When it comes to selecting a mortgage aggregator, the decision isn’t easy. With dozens of aggregators available to choose from, each has differences that will appeal to different types of mortgage brokers. Some brokers prefer the support and structure of joining a franchise aggregator, while others rate generous commission structures more highly.
It’s worth doing your due diligence when selecting an aggregator and thoroughly researching what’s going to be most suitable for your needs. While the final decision is ultimately yours, we’ve outlined some of the key differences between franchises and non-franchise aggregators to help you weigh up your options.
The benefits of franchise aggregator models
Franchise aggregators such as Aussie Home Loans and Mortgage Choice are well established, and bring with them brand presence and consumer familiarity. Because they’ve built a name for themselves in the market, you won’t need to work as hard to build brand awareness or establish trust amongst customers. While of course you’ll need to work hard to maintain customer satisfaction and build your own personal brand, you’re not starting from scratch when you join a franchise network.
Systems and processes
Franchises are essentially complete businesses that are packaged up ready for a mortgage broker to execute on. When you buy into a franchise model, you’ll be provided with a tried and tested business model, complete with systems, processes and templates to follow to ensure your success. If business operations and marketing isn’t your strong point, this extensive support provided to franchisees may be beneficial for you.
Another key benefit of choosing a franchise aggregator is the training and ongoing support you’ll be provided with. Franchise systems often issue marketing materials to help franchisees conduct local area marketing. You’ll also benefit from network-wide marketing conducted by head office, which will always add trust and awareness to your brand. Some franchises will also offer support in the form of leads, technologies and systems.
When your franchise business flourishes, it adds to the strength of the entire franchise network, so it’s in the franchisor’s interest to support you to achieve your full potential. In many cases, franchise aggregator models have additional support and resources than non-franchise models.
Building a pipeline of qualified leads is a challenge for any mortgage broker. Most franchise aggregator offer support with sourcing leads, making your job more focused on converting them than hunting them down.
The disadvantages of franchise aggregators
While franchise aggregators often provide more in the way of support and structure to mortgage brokers, this extra support comes with a price. It’s common for franchises to charge a franchise fee, and have lower splits on upfront and trail commissions. So while you receive more support, you pay for it. These higher costs can be worth it if it allows you to build a stronger, more financially stable business due to the training, support and structure you’re provided with as a franchisee.
The benefits of non-franchise aggregator models
While franchises have strict rules around how you can market and operate your business, non-franchise aggregators tend to have less of a say in this area. This is great news for brokers who desire the freedom to build a business and brand on their own terms. It will be up to you to create your own systems and operate the business in a way that suits you.
Resources and support
While franchise aggregators may offer more in the way of support, non-franchise aggregators still often provide resources for their broker networks. This may come in the form of access to a CRM, help with sourcing leads, or business templates and operational guides to help you succeed. Aggregators will also provide Business Development Manager (BDM) support to brokers as well. When choosing an aggregator, make sure you ask questions about what sort of support to expect.
Ability to grow and scale
When you build your own brand from the ground up, you can take it as far as you want. You have the freedom to offer financial planning or accounting services on top of mortgage broking, or to extend your reach in the lending space and offer finance broking generally. It’s completely up to you where you want to take the business, what you’ll name it, and how you operate it. This means that when it comes to growth and scale, the sky’s the limit.
Attractive commission splits
Commission splits can be more lucrative for non-franchise aggregators. Because you’re not supported as much as in a franchise model, you can earn more for each loan you write. Of course, you have to decide if it’s worth it, as you’ll need to do a lot of the business development and lead generation on your own.
The disadvantages of non-franchise aggregators
Non-franchise aggregators may offer more freedom for business owners, but won’t necessarily support you as much as a franchise aggregator does. For some brokers, this is fine. If you’re confident in building networks, marketing your business and generating leads yourself you may not require the brand strength or support of a franchise system.
It can also be isolating for business owners who don’t have particularly strong networking or business development skills. Non-franchise aggregators typically provide less support with sourcing leads, so if you find this tough, going the non-franchise route may not be the best option for you.
What’s best for you?
Every mortgage aggregator has something different to offer. Fee structures, support systems, culture and processes will all be areas to look into in detail when you need to make a choice.
Typically, franchises will employ more control over their brokers’ operations. They need to, because they have a brand to protect. It’s vital to ensure that processes are followed and consistency is maintained from one franchise to the next. Often, a lot more support and structure is provided so that brokers can do this, but it usually comes at a greater cost. However, a franchise aggregator’s systems can help you follow a tried and proven model to achieve success.
Non-franchise models aren’t as concerned with keeping things consistent. They want their brokers to perform at their best, whatever that looks like for them. They may still offer support in the form of technology, systems, leads or marketing, and they may also offer some training, but not nearly as much as a franchise aggregator would.
In summary, the decision of what’s best for you comes down to research and preference. If you’re launching your own business or considering changing aggregators and would like some advice on how to find an aggregator to suit your needs, get in touch with our recruitment consultants for some guidance.