Chris Sproule, has gone from being a chef in Hobart, working in the kitchen and juggling a semi-professional footy career to ‘falling into’ a position in one of the big 4 banks for a whopping 17 years, to moving himself and his family way up north to the sun drenched, cruisy coastal lifestyle of the Gold Coast in Queensland, becoming a broker, and being part owner of Mortgage & Finance Management business.
Finance broking since 2006, Chris boasts vast industry experience that enables him to help his clients filter through the myriad of products that are out there in the market.
Client first focus
Chris admits the bottom line to everything, is the client relationship and interaction. This means every client Chris has, receives the best possible experience and can be assured Chris will go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome.
"My favourite thing about being a broker is the client interaction. It’s the feeling you get when you see the smile on your clients face when you get to tell them they’ll be able to achieve their goal or dream."
Building a business off client referrals
Chris is part owner of Mortgage & Finance Management and is the only owner who works for the business.
“I am basically the business, because I am the only partner who works in it. As far as I am concerned, it’s all about looking after the existing clients and new clients. The business has been built off client referrals – besides having the website, we don’t even really advertise, all the business comes from existing clients and their referrals”.
Chris, who is based in Queensland has not limited himself to the local area, recently picking up a client in the ACT and ticking off every state and territory in Australia, meaning his business is country-wide. What’s more, Chris has also helped clients from New Zealand who were referred to him from an agent and came to Queensland to meet Chris and purchase a property in the area.
"Of course, keeping up with this type of client base is a lot harder. We send out a monthly newsletter, which goes out, so we can try to keep in touch with our clients."
Starting out in one of the big four banks, insurance was something Chris learnt early on in his career, goes hand in hand when taking out a loan. Having had a client during his time at the bank, who had taken out a loan and then experienced a brain haemorrhage, Chris was so thankful he had spoken about protection with him. His client had no sick leave left, no annual leave and no income after an extensive period in the hospital – if it weren’t for something as simple as insurance, his client would have lost his home too.
"Having a story like this, which you can really relate to and has hit you quite hard, makes it easy to consistently talk to all clients about protecting themselves when taking a loan out. I always ask them what their most important asset is, and they will say their home, or their car and I ask if they insure it, they will say yes. So, I ask why they don’t insure themselves too? Without an income or their health, they could lose it all. You are the most important asset."
Processes and prepositioning
Chris starts the process with every new client by going over exactly what the client wants and what they need. It’s during this initial conversation that Chris makes mention to what a loan protection plan is and that it’s something they’ll discuss again later in the process.
"It’s not discussed in the initial interview, but I do preposition it in the initial conversations. When we get to the stage of having an approval, that is when I sit down, and I’ll do a quote with the clients."
Chris, who fully believes in protection and who has himself fully covered, thinks anyone who is getting into debt, should seriously ask themselves what happens to that loan if something happens to them.
Advice to brokers
"In this day and age, as far as duty of care goes, you are mad if you don’t bring the subject up, you really are."
That is Chris’ biggest piece of advice to brokers who aren’t talking to their clients about having a backup plan in place.
"I never want to be in the shoes of a broker, who hasn’t brought protection into the conversation, and finds out down the line, their client is in a position where they need to make a claim and has nothing behind them to fall back on."