Periodic or ‘annual’ reviews as most of us refer to them, are best practice under the BID guidelines but they are also the easiest way to source new business and find cross sell opportunities. Your existing clients already trust you, are hopefully very happy and grateful for your service and will always have changing finance needs as they go through the phases of life. They will also know other people like themselves, that you can help. Conducting periodic reviews ensures you get a bite at the cherry every year!
Annual reviews aren’t something you get taught as part of the Cert IV or Diploma so everyone probably does them differently. We’ve spoken to a few brokers and have come up with the below guide to help you make the most out of them.
- Negotiate a Rate Reduction
What better way to start the annual review meeting than with the news you have already negotiated a rate reduction with the client’s lender before the call?! Yes, this usually means having to call the lender and wait on hold to ask what the client’s current rate is before you do the pricing request but now you can access your client’s current product and rate details via platforms like Hound that are utilising Open Banking. No more waiting on hold for this!
Another good reason to do the retention pricing request now is that if you do end up refinancing the clients loan as a result of the annual review, you have already offered the client their current lender’s best rate and therefore avoid the retention team. And the client benefits from a lower rate while the refinance deal is submitted and approved.
- Property Valuation
It is always a good idea to have a quick check on RP Data or wherever you get your real estate insights to see what the client’s properties are worth now. Yet another good news story if you can tell them their property value has gone up! Hound is integrated with Core Logic so you won’t need to look up the client’s property value as you can see it within the Hound platform and it will be printed on the Hound annual review report that you can provide the client.
- Product Research
Now you have the best rate at the client’s current lender and the current property value you can work out if there are any lenders in the market who would be cheaper for the client. At this point, you haven’t had the conversation yet so you won’t know if their circumstances have changed, but it is good to just have an idea of the fixed and variable products available so you can reel off some of these on the call and what they translate to in terms of annual savings.
Hound has partnered with Simplogy so you can do your lender research without having to leave the Hound platform.
- Schedule the Review
To get the most out of your meeting it is wise to set an agenda. This way the client will read it ahead of time and will know what to expect. It also means that if you have insurance or other cross sells on the agenda you won’t forget or be able to ‘chicken out’ of the discussion!! This agenda will be specific to the client but will generally include short and long term plans and goals, product discussion & cross sells (insurance, wills etc). It is a good idea to also take the opportunity to ask for a Google review or tell them about a refer a friend campaign. Most of the population like to help others, so give them an opportunity to do this. Your clients will likely be very grateful for the work you do so they will be more than happy to help you.
- Follow Up
You may have been told things in the review about important dates like a child’s birthday, due date for a pregnancy, holidays, last day of work at a job. Diarise these and schedule a text or an email to be sent on that day. Thoughtful touches like this go a long way!
If you spoke about insurance or any other service you need to refer them to, make sure you make the referral while it is fresh in their mind.
Save your notes you took to the client file in case you even need evidence that you have been diligently doing your reviews.
- Diarise The Next Periodic Review
Many of you will use some sort of workflow or automation tool so these reviews may be scheduled for you but if not, make sure you schedule the next one so you don’t miss it. One of Hound’s “triggers” is the annual review so you will always be alerted when they are due.
As you grow your loan book and the number of clients increases, we know that these annual reviews can start to pile up and may often fall by the wayside as other urgent tasks take up your time. Hound has tried to make this task easier by giving you the ability to generate an annual review report to provide the client.
This annual review report includes a summary of all the clients loans and properties, it shows them how much equity they have & their net real estate asset position and it also allows the broker to tailor an agenda. We hope that showing the clients their equity will help prompt conversations about how the client may want to use or invest that equity, leading to increased lending. You can schedule the annual review meeting directly from the Hound platform and attach the report which includes the agenda.
Annual reviews can be time consuming and hard to prioritise due to the urgent nature of what brokers do but partnering with the right technology can make things a lot easier. These reviews, done properly, really can add so much value to the business as well as make the client feel like someone has their back and is invested in helping them achieve their goals.