If it was ever thought that the age-old saying, Women are great at multitasking might not stand true, then you need to meet Leah Busby.
First, Leah is a wife and doting mum to a five-year-old girl, a three-year-old boy, and Golden Retriever.
Second, Leah is an award-winning broker and business owner, of the bustling Blackfish Finance in Glenelg, Adelaide.
Being a mum of two little ones and running a business leaves little room for hobbies, Leah says her one passion outside of finance is her family.
12 months ago, Leah and her team had a sea change from her city office, to a larger space which is conveniently closer to home and the ocean.
“It was a bit of a shakeup re-locating from the city but so far so good. Being five minutes from home and so close to the beach has been a great move for balancing both home and work life”.
By having a larger space, Leah has brought more services into the Blackfish building such as financial planning, conveyancing, a bookkeeper, and an accountant. Making Blackfish a one-stop shop for her clients.
Over a decade in the industry
Leah was working at Flinders University when a friend offered her the opportunity to change careers and move into the finance world. Taking a chance, Leah completed the relevant study required at the time and started working as a Mortgage Broker. Not long after, Leah decided to start her own business and so began Blackfish Finance.
“After being in the industry for over 10 years, my favourite thing about being a Mortgage Broker is helping clients. I love everything from the client interactions, being able to educate clients, supporting them and getting them excited about the goals and dreams they are going to achieve. Building and manifesting strong relationships which can turn into friendships throughout the process is amazing too. I love helping them as first home buyers and then with their family home and first investment property”.
A holistic service
Leah Busby ensures she can offer a holistic service to each client. From offering loan protection to financial planning, insurance and even having access to ‘direct connect’ which helps to connect utilities and everything else her clients might not have thought of; plus the in-house services of her trusted colleagues.
“Being able to provide as much information to my clients is so important to us and our offering as a business. We like to know our customers have access to everything they need”.
When things go pear-shaped - learn from it
As a successful business owner, Leah says her biggest learning curve as a business owner is that things will go pear-shaped and when they do, you need to learn from it and move on.
“You are always learning from the ways you do business and who you do business with. When it comes to communication and processes and everything else to do with running a business, you must learn to be adaptable in the way you manage your team and how you deal with clients”.
Leah, as a broker and Blackfish Finance as a business, have an array of accolades to show for their hard work and dedication to delivering exceptional and full service to clients. A testament to the great work of Blackfish Finance, they rely solely off a referral base model and don’t have a need to advertise at all for the business.
“We have had really great organic growth, purely through word-of-mouth referrals”.
Leah’s number one priority is a work-life balance, and so, Leah is not full time in the office. This means Leah’s day is very structured; clients come to her in the office & to make sure this experience is worthwhile, Blackfish has a very thorough process in place to ensure clients have what they need before they come in.
Customer experience is key to Leah and the Blackfish team, building a strong relationship from the start and delivering great service is why clients refer them to family and friends and continue to come back to Leah and the team for anything and everything.
“I had a client call me recently asking if I knew a chef looking for work, we have clients reaching out to see if we know of anyone looking for short-term rental and we even have clients seeking assistance with their personal affairs and advice from our in-house accountant. I really do believe we have become such a trusted source of information for our clients, they know we will try to help them with anything. As a mum, a wife, a business owner – they know I’m happy to have a chat about anything with them if it means we can help them”.
Example of great customer service
A young mother had a bank go back on formal approval, just as she was about to move to a new house with 5 dependent children.
“We moved heaven and earth for this client as she was incredibly emotional, crying her eyes out in our office. We got the entire world involved to sort it out because I was certain the bank had done the wrong thing – the mortgage insurer had done the wrong thing, issuing formal approval and then going back on it. So, I went straight to the head of my aggregator and straight to the head of third-party banking. It was a very stressful situation, but we persevered, and the banks ended up waving a few things and we got the outcome we wanted. The bank contacted the client and told them, if it wasn’t for Leah, we would not have got this resolved”.
Offering protection to clients is part of a great customer experience
As a supporter of loan protection from the very beginning, Leah has included the discussion in her customer interactions for over 10 years.
“Clients know about loan protection from the first initial phone consultation and appointment. I also include information in the welcome pack clients receive on day one”.
ALI’s Loan Protection Plan (LPP) is a complete part of Blackfish’s process – ensuring every client has explained clearly what protection is and what it can mean to them if something unexpected were to happen.
“it’s such an easy product to offer, it never comes across as a hard sell. It’s ultimately the client’s decision whether they take out a policy or not but it’s important that we be there to discuss it with them throughout the process”.
Leah has her own experiences for when life has thrown something unexpected, including her father being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and having two friends diagnosed with cancer. With these personal experiences, Leah knows what it means to have something in place for when things can turn sour.
“Offering protection is important to my clients, but it’s also good for business and eases my mind knowing they have something in place. I think it’s crucial to have something like this as an add on when running a business”.