A decade of success and beyond

| Sep 06 - 3 min read

Amazing customer service has been Perth broker Balpreet Bal’s calling card for over a decade. It’s why he was sought-out by almost 500 clients over the last financial year.

Recently named Loan Market’s Top International Broker at the brokerage’s Scale-Up conference at Hamilton Island, Balpreet has explained how providing every client with a memorable experience has laid a platform for the business, Loan Market Bal & Associates.

“Ninety-six to ninety-seven percent of our clients are referred to us from existing clients,” Baplreet said.

“I'm a big believer that if you look after your existing clients, if you roll out a red carpet, they’ll definitely recommend family and friends to you. We have many repeat clients - people who have done business with us 8-10 years ago, and they’re still coming back to us.”

The business was launched by his wife, Sharon, with Balpreet in support. He’d moonlight as her Customer Service Manager (CSM) after dinner while holding down another full time job.

“I used to help Sharon after hours, processing deals into the system, inputting all the data because at that time we didn't really have a CSM in the business,” he said.

The time he spent pulling together loans for Sharon instilled in him the importance of the CSM role.

“In my view, the best pathway to becoming a broker is as a CSM, learning the ropes and working under a broker. When you’ve done this, you know exactly what (being a broker) entails, you’re able to handle different kinds of files, different kinds of clients. After that, you can work to attract more business and learn how to generate leads because you have the confidence to work with different types of clients.”

Fast forward a decade later, eight people are now part of Balpreet’s highly-efficient team structure that’s been able to sustain such a large quantum of business over the last 12 months.

“My team is the backbone of my business. We've always carried surplus capacity than what’s been needed (in the business). All my team members are really, really good operators and we cultivate a strong work culture. We’ve only ever hired people who can fit in culturally with us before anything else,” he said.

“Our process has constantly been changing and evolving. We sat down with Kaizen specialists this year and broke down our process, examining where everything sits -  it was actually incredible to see that.”

All roles in the business are aligned to the customer journey, he said.

“We have two people tasked with the discovery piece. They are just getting all the data together, making the Google Drive folder and putting everything in subfolders.

“They’re doing all the client history and checking superannuation, balance, the assets, liabilities and everything so that all the data is correct.

“Once I’ve seen the client and know which bank we’ll go with, a CSM steps in. We do a warm handover and  that person looks after the file.

“I personally let the client know that the CSM will then be managing their file until lodgement.

“Once the file is lodged and approved, it then gets handed to our settlements team.

“I, of course, call them for formal approval with the good news and let them know that the settlement team will be in charge to make sure everything gets done in time for settlement.”

The service expectation and needs of every client differ, he said.

“First home buyers, generally, want more time with me than, say, the second home buyers.

“(For) first home buyers, you'll need to meet them for at least one hour to one-and-a-half hours to go through all the options. You have to see what scenarios you have to build: what sort of deposit they have, what sort of grants are available and more.

“I usually keep my mornings free to work on phone calls, then my appointments will go from 2 or 3pm until 7pm. I have three or four appointments every day with first time buyers or whoever wants to see me.”

Each meeting is designed to be productive for both Balpreet and the client. Before he’s met with the client, his onboarding team has provided him with all the necessary details on their situation for a fruitful discussion.

Everyone in the team - from discovery to settlement - understands their role in the business. But, as with any business, unforeseen challenges and bottlenecks can emerge.

“For 10 minutes every morning, I'll have a meeting with my four CSMs to discuss priorities, difficulties and other matters.

“With the settlement team, I'll have a word maybe once a week and I only step in if anything is required from my end.”

Ensuring his team members appreciate the value they can personally provide to the client’s experience is why the business has such a strong volume of online social proof, including 284 five star Google Reviews.

Empowering staff to take ownership of their roles has resulted in greater customer satisfaction and subsequent leads which continue to fill the business’ pipeline today.

"That’s where our Google reviews and everything comes into the picture. We look after our clients and then they are the ones who become our advocates in the community.”