Meet Kim Warner, our Broker Support Manager in NSW
Kim Warner, our Broker Support Manager (BSM) in NSW, shares why understanding her brokers’ specific needs and being transparent in her dealings help nurture client relationships.
When did you start working at Connective? What industry did you come from before joining Connective?
I started my journey with Connective in April 2019 as Broker Support Manager. Overall, I have had over 27 years working in the property and finance industry and the most recent 11 years has included roles directly dealing with or within the mortgage broking sector beginning initially with the set-up of a B2B division within a property advisory service, leading to gaining my own broking qualifications and experience as a mortgage broker. My most recent role before Connective was as a BDM for Allianz Insurance working with a number of aggregators.
What made you decide to join Connective?
Quite simply put, I have always been very excited by the way in which Connective model their service to their brokers and the positive culture they embrace. I have always come away from any engagement with Connective, be it an event or a broker meeting, feeling inspired and motivated. I was able to engage with the staff at Connective and the broker members, or over two years as their BDM at Allianz and I built many strong connections and relationships in that time.
Tell us what you love most about your job
My brokers. I have worked with mortgage brokers and been one myself for over 11 years. I have a deep passion for the work they do and I know how hard they work to service their clients and the challenges they face across all aspects of the industry, be it economic, technology, legislative changes and associated compliance and risk demands. I love the challenge of supporting them with the relevant resources and information they need to really thrive in this industry.
How do you build and nurture relationships with clients?
In my work, I try my best to really get to know each of my broker’s specific needs, and I work to understand these and respond with the right type of support. I aim to be as responsive as I possibly can, I am transparent in my dealings. I get a lot of personal satisfaction in building broker community as well. We have a lot of single operators and I feel that in the time that I have been with Connective, I have built some strong links between the brokers themselves via online and face to face sessions, using these to provide a space for brokers to discuss whatever the current challenges are at the time and provide the relevant industry experts and lenders to assist at these sessions. Good old-fashioned phone calls on a daily basis as I go help to keep me in touch and strengthen my relationships with my brokers.
How do you approach challenging conversations? Can you give advice on how to manage it?
In simple terms, the key for approaching challenging conversations is to not shy away and to stop and actively listen with positive regard for the other person. The key is to attempt to understand the others perspective, act with sensitivity, transparency, and to acknowledge responsibility and own your own actions should that be the case. Providing feedback within the conversation to the other person to ensure both are on the same page is important – ensure they feel safe, they’ve been heard correctly and that they feel validated. Taking ownership of a course of action to resolve an issue or whatever follow up needs to happen is paramount. Checking in afterwards will help to uncover if there is any other follow up needed and helps to build a trusting positive relationship moving forward..
Tell us what makes Connective different and stand out from other aggregators from your point of view. Why should brokers join Connective?
The stand-out for me? It is the people. Across the entire business, the staff at Connective work with passion and focus to provide the best possible standard of service to its broker members. The culture internally is built on transparency from the top to the bottom and as a BSM, I know that when I go to support my brokers I have a collaborative and dedicated team working together to be the market leaders in this industry. Connective provides award winning support, an extensive lender panel, outstanding learning and development, an industry leading CRM and a dedicated on the ground broker support team who are committed to help our brokers succeed and grow.
What does a day in the life of a BSM look like?
HECTIC! 😊 Controlled chaos at times but always exciting and stimulating. A day in the life of a BSM may involve a group online session to provide training or facilitate a presentation from our lender panel. I have recently started an open mic or open forum on a Monday as well to bring brokers together to discuss recent changes such as best interests duty or to finesse skills with our new CRM. I will visit brokers face to face and field calls for escalations, friendly chats, general support, commissions, tech issues – all things that are needing to be addressed with my broker group. I dedicate time each day to make calls out to brokers as well or I will be organising and planning events to get my brokers together.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a single mum to two pretty amazing young adults who are in their final years at high school. I am cherishing my time with these two (outside of the usual teenage angst and challenges) and also enjoy spending time with my family and my wide social networks. I am a keen paddle boarder and enjoy all things beach and sea and you’ll see me at Balmoral often very early in the morning walking and swimming with a couple of close girlfriends. I am passionate about the climate and I work within that space at times, and I have recently finished volunteering at Lifeline on the phone lines. I will look to pick up some other aspect of volunteer work in the future.
How does the broking industry look to you this year and beyond?
The broking industry is one of the most resilient and adaptive industries and continues to go from strength to strength with broker industry making up 60% of loan volumes. However, this has not come without significant levels of stress and pressure and I think it’s important to note that stress levels and learning how to manage stress in this volatile industry needs to be integrated as part of brokers awareness and business/life health. From the Royal Commission two years ago, more regulations creeping in and compliance feeling like a dead weight, dealing with COVID-19, endless lender policy and rate changes and challenges, confusion over interpretation on rulings, I think it is very fair to say that the broker industry has been hard-hit over the past few years with many brokers feeling exhausted and a bit defeated by the very industry that is meant to support them. Despite this, lending volumes have never been higher, and I believe the broking industry can look forward to continued growth, with the advancement of technology making aspects of the process easier to administer; the rise of the white label and second tier lenders; as well as the ability to diversify their business, is giving the broker industry the competitive edge.