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How can we prevent “Broker Burnout”?

Man on laptop by the pool

The world has evolved into a place where the term “good service” has become an oxymoron. In almost every industry, we’ve seen previous service standards crash and burn. Life has become a frustrating maze of tail-chasing, only to end up right where you started.

Service as we used to know it has become non-existent.

That is, unless you’re arranging a loan through a mortgage broker, in which case, “good”, “great”, “amazing” and “phenomenal” are words used by consumers to precede the word “service”.

Why? We treat our customers as people — friends, even. When they call, we answer. If it’s after-hours, over the weekend, or while we’re on holiday overseas, we still answer. But… there has been a price to pay.

Recently, a rising phenomenon in our industry called “Broker Burnout” has come to light. More and more brokers are reporting themselves exhausted and burnt out on account of being unable to separate themselves from the constant demands of broking. Permanent connectivity means a broker has zero downtime, even when they’re trying to enjoy time with family or work on their physical and mental health. 

In the early days of mortgage broking, we would simply hand our pagers (for those of us who remember that far back) to a colleague when we went on holidays. When it was our colleague’s turn to take a holiday, we would gladly reciprocate the favour. It made sense and delivered a healthy quid pro quo. 

With the advancement of technology, you’d think we’d be in a better position to replicate this early “buddy up” system. In reality, we ditched this in favour of taking our phones, tablets and laptops everywhere we go, thinking how convenient and easy it will be to handle communications on the run. We absolutely love this wonderful industry called mortgage broking, but unless we pay attention to the warning signs, work can overwhelm and dominate every facet of our being. This is simply not healthy.

So, our challenge lies in finding a way to individually, or collectively, remain healthy and balanced, ensuring we enjoy long and rewarding careers as mortgage brokers. This will also deliver better results for our customers.

Purple Circle would like to establish a national forum whereby brokers and aggregators work together to create a paradigm shift in order to nail #brokermentalhealth. We’re spit-balling here as we try to start the ball rolling, but one solution could be for aggregators to create a “Broker Buddy” system within their organisations. The idea is to recreate a present-day version of what we used to do with our pagers. We have so many smart and creative people within our industry, surely it won’t take long to come up with viable solutions for everyone.

Of course, the “Broker Burnout” phenomenon doesn’t apply to everyone, but COVID and otherworldy-forces have left many feeling isolated and without support. Maybe we can fix this, one broker at a time…

Until next time, 

Greg Pennells

Managing Director, Purple Circle

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme

The Scheme will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit and will be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee of 50% per cent of new loans. Some generic terms are:

  • Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million.

  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.

  • Loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday.

  • Unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

Reduced Interest Rates

Consider your current banking arrangements. The Reserve Bank has recently reduce the cash rate and lenders have passed this on to various loans they have.

Instant Asset Write Off

An increase in the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 30 June 2020.

Deferment of Loan Repayments for up to 6 Months

The banks are developing their own approach as to how to deal with requests from their clients for repayment holidays. Some are automatically granting the request, others are assessing the requests individually.