Once, a single mother at 27 years of age to three young daughters, looking to start again, with no money, no home and in debt, Peita Davies had no knowledge of where life was going to take her, let alone the financial industry. Fast forward 20 years and Peita is a picture of success in the broking industry.
Boasting an impressive investment property portfolio and owning and operating as a sole business owner in not one but two offices in the Greater Western Sydney area of Penrith and the Blue Mountains – Peita is using her knowledge and experience to help people the way she wished someone had been able to help her.
Businesswoman aside, Peita’s passions lie with her family, her dog Ollie and her turtle-rescuing-husband. Peita also has a penchant for travel and is a ‘somewhat embarrassed’ supporter of the Parramatta Eels.
If at first you don't succeed...
When Peita left school, one of the more common careers available was to work in a bank.
“Back in the day, if you wanted to get into the banking industry, you had to get accepted after doing a banking exam. I did this and unfortunately was not accepted, so I never got into the bank. I did however get accepted in a role working for the Government and hated it!”.
Following in similar footsteps to her parents, Peita began working in a pharmacy. With an army medic father and a pharmacy assistant mother, helping and caring about people came naturally to Peita.
"I absolutely loved working in the pharmacy, I worked my way up the ladder and eventually became the pharmacist’s right hand."
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans
Finding herself a single mother at 27, Peita had no ideas about where life was going to lead her or what she should do next.
After meeting her now husband, Peita was introduced to the broking industry by her sister-in-law who was working for a broker and at aged 30 set out on a new career.
“I found there to be a real value alignment between broking and working in the pharmacy, which is truly that caring component and helping people. In the pharmacy, you helped new mothers with things like nappy rash and fevers, or elderly people with their medicines. Now, I’m able to help people and provide information and support my customers whichever way I can and that’s the part I absolutely love.”
A chance to make a difference
Having learnt everything from the ground up, Peita is now able to pass her knowledge on to her clients.
"My favourite thing about being a broker is the chance to make a real difference. Before meeting my husband, I was in debt, I had no financial assets or home, and I certainly wasn’t financially savvy. I wish I’d had someone like me now, to give me the information I needed."
A not so favourite thing about being a mortgage broker for Peita, is having to say ‘no’ to her clients – as well as the long hours that come with owning and operating in two locations.
“I don’t like to say no to my clients. So, I never give a flat no, I give a positive goal to work towards because at the end of the day, there’s always something we can do to make the situation better. It could be a ‘no for now’ but here’s what we can do to get you where you need and want to be”.
Be good to people and work hard
Peita, who ran her business from the Blue Mountains, opened a second office in Penrith one year ago. Starting out as a broker, Peita never set out to own a business. Having been the only one in her family to own and run a business, it was something entirely new, and something she knew nothing about.
“I never set out to own a business, business just grew because I was good at being a broker. Having a strong referral and client base meant this job morphed itself into a business. Which is sometimes what I find to be the hardest part. Just because you are good at your craft, doesn’t mean you’re good at everything else too.”
Peita’s ethos and philosophy for her business is plain and simple – be good to people and work hard.
The broking industry thrives on a referral base and the relationship piece with customers is imperative to one’s success. This is no doubt the reason for Peita’s successes.
“I don’t like to think about what might set me apart from other brokers, I think it’s truly down to the customer. People will choose who they want to work with based on the connection you have with them, and whether they trust you."
No two customers are the same
Going above and beyond for all customers is second nature to Peita and her team:
"It’s all of the little things which can make a huge difference. Some clients don’t require anything extra, some will require a lot of encouragement and support, it’s just about being there for each and every customer any way you can be – every customer is unique in what they need, and we work hard to adapt and cater to those needs."
Understanding what customers need
Peita, like many brokers who have customer care at the very centre of what they do, look at offering loan protection like a duty of care.
"The more I understood what the customer needs, the more perfectly aligned ALI’s Loan Protection Plan seemed to be. There’s an option to take out just some cover, which I always say is better than none. The product itself is easy to talk about."
Utilising the collateral provided by ALI, Peita says “the flyers are such a simple and effective way to get clients to understand the product and to have them seriously consider it. It also leaves me to feel like I’ve had a really good and strong conversation about the risks and can walk away knowing I have done my part in ensuring my customers are fully aware of the risks when taking out a loan or a mortgage.”
New year, new process
There’s no better time than the start of a new year to bring new processes into effect. Working closely with her ALI BDM, Peita was able to develop a process which is both effective and efficient. The new process rolled out in January this year and sees her administrative team supporting the LPP follow up.
Peita’s LPP process begins when a customer fills out an enquiry form and they receive an automated email stating exactly what the first appointment will contain – including a discussion about the customers’ goals and dreams and especially on how to protect them.
"I start the conversation immediately. I’m very clear in my communication on what will be discussed and why. I set an agenda and as one of the items I have included LPP - how it’s different to LMI and how it could benefit them."
Once the customer has pre-approval, another email is sent with next steps and more information around LPP. Following up again at final approval, Peita sees her customers face to face where she can show them the videos about LPP and explain more about the benefits.
“After we play the video to the customer, I’ll sit with them and talk through it in detail. If we can’t get a decision, the administrative staff contact them just before settlement to get a final yes or no”.
Advice to brokers
Peita insists brokers need to stop looking at LPP like it’s an add on and start looking at it like it’s part of their own product offering.
“Every single customer of mine gets quoted, every customer gets an opportunity to say yes and every customer means an opportunity for me to talk about it.”
"We might not sign up every loan, but every customer will walk about with the knowledge about LPP. It’s an absolute duty of care and brokers should be doing it."
Peita Davies has protected more than 250 of her customers lives to date. You can too, register your interest in becoming an ALI authorised broker today.