How amazing SLAs won this brokerage 1000 leads

| Feb 27 - 4 min read

Leads are the lifeblood of every broker’s business.

Loan Market Canberra’s Nitish Kumar brought 1056 leads in through his door last year, doubling the business’ year-on-year settlement volume to $175m.

Around 30% of leads came from strategic partner Ray White Canberra with more than 60 other partners making up the balance.

According to Nitish, there are several approaches to winning the confidence of referral partners: delivering on strict Service Level Agreements, exceptional customer experience and submission quality that leads to a one-touch approval.

But another factor that ensures the pipeline flows fast and regularly is positioning the business, ahead of the broker, with referrers.

“We’ve been able to grow the business because the referral relationships are with the business, not the broker,” Nitish told Loan Market’s Kate White in a recent webinar.

“We've established Service Level Agreements which are consistent across the business.

“So any broker will call the lead, helping us get through the leads as quickly as possible. “Speed builds trust and our referral partners know how quickly we’ll service a lead.

“We have a communication plan that we use with all our referral partners, so they know where their leads are up to along the journey.”

Ray White Canberra Chairman Ben Faulks vouched for Nitish and his leadership in servicing leads.

“Nitish helps agents win listings, as he adds value to the listing process by supporting the sellers in knowing what their next move is really going to look like. This creates a lot of mutual respect, and referrals flow from there.”

“We’ve been able to grow the business because the referral relationships are with the business, not the broker”

Nitish said there was ‘nothing worse’ than a seller waiting to find out where their finances are up to because the broker hasn't kept them updated. It’s the same for the referrer, as well.

“We do the same (communications) with the (referring) real estate agent as well.

“I guess that's been the biggest difference in our lead numbers growing: we’re providing a very high level of service not just to our clients, but to our referral partners, as well.”

Customer service as a driver of referrals

Loan Market Canberra’s amazing SLAs have resonated with clients, with the business now enjoying 220 Google Reviews - the tally is climbing every week - with a Net Promoter Score of +97.

The social proof that online feedback offers validates Loan Market Canberra’s referral ecosystem.

It's all about consistency and we're consistent in everything we do,” said Nitish.

“If a client uses us ten times in three years, they're gonna get the same service every single time. That’s a message I’ve hammered to our brokers: if I'm going to give them one of my clients because I don't want to take on new clients, I want confidence that they’re going to provide that consistent level of service.

“It's all about consistency and we're consistent in everything we do”

“One of the ways we do that is by having a very good admin team that takes away some of the work from the brokers. I've been a broker with one PA and I understand it's not logistically possible to get back to clients as quickly as you would like because of appointments.

“We pass on some of that client communication to our admin team, so the clients are getting updates all the time.

“If you take a look at our Google My Business reviews, there are loads of mentions of our admin team because they’re the ones who control our business and make it run smoothly.

“The reason we can offer consistency to our clients is because of the admin team, not the brokers.”

A culture for scaling

In less than four years, Nitish has taken Loan Market Canberra from a single-broker to a four-broker business.

After his first year in operation, he put in plans to scale, undertaking a series of Kaizen Workshops with Loan Market’s Head of Business Improvement, Michael Zavelberg.

“Before I started the business, I’d never had to worry about leadership or management or culture; it was looked after by the (previous) businesses I'd worked at.

“Twelve months in, we were running a Kaizen session on improving some of our processes to grow. Amongst the feedback we received was that we actually had a pretty bad culture at the time. I wasn't celebrating wins in the business, I would just move on to the next month, even if we had had our best month ever … I just moved on to the next goal.

“I think I neglected staff at the time quite a bit because I was used to operating under the simple broker and PA relationship.

“At that time, I made a decision to change the way I looked at the business. I needed to step away from being a broker at times, and be a business owner and lead differently. I had to actively think about things like culture, and how important it is to look after our staff. So I think culture is, now, probably one of our biggest strengths.

“Our culture is what brings people into the office. I’ve just recruited a $70 million broker on the back of our culture, and that’s going to support our 10-year growth goals.

“I've become a good business leader because of Loan Market and the support that's been provided to me. It's been a game changer for me.”

Effective digital marketing for brand awareness

COVID-19 encouraged Nitish to adopt a strategic digital marketing strategy. With the uncertainty in the marketplace, he recognised the importance of education and support for clients at scale, along with brand awareness.

“I started creating videos for the landlords of Ray White Canberra, explaining what's happening with the market and loans and received a great response from that. I did a heap of videos in a short period of time.

“We’ve been using Loan Market’s Amplify tool (Facebook and Instagram), that's been getting our brand out there. We’re engaging 200,000 viewers a month through that.

“We also do a lot of the Loan Market Facebook ads for brand awareness.”

To listen to Nitish’s full interview, click here.

| Feb 27 - 4 min read