What motivates consumers to use a broker?
A new report has provided valuable insight into the expectations of consumers and the value they place on broker services.
In partnership with Genworth and RFi, NAB Broker surveyed 1,000 consumers across two key stages of the buyer's cycle: those who intended to apply for a home loan in the next two years (either via a broker or direct); and those who had taken out a loan through a broker in the past two years.
Explaining the motivation behind the report, Engaging consumers and empowering brokers: Essential knowledge on today's lending market, NAB Broker General Manager Steve Kane explained that, "We commissioned this report with the aim of providing unique insights to brokers around how their customers perceive them and what drives them to build a long-term business relationship with their broker.
"We hope it will serve as an important resource to brokers when they are looking at where they can add value in the customer experience, how to better engage with clients and prospects, and where to focus their marketing efforts," he said.
The results showed that the sentiment among consumers who had used the services of a broker was positive, with 65 per cent of broker applicants responding that they would use a broker again and 73 per cent stating that they would use the same broker. This is a key sign of the importance of building relationships with clients.
While 35 per cent of aspiring home buyers said they were unlikely to use a broker, this was because they simply hadn't considered it. Rather than being a negative, this figure shows that consumers still need more information on what a broker can offer. Other reasons for not approaching a broker included a belief that they could get a better deal by going direct to a lender.
If brokers are able to increase awareness of the benefits of working with them and the breadth of products they offer, they are likely to grow their business. The survey results showed that 49 per cent of broker applicants sourced their broker through personal referral, meaning word of mouth is still the most powerful advertising source for brokers.
However, in today's competitive market it's not just about providing good service. Brokers need to invest time in understanding their target client's behaviours, how they prefer to work and the services they place most value on. With 43 per cent of applicants shopping around before settling on a broker, it pays for brokers to show from the outset that they view every client as an individual, with a unique set of needs. A truly telling result from the survey was that what is most important to consumers is a personalised service, with 26 per cent of broker applicants choosing their broker because they liked the individual with whom they dealt.