Learning how to diversify

“Equipment finance is one of the only loans that is easier for self-employed customers, than it is for people wanting to finance something for personal use.”

Mike Burton became Westpac’s youngest employee when he joined the company at just 15 years old. Since that time, he not only made the transition from banker to broker, he’s also become a mentor in financial services across Western Australia for people who are looking to diversify their business.

Mike’s Loan Market business covers everything from residential and commercial loans to equipment finance and leasing. His advice to brokers starting out in business diversification is to focus on one thing at a time.

“When you are starting out in a different revenue stream, you need to commit to training. Just because you know residential mortgages, doesn’t mean everything else is a walk in the park. You need to be ready and willing to learn,” Mike explains.

Mike is a part of a national network of Loan Market brokers who mentor their peers on diversifying into equipment finance. He says there are some key skills brokers need to hone in the early stages.

Policies

“Equipment finance can be a challenging space. It’s one of the few things that is easier for self-employed people to secure. It can be a difficult space for consumers so you really need to know your bank policies back to front, because each lender will be different.”

Products

“Certain assets can be difficult to fund so it’s critical to know what products are out there, how they work and who they suit.

“The best way to get across these two things are to take advantage of training sessions with lenders. There are some really informative sessions out there held by the lenders you’ll work with - you can really learn a lot from them and they’re held regularly.”

Submissions

“This is the really important part. You need to develop strong skills around applying for equipment finance. It’s very different to a mortgage application, but when you know what you’re doing you can turn it around quickly. When I mentor brokers on the process, I sit down and show them what to do so that they get experience first hand - it’s the best way to learn, to see a live deal in motion.”

Those who are in the early stage of diversifying their business can take advantage of the combination of a mentor and external training courses to get them on track to creating a multi-channel mortgage broking business.