance conference because I find it super informative.
What changes have you made to adapt your business in recent times?
Over the past 18 months, our industry has been dissected, analysed and has faced many changes. It would be a long winded answer if I described them all! Regardless of all those changes, our core commitment and responsibility as asset finance brokers has never wavered— to meet our customers’ needs and requirements, and deliver the best possible outcomes.
Despite these changes in the market and industry, our business has remained strong. Since Acquired Financial Services’ inception five years ago, we’ve seen progressive growth. We run at about 18% repeat business month-on-month, so our client retention is right up there. Genuine customer service is what we deliver and we confirm this by analysing how many of our clients repeatedly use our services.
What's your best advice for mortgage brokers who want to diversify into asset finance?
Don’t assume that it’s anything like writing a mortgage. Make sure you are well acquainted with your BDMs and ask many questions. Asset ages, loan terms, rates and obviously matrix vary dramatically from lender to lender. It’s a lot to get your head around really.
What's one emerging trend you're seeing in the asset finance space?
Not really asset finance as such, but business loans are something that we’re doing a lot of these days. Leisure items, such as caravans and boats, are keeping us busy too.