At ASC, we talk a lot about how we’re the right kind of broker. But what makes a good SME broker? What do you need when running a brokerage in order to provide SMEs with the service they need?
1. Perspective and Knowledge
One of the most important things you can have is a sound perspective and detailed knowledge of the financial world. A broker has to be able to quickly assess whether an application is viable, and therefore needs to know what a bank looks for in an application.
A broker is very much a financial professional, and to be a successful broker you need the knowledge and experience that comes from the financial world. A broker without the right perspective and experience can end up focusing on the wrong things in a client’s application. At the very least, this has no benefit, and at worst could end up damaging the client’s situation.
A good broker knows to be honest with their clients. This might seem obvious – lying to clients is illegal – but it’s more than just making sure your information is accurate. A good broker will be able to assess your situation frankly. They won’t beat around the bush – they will tell you if your application isn’t going to be funded, or if there has been a stumbling block in its progress. With a good broker, you should never feel like you don’t know what’s going on with your application. Finance is a back-and-forth process, and it isn’t going to be perfect every time. A good broker doesn’t hide things from you – they’re always honest and open for how to proceed.
It might seem strange in a business that is ultimately focused on money, but it’s vital for a good broker to be a “people person”. Knowing what to say to the right people can often do better for a finance application than any numbers ever will. A broker with personality might be able to convince an unsure lender of an application’s merits, whereas one who relies on the numbers will only succeed on the most rock-solid of applications. It’s important when you look for a broker to find ones who actually talk to lenders regularly and have a real personal relationship with them.
This isn’t by any means a definitive guide. Running a successful brokerage takes years of experience, hard work and specialist knowledge. A guide to “how to be a good broker” could easily fill a book. But at ASC, we think that these points are basic building blocks of any practice. We hold these values as a key part of our business, and we’re proud to say that they’re practiced across our entire nationwide network.