LMG Top 25 broker Jacob Decru remembers being told in his early years that it's easier to write $100 million in settlements than it is to write $50m.
At the time, it seemed nonsensical: but a decade on, as a co-owner of the hugely successful One Network Broking Loan Market business in Melbourne, he understands the wisdom.
“When I first started on my own, I didn't have any support staff and the challenge was trying to do everything in the business and making sure business is coming in and not getting stuck on certain parts,” he said.
“So when I put on my first support staff, a real challenge for me was letting go: I was still trying to control the process. If I was to go back and start again, I would have let go of more parts in the client journey - that would have helped me grow more.”
Close to a decade on, Decru has relinquished more duties to his support specialists - the business’ Customer Experience Department (CED).
The CED has been shaped by Decru and his business partner Nick Gurry.
Together, they’ve assembled a team of support specialists managing submission through to settlement.
“We've built out our processing team now so that all you have to do is plug in,” he said.
“We have enough staff in there that they all know each other's processes. If someone's sick, someone else can be easily covered - you don’t even know if someone's away because it all runs so smoothly.”
Leveraging the support of the CED, Decru managed to service 357 clients over the last year.
Decru establishes the expectations with the client at the start of the engagement.
“In the initial appointment I'll say to them, ‘I'm the broker and this (recommendation) is what we're looking to do. But for everything that’s admin-related, the team's here to help you because I'm in and out of appointments all day’. They (the CED) are going to be all over your file.
“I pre-position it in that initial appointment. To make everything run smoothly, I tell the client that the support staff are going to be all over their file and I then connect the client with the CED for any other questions they have about the process.”
“Once clients know the journey, they're fine.”
Decru said the structure has also empowered the CED members.
“When the clients would ask our team a lot more questions, it upskilled our team so much more and it made them feel more involved in the actual deal and take it to the next level.”
Decru takes an active role in the development of the CED and their processes and accompanying results are continually reviewed. If, on the rare occasion, that something doesn’t go to plan, they apply the learnings so it doesn’t repeat.
By training, enabling and, ultimately, trusting the CED team, Decru has been able to optimise his productivity, establishing himself within LMG’s Top 25.
“You just have to be smarter with your touch points and your time. I still have the opportunity to make the customer feel happy. The team lets me know when approval and settlement comes through and that’s when I’ll call the client, rounding out the process.”
LMG invests extensive time in educating its Client Service Managers across the Group so brokers can take on more clients, sustainably. Visit lmg.broker to find out more about our innovative support for brokers and their businesses.
To listen to Jacob’s full chat with LMG Executive Chairman Sam White, click here