During my time recruiting Mortgage Brokers I've had an experience with just about evert aggregator. And, having learnt the industry whilst working for one and encouraging brokers to change aggregators, it’s clear to see why I have such a bias and belief that a change in aggregators can be highly beneficial to your business.
Whilst working for Finsure, I would spend my time researching brokers. I’d have around 25 conversations every day about their aggregator, what they like about where they worked and, if they could, what they would improve.
It’s fair to say I was ruthless and ruffled a lot of feathers. I would target different groups and aggregators based on things I saw in the news or rumours I’d heard. One aggregator even sent me a legal letter threatening court action if I persisted.
But, the conversations I had during this time were invaluable. I discovered the intricacies of the broker/aggregator relationship and as above, why they joined, what they like what they don't like, what they think their aggregator is lacking and over all what they would move for if they saw it.
It’s not hard to believe a lot of people thought of me as a pest. That what I was trying to achieve was unethical and they wouldn't want to talk to me. They had a low opinion of aggregators and I’d frequently hear things such as “its better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. Admittedly, in the past changing aggregators was uncommon; it was a tricky long-winded process that could cause disruptions in your business and often came with a heap of paperwork to become reaccredited.
I found it especially difficult to speak with older brokers – brokers that were set in their ways, comfortable and resistant to change. They would say things such as “that’s how it’s always been” or “my aggregator leaves me alone and I like that”.
It’s exciting to see the process day in, day out. To witness the cycle of cold calling a broker to bring them on board to then seeing them take advantage of the new tools, technology and support that’s now available, and watching their business and success grow as a result.
With aggregators taking advantage of new technology and constantly working on improving and streamlining the process, making a change is becoming easier. The market for aggregators is becoming more competitive, and competition is known to breed innovation. Aggregators are now adopting new technology and building service offerings such as digital marketing strategies and social media management.
Aggregators are being forced to become more flexible in their offering often tailoring their approach to big volume writers in order to win their business. Counter offers become more common from aggregators increasing commission split in order to keep a group on board and handcuff agreements are now becoming a thing of the past. Only an inexperienced broker would fall into the trap of building a trail book that’s lost if they leave a particular group.
I’ve seen firsthand the dramatic effect changing aggregators can have on the success of a business. Almost like a new lease of life, a fresh start. A few more tools and a better support model can really make a difference. I’ve seen brokers consistently writing around $1million a month make the change, take advantage of the new opportunity and let their aggregator assist and show them how to grow their business to a point they double or triple their volumes.
I’m interested in hearing your opinion and what you think of the process. I’m keen to hear from those who have never done it and why, people that have recently done it and people who are considering it.
Since stepping out on my own I've built different relationships with different aggregators and sub aggregators. I’d love the chance to sit down in front of those of you considering a move and share my experiences of dealing with brokers and BDMS from different aggregators.
If that’s you, let’s schedule a call or a coffee. I’d be happy to share my recommendations and introduce you to different aggregators – almost like a broker for brokers!