Broker profile - Maree Imbruglia
Maree Imbruglia from Australian Financial Innovations has been in the mortgage, banking and finance industry for well over 20 years. During this time, she has built a reputation for honesty, integrity and an outstanding knowledge of the mortgage business. Her clients hold her in very high esteem – saying they can always rely on Maree to set them straight!
We gave Maree a series of questions to see what she had to say about achieving success in today’s challenging business environment. Here’s what she had to say.
How did you get into the mortgage broking business, what did you do before?
My career in the finance industry started way back – I was with the National Australia Bank in various roles for over 20 years. I started out with customer service and lending, then became a Mobile Mortgage Manager for five years, then moved to Homeside as a Broker BDM.
This was a great role, but I missed the client interaction and helping people directly with their lending needs. When I was dealing with brokers at Homeside, I decided that becoming a mortgage broker would be a good option for me. About that time, my husband Tony was made redundant from his senior banking role, so we decided to use our experience to run our own business. And it’s been a great success!
What’s behind your success?
Australian Financial Innovations is a small, boutique brokerage. We have three loan writers, all with extensive banking backgrounds and genuine experience to bring to the table. We utilise technology to run a paperless office and have streamlined processes in place for a more efficient business.
From my own point of view, I believe that I am successful simply because I am good at what I do. My clients trust my knowledge and are confident that I will always try to do the right thing by them.
I drive the business by always asking for more business from my clients and referral partners. This is not a difficult thing to do when you have put in the effort to make sure that they can always rely on you.
What are your top 3 ‘must do’s’ for a successful business
- Know your business inside and out.
- Build solid referral sources. (Remember, your existing clients are your best referral sources).
- Network, network, network! Attend as many PD days, conferences, lunches etc as you can.
What’s a mistake you’ve made that you’ll never make again?
Brokers deal with a lot of people in their business and they are not all the same. Unfortunately, I once trusted someone and the information they gave me instead of checking it out myself. This mistake nearly destroyed my whole business.
My advice to all brokers is to make sure you know where your information is coming from and to check it thoroughly.
How is your business tracking?
Australian Financial Innovations has grown year on year since its inception 7 years ago. This year is looking to be our best year yet, with our first quarter targets being exceeded!
How do you promote your business – what advice would you give others about marketing?
We never had much success with outside advertising, so we don’t waste time and money on it any longer. We use the tools provided by Connective’s My Marketing and have had much better success with this. Moving forward, we will be focusing on making the best use of social media and we will be monitoring the success of this closely over the coming months.
The most important form of marketing and promotions is word of mouth. Our existing clients are our best referrers and this really works for us. I also never miss an opportunity to give out my business card or our personalised pens and collateral.
My advice to other brokers is don’t spend any money on things people will only see once. And don’t just expect it all to happen on its own, monitor your marketing efforts regularly.
What achievements are you most proud of?
This is such a hard question to answer! There are so many little things to be proud of over the 7 years I have been in business for myself. Every time a client thanks me or tells me how much I’ve helped them, I feel a sense of pride.
But I have to say that running this business successfully is my biggest achievement. In my previous roles, I was always an employee – so every year the business grows I really feel as though I have achieved something!
Follow Maree Imbruglia
If you’d like to know more about Maree and her company Australian Financial Innovations, check out their website. If you’d like to follow Maree’s advice about marketing, talk to your local Broker Support Manager about Connective’s My Marketing offer and ask about Connective Socialise.