Broker profile - Paul Eadon
Eadon Home Loans is one of Adelaide’s largest and most successful mortgage brokerages. Joining Connective since its inception in 2007, the business has gone from a start-up operation to a large brokerage employing 9 loan writers in a period of just 7 years.
Company principle and senior mortgage broker at the business, Paul Eadon leads by the strength of his own example, servicing clients from all over South Australia and not just locally. Not afraid of diversification, Paul has added Financial Planners and a Real Estate arm to the business in recent years.
We gave Paul our profile questions, designed to bring out some insights into his success. Here’s what Paul had to say.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the mortgage broking business?
I come from a Credit Union background, where the learning was all about customer service. I rose through the ranks starting out as a Teller, then Supervisor, BDM, Lending Officer and Branch Manager. After that I moved into the Credit Union’s own broker division.
Back then, targets were not really a hot topic as opposed to simply providing your customer with a great experience. So I cut my teeth on “the customer experience” and built great relationships with clients, but as the Credit Union changed, targets, KPIs and awards became the focus. Whilst the customer experience was still high on the agenda, the obsession with numbers and statistics meant that a customer’s experience became of less value.
I am a very loyal person and I was very happy in my role at the Credit Union. But I began to realise that most of the clients I was servicing were my own, and as I wasn’t being paid what I thought I was worth, I made the decision to leave.
It’s funny that I decided to start my own mortgage broking business, because being so strongly entrenched in the Credit Union circle, I had developed a bad perception of brokers – mainly because I was selling against them and felt strongly that I could help a client better.
Once I became a broker, how quickly my tune changed! I realised I could service clients better by talking to them personally and putting them to multiple lenders to get the best deal possible for them – and earn $$$ at the same time.
In the end, leaving the Credit Union was a hard decision made easy by their stubborn refusal to come to the party about appropriate remuneration. I then set about creating my own business and after some exhaustive research into which platform to start up on, I came across a guy called Mark Haron from Connective.
Although I didn’t like Mark (just kidding!), I found the Connective business model most suited my objectives. I felt confident that I could build my trail quickly and also felt Connective would give me the ability to grow my business quickly.
I’m glad to say that I was right. I was also lucky that Connective was a fairly young business, so I was able to access the likes of Mark, Glen and Murray – and also Ben from IT, and get to know them.
Hence the business was born!
What’s behind your success?
I believe that my success stems from what I mentioned earlier – my focus on the customer experience. In my new business, I made a point of standing out from the rest with regard to the customer experience whenever I saw a new client or even an older client.
I reviewed my approach during client interviews and studied and surveyed my customers to find out what customers wanted from their broker. From this information – and what I felt I would want if I were the client – I started creating a standard approach to my meetings.
When it comes down to it, people want simplicity and to UNDERSTAND. So I set up a quoting system that met these requirements and it hasn’t changed much since its inception. If you set yourself a genuine approach that covers simplicity, to the point information, and an understanding of the client’s needs and desires, then it is very easy to build a strong relationship – and that’s what grows your business.
I am also very lucky to have good people around me, supporting the business in every facet.
What makes your business different from all the rest?
We are very casual with our approach and we seek to understand the needs of a client – not just now, but in the future. Again, it’s all about the customer experience and that’s the difference between us and them.
How is your business tracking? What challenges are you facing in SA?
We are going well! We now have 9 loan writers, so I guess the business has been tracking in the right direction since its inception.
Within the business, we also have 2 Financial Planners and I have recently established a Real Estate arm. Yes – if the Real Estate industry is looking at creating their own broker channel, we should be looking to enter their world too! If anyone reading this wants to talk further about that, I’m all ears. Imagine if we as a collective group referred to our own Real Estate group… worth considering!
In South Australia, my main concern is for first home buyers buying into established properties. But I guess that’s an issue for the entire country. Mining and manufacturing could be challenges going forward.
How do you promote your business? Do you have a marketing strategy?
We don’t have an actual marketing strategy. We will run a campaign if we feel it’s necessary and local newspaper ads are common place. We use Connective’s My Marketing facilities including Connective Socialise and My Intel, which help to maintain relationships with customers and keeps us front of mind.
Our major promotional focus is our support of local community clubs such as football, cricket, netball, hockey, baseball, tennis and schools. Most of us live around the western suburbs of Adelaide, so it’s easy to penetrate the area you know and live in this way.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of our strong relationships with clubs in our area. I’m also proud of the fact that the business has grown and continues to grow due to the great people working within it.
What are your top 3 “must dos” for a successful business?
- Focus on the customer experience
- Service the customer
- Work with great people.
As you can see, without your customer having a great experience, you don’t have a business! It is also important to be in the company of people you like, especially those with similar mindsets.
What’s a mistake that you’ll never make again?
I don’t think anyone has ever grown a business and not made mistakes! But I’ve got nothing juicy for you, sorry. One mistake I’ll never make again is ordering marketing flyers without thoroughly checking the content – always triple check before signing off!
For Paul’s contact details or if you’d like to find out more about Eadon Home Loans, visit www.eadonhomeloans.com.au.