PLAN Australia Broker Petro Triantafyllou started his career in broking in 2001. Based in South Melbourne, Petro together with his five employees at Podium Financial Services write loans across residential, commercial and asset and equipment finance. We recently spoke to Petro about why he uses PLAN Lending.
For those unfamiliar, PLAN Lending is a white-label loan option available through PLAN Australia. White-label loans are a similar concept to home-branded products found in supermarket aisles and offer a simple, high-value loan solution. White-label loans deliver many of the same great features as bank-branded home loans but are available exclusively through the broker channel.
Q: What is the best thing about PLAN Lending for you?
A: My business is built on repeat and referral client relationships, so I love that PLAN Lending empowers me to maintain ongoing, direct engagement with my customers, even post-settlement.
The structure of PLAN Lending means I am the main point of contact for the loan, which is exclusively available from PLAN Australia brokers. If a customer has misplaced a statement, wants a direct debit or wants to chat about redraw – they can call me directly and I can help them straightaway. This is not only good for me, as it builds my relationship with the customer, but more importantly it’s good for the customer as I can save them time by not having to go to the lender separately.
Q: And what do you see as the main benefit for your customers?
A: My customers are always attracted to the price – it is competitive and up there with the market-leaders in terms of cost.
Service is definitely a close second. Through PLAN Lending I can almost always secure a streamlined, fast approval process. This is because I can workshop complex loans with credit assessors – something that I haven’t really seen offered elsewhere. I can book in a time with a senior credit assessor to run complex loans through my PLAN Lending BDM. This direct, face-to-face approach means we can get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ a lot quicker, and again saves the customer valuable time.
Q: Has your use of PLAN Lending evolved over time?
A: I have been selling PLAN Lending loans for five years, and while I originally used them for quicker, simpler deals this has evolved and I now see the many benefits of using PLAN Lending for complex lending. I also use PLAN Lending more often now than I used to.
This is mostly because of the support systems that are available along the way. Not only are there the credit assessors I have mentioned already, but PLAN Lending helps me keep the customer in the loop at every stage of the loan journey. For example, I get an alert when my customers may be rolling off their fixed rate loan. This means I can call my customer and have a conversation with them about what they should do next. Without this alert – my customer might go straight to bank and end up with a worse rate than what I could find them. I much prefer being on the front-foot so I can prevent my customers leaving.
Q: Do you have any tips for brokers who are unsure how to explain PLAN Lending to a client?
A: When I introduce PLAN Lending to a client I explain that it’s part of NAB, and send them the customer facing website link so they can do some research online as well. Once they understand this, I’ve found my customers have confidence straight away, and the fact they may not have heard of PLAN Lending directly before is not a concern.