Broker Spotlight: Jaime Savory
Who is Jaime Savory
Business Woman, Mortgage Broker, Owner and Director of Gippsland Finance solutions, Mother of three young boys, wife, mentor, local school treasurer, Deputy chair of East Gippsland marketing – a marketing body founded by local businesses who work together to market East Gippsland as a great place to live, work and invest – Jaime Savory is the kind of person who, just by rattling off their daily schedule, can make you feel both overwhelmed and totally inferior.
Jaime, who is originally from Melbourne, made the move to East Gippsland, with her parents when she was young. Having a passion for finance through high school, Jaime went on to study a Bachelor of Commerce via correspondence, all the while, securing a part-time position at the local bank.
After a career break and a stint abroad in London, Jaime moved back to Melbourne and continued her career with the bank. After ten years, six of which spent back managing her local branch, Jaime took the plunge and started her own business, Gippsland Finance Solutions.
"I got to a point in my career where I was not fully on board with the direction of the bank in terms of increased targets and decreased staff."
"I’m not the type of person who stays somewhere just because, so in 2014, I started my own business and went into mortgage broking."
New business, new beginnings
Jaime expected only to work 3-4 days a week when her business opened, that quickly changed to full time and as a mother of three young boys, her and her husband made the decision he would stop working to be at home whilst Jaime tackled the growing workload.
When asked what Jaime took away from starting her own business and the advice she would give to others looking to do the same, her response was simple:
"Believe in yourself and ask for help. I didn’t bring support on because I didn’t believe I could continue bringing in the workload, now I have an admin on full time and I wish I had done it earlier. Just don’t doubt yourself!"
Working your business around what works for the client
Jaime goes above and beyond for all her clients. So much so, in four years of operating, Jaime can only recall one client going to a different bank due to a family member working there.
“We’re very good at retaining our clients and I’m very prompt at communication because that’s the biggest thing the banks don’t do, they don’t get back to their clients when they say they’re going to”.
“I had a client about 3 years ago, I helped them clear up existing debts and re-finance. As this client was referred to me and I knew them as one of the business owners in the region, I understood how hard it is to get to appointments when you’re running your own business, so I would go to her place of work to help her out”.
“Last Christmas she contacted me telling me she had bought a house in QLD and it was a 30-day settlement, she was so apologetic that she had called me two days before Christmas when I was closed, but I came in on boxing day and we got all the information into the system and got it done within the week. It was only an hour out of my boxing day, but it meant I could do that for her and not lose her as a client to someone else”.
“I work my business around what works for the client not works for me”.
Striving to close the education gap
Instilling a sense of importance around educating customers, Jaime has a few ways in which she does this. In the first appointment with a customer, Jaime goes in depth about borrowing money, what the banks will be looking for, what they like to see and prepares her customers’ properly before submitting their application.
Going even further, Jaime organises and runs local seminars for new and existing clients. Having run seminars for investors, construction loans, first home buyers, superfunds plus many more, Jaime sees the importance in educating the wider community, so they can have greater control over their own finances, rather than relying on a bank to tell them what to do.
"I do a lot of different seminars, and sometimes I might only get one new client but it’s not about me. It’s not about the financial gain I get from it, it’s about educating the wider community in a regional space because we don’t have the same opportunities available to us that someone might in a major city."
Running seminars collectively with different professions, Jaime has held them with an accountant and a real estate agent, a builder and a conveyancer, aiming to get all the people in the one room to be able to educate whoever wants to attend.
Educating customers on the risks is a broker's duty of care
For Jaime, who built a business around putting each customer first and going to great lengths to provide them with a top level of service, it was never an option whether she integrated loan protection into her process or not. To her, it was a duty of care.
"When a client is going for a loan or re-financing, I just don’t see it as a choice I get to make whether I discuss it or not. Brokers have a duty of care to discuss this with every client and if they choose not to progress with it or perhaps they already have sufficient coverage and they don’t wish to take it up, then that is their choice. The discussion is a necessity that I will have with every single client, because I would never forgive myself if something happened to that client and I hadn’t discussed it."
Jaime, who has seen to over 170 clients protected, speaks of the importance of pre-positioning loan protection at the initial interview when the customer is talking about the home loan:
"If you gloss over it at the start, the client won’t see the importance of it. I try to talk about insurance as much as I talk about the home loan, so the client understands that the two go hand-in-hand."
"I say to brokers who don’t offer protection, could you live with yourself if a child didn’t have their home? I have young kids, so I always think to myself, if I didn’t have insurance and something happens to me, I could just imagine what my kids would be like if they didn’t have their safe place. I just can’t comprehend how some brokers don’t have the conversation."