Working as a mortgage broker mentor in the male dominated Australian mortgage broking financial services industry which has less than 25% women has certainly been an interesting and rewarding experience for Sue Hayter.
Sue Hayter is the Founder of Quality Financial Group Pty Ltd., a boutique sub-aggregation mortgage broking business. It includes Trusted Mortgage Broker and Melbourne Mortgage Broker Mentor, all of which are solely owned and operated by her. She offers an holistic full service mentoring model for new mortgage brokers who choose to operate under their own business name.
A broker since 2004, Sue has used her experience and excellent industry record to become a leader in her field. She shares her knowledge and expertise to empower the brokers to fulfil their dreams of being self-employed and self-sufficient business owners.
As an experienced mortgage broker, Sue started mentoring brokers in 2010. To support the brokers, she authored the Quality Financial Group Mentor Programme which has been assessed by the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia and the Finance Brokers Association of Australia and is recognised and approved as a mentor programme for new to industry brokers.
Specialist in Mentoring Immigrants
Emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand and then to Melbourne, Australia was both exciting and terrifying for Sue. She didn’t know a single soul when she arrived in Melbourne in 2001. Today when she reflects back over the years, she is immensely proud of her achievements. Sue specialises in mentoring immigrants to Australia because she understands how difficult it is to become established in a new business and build a new network in order to become successful.
Operating a new business can be a lonely experience for a new mortgage broker and to overcome this Sue created a feeling of a sense of belonging to a community within her mentoring business. She has helped many immigrants from a diverse range of countries such as Sri Lanka, Philippines, Nepal, China, Vietnam and India to name a few. All the brokers started as new to industry under her mentorship. She has proudly watched how they have benefited from her experience, guidance and built a solid foundation with which to gain a feeling of security and financial freedom.
Sue was very proud to be recognised as the Australian Women in Finance Mentor of the Year 2020 and also The Better Business Mentor of the Year 2019. Her other achievements over the years include recognition as a finalist for Innovator of the Year, Industry Thought Leader of the Year and Training & Education Program of the Year.
Driven by Values
Sue’s key leadership and mentoring values are based on a foundation of honesty, integrity and trust. This is supported by habits of excellence which are nurtured by a mutual respect for each other and translated into her business processes. The mentee completes an application form so that she can establish whether the mentee is aligned with her values.
Therefore, from the outset, Sue attracts the people with the same values to work alongside her.
Maintaining Operational Excellence
Sue recognises that the Australian finance industry is highly regulated. Mortgage brokers need to be 100% compliant and adhere to responsible lending rules and regulations in order to provide credit assistance which is in the best interests of the customer and does not disadvantage the customer in any way. In order to achieve this, Sue strives to maintain operational excellence whereby the mentees are supported by her mentoring programme.
Sue designed and built the “QFG Online Resource Centre” which is an online platform that is updated daily by her. The broker has 24/7 access to the platform which houses 100’s of educational tools, templates and marketing examples to help them stand out from the crowd.
Sue uses the platform for training and support. These tools instil a sense of self belief and confidence, allowing the brokers to grow their business and achieve sales and revenue.
A leader in the mentoring space, Sue advises the use of innovative technology such as cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. This enables mentoring, coaching and training regardless of location. The brokers are able to learn and work efficiently whilst remaining compliant and ensuring the security of the customer data.
Mortgage broker mentees often have minimal experience how to operate successfully within the complexity of the many different lenders and loan scenarios. They can make many mistakes costing lenders millions of dollars. Sometimes brokers could disadvantage customers with their mistakes. To overcome this hurdle, Sue developed the unique, innovative “Business in a Box” system, which is continually updated by her in line with the changing finance environment.
The system delivers powerful results by helping the brokers organise and submit loans. It forces the brokers to follow the best business process which meets the industry standards, and it suits mentees who don’t have the skill sets to map out the necessary processes. It is mandatory to follow her step-by-step home loan process road map, compliance guide and audit checklist which results in a delightful customer journey.
Pandemic Survival Plan to Thrive
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” – Albert Einstein.
During the Melbourne lockdown which lasted more than 7 months, Sue adapted to mentoring and working 100% electronically with the brokers. She asserts, “We all worked from home as an online community. We have all adapted and evolved our businesses and most of us still prefer to work from home to this day.”
Sue has helped and inspired the brokers thrive during COVID-19. She successfully educated the brokers about e-marketing with zero cost and has assisted them to evolve as mortgage brokers which has resulted in maintaining operational excellence. The brokers have also achieved positive results by assisting the customers with a stress-free home loan application journey which produced great outcomes.
Whichever way Sue looks at it, there’s no denying that COVID-19 has had a massive positive impact on the way she has conducted her mortgage broker mentoring business. And this excites her as it has allowed her to explore creative ideas in the mortgage broker mentoring space.
Here are a few things Sue implemented:
- She recorded face to face individual zoom training sessions for every broker so that they could refer to their own individual training/education video at any time.
- Group meetings: Her team looked forward to weekly zoom sessions and the brokers loved them, as working from home and being in lockdown was a very lonely experience.
- She believes that it’s important to keep a sense of humour and thus, she had “coffee catch-up” mentoring sessions on zoom, where everyone had to show their favourite coffee/tea mug. The shared experience was enjoyed by everyone.
- She educated the brokers to embrace digital technology and therefore proactively plan ahead to prepare for a range of positive outcomes going forward into the new normal.
- Digitally powered relationships – She educated the brokers to integrate digital tools within their business processes, including electronic interviews, e-signatures and digital documentation in order to drive more efficient customer service and enable remote working.
- As the highest levels of customer service and efficiency come from being digitally connected, the brokers replaced physical face-to-face interview client meetings with electronic face to face meetings which proved to be very convenient for the customers.
Positive results have been achieved because digital communication is key and this has enabled scalability of their businesses. It also drives efficiency and helps mortgage brokers continue to facilitate a better customer experience and provide a faster service.
Sue loves her role of mentoring mortgage brokers as it has enabled her to be innovative and encourage them to be resilient and have the ability to continue to be adaptable. By sharing her knowledge, expertise and experience, she has been able to empower the mentees to fulfil their dreams of being self-employed and self-sufficient business owners.
Working from home has become the new “business as usual”. Many women have enjoyed the flexibility of the “new normal” and in Sue’s opinion we will see more women joining the finance industry in the future.
Providing Mental Health Support
How can a broker mentally survive the changing and challenging times of our financial environment without substantial mindset support to prevent depression and suicide?
To support and maintain a positive mindset with the brokers, Sue uses techniques such as emotional intelligence and Neuro Linguistic Programming. She has been a coach/practitioner since 2010 helping support the brokers to:
- Maintain a positive outlook within themselves with regards to their lifestyle, family and business.
- Define their purpose/clear vision
- Successfully obtaining and establishing goals
- Overcome negative thoughts and decisions
- Establish good habits and behaviours
Sue believes that many brokers need help to believe in themselves to remain mentally strong so they can help themselves, their family and customers while maintaining a healthy business and achieve a life they love. She also recognises that mentally strong women remain focused, striding confidently forward on their own path and therefore grow stronger.
Enlightening Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Sue gives five pieces of advice to up-and-coming women entrepreneurs who aspire to enter into finance industry.
“Always have a positive attitude and transform any negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Your positive thoughts will lead to positive feelings and will feed your soul.”
“Recognise that you are the source of everything you manifest and recognise that you have the strength and will to activate your inner potential.”
“Have the courage to speak up if you see that something is wrong. Always remain professional and dignified and this will gain you respect.”
“Confidence to achieve is a valuable key ingredient to have in your life. Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. You too can inspire your partner, children and business colleagues.”
“To cope with the stresses of today’s world, start by taking care of yourself. I love to walk and run to keep my body and mind fit and healthy and I share videos and posts to inspire others to do the same.”