National Housing Market Update

Watch the latest Housing Market Update across Australia. The housing and economic data is derived from the CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index for the month of June, released July 2017.

Picked out your sun lounge yet?

Join us for the annual conference in beautiful Port Douglas, and hear from speakers like Bernard Salt - also known as Mr Smashed Avocado. There'll be plenty of opportunities to catch up with peers, plus you'll hear from the Vow team about how to make your business more profitable in today's market.

For a great mix of learning, networking and sunshine, register now at the website. www.vowconference.com.au

Compliance Workshop

Steve Wormald, Compliance Manager for Vow, has been conducting compliance workshops across the country. His popular course has recently been refreshed with new content and is getting positive feedback from participants. Here, we ask him a few questions about what's changing in the industry.

What issues in your workshops have been getting the most feedback?

The amount of data now available on individual brokers is a real eye-opener for many. For example, it's clear when brokers are working out loan amounts by simply mirroring the Household Expenditure Level (see below). They hadn't realised that what they do is so visible to ASIC, funders and Vow.

Image: Example of broker applications being based on HEM.

What are the aspects that people are keen to implement in their business?

A big focus is on broker protections - how you can use processes to protect yourself from fraud and the dishonesty of clients. For example, learning how to use Veda checks and income verification processes and knowing how to spot and the various tricks these fraudsters use is crucial.

What have been the biggest changes to compliance in recent years?

The reviews by ASIC over last two years have focused more on individual brokers' behaviour than in the past. You can't get away with cutting corners these days, as there is so much data and so many processes to ensure it gets picked up.

Are audits something we should all be afraid of?

People get nervous about passing their audits, but we've developed a lot of materials to help them prepare for the process, and the checklists and documents are very popular. The key to remember is that we want you to pass, and will give you as much guidance and support as possible to make sure you can.

Any final thoughts?

A compliance workshop is a three-hour investment of time and supporting materials - but brokers tell us it's well the worth the investment, because they see what is going on in the industry and what they can do to succeed.

Women in Finance Award spotlight

Having opened their doors just over a year ago, Kaboodle Finance has gone from strength to strength. Nominated in the prestigious Women in Finance Awards for Mortgage and Finance Broker of the Year, their entry reveals some of the keys to success for this growing business. We spoke to business owner Kim Narayan.

What makes your business successful?

Customer Service - "My aim is to make the home loan process as simple and enjoyable as possible for the customer and my service does not end once the customer has settled their loan.

"I also put myself in the customers shoes, so I don't use any industry jargon, I encourage the customer to ask all questions no matter how small and I also point out the questions customer may not know to ask especially if that have not been through the process before.

"Importantly, I am available in and outside of business hours to talk to customers on the phone, answer emails and since I am a mobile broker, I meet customers for appointments at a location of their choice. I also encourage customers to make their appointments around their schedule and I even am happy to wait until customers have put their children to bed and meet them in the late evening!"

Building infrastructure - "From the very beginning of Kaboodle Finance, I wanted to create a system that would support our customer service efforts, enable me and my team to increase our efficiency and assist the customer during the home loan process. After an 18 month test phase I was excited to officially release The Khub to my customers. It's an interactive platform between the customer and the Kaboodle team where customers can log in and securely upload their supporting and compliance documents and get a much more visual perspective on their home loan."

Image: KHub is a user-friendly dashboard

Educating clients - "We have incorporated content marketing into our business strategy as we see this as our opportunity to add value for our customers and build brand awareness. By providing quality content and resources, customers are sharing it on facebook and talking about us with their friends."