How to use RBA rate announcements to reach out to customers and build your business

by Robin Christie September 28, 2016

Aside from death and taxes, there are few more predictable events than the RBA’s monthly official cash rate announcements. So why not harness this headline-grabbing event to reach out to your client base and establish yourself as an authority on how to deal with rate moves?

Know the schedule

The RBA makes its official cash rate announcement following the Reserve Bank Board Meeting, at 2.30pm (EST) on the first Tuesday of every month (except January). This represents 11 opportunities each year to offer advice via your blog, email and social media.

The RBA’s calendar also shows that monetary policy meeting minutes are released on the third Tuesday of every month. These outline the bank’s thoughts on how the economy and housing market are performing, as well as indicating what its next cash rate decision might be.

It’s well worth making your reaction to monthly interest rate announcements a firm fixture on your marketing schedule. The minutes may occasionally offer enough information to warrant reaching out to your clients again two weeks later.

Plan ahead

RBA cash rate decisions garner plenty of media attention, so time is of the essence if your advice is going to reach your clients while the news is still fresh. Plan ahead and have your commentary ready to go in time for the 2.30pm announcement.

To be completely thorough, this means having three blogs or emails ready to go: One for a rate rise, one for a drop and one for a hold. In reality, though, you would usually be fine doing just two versions. Given that there’s often a strong consensus among experts as to the direction rates could go, you could create one option to cover that direction, and one option for if rates don’t change. You can also use these forecasts to influence which option you give the most attention.

Once the RBA has announced its decision, it’s time to send out your email, or put your blog online and promote it via social media updates.

Do your research

Keeping an eye on RBA announcements and speeches will give you a good indication as to whether a rate increase or decrease is on the cards.

Banks often offer their commentary on which direction rates are likely to head. CBA, Westpac, ANZ and NAB, for example, all offer regular economic insights.

Business news outlets also keep a keen eye on expert predictions. Bloomberg, for example, surveys more than 20 economists for their forecasts in advance of each RBA decision.

Expert advice

Think about what a rate hike, drop or hold will mean to your clients. Here are some questions they might like answered in each possible scenario:

Increase

  • Should I refinance to find the best possible interest rate?
  • How do I budget to prepare for further increases?
  • What do higher rates mean for the property market?
  • Should I switch to a fixed rate loan?

Decrease

  • Should I sell while buyers are tempted by lower rates?
  • Should I make the most of falling rates and buy an investment property?
  • Is now the time to fix my mortgage, or are more cuts likely?
  • Can I renegotiate with my current lender?

Hold

  • How long is the RBA’s holding pattern likely to last?
  • Should I borrow to renovate while rates are stagnant?
  • Is this a good time to test the local market and get a property valuation?

Providing some high level guidance and insights on questions such as these will establish your status as a voice of authority, and position you at the forefront of the industry. Of course remember not to make any specific recommendations or give advice that would require a more detailed discussion with your customer.  And don’t forget to sign off by asking your clients to get in touch if they have any further questions.

Interest rate announcements are a great reason to reach out to your marketing list. Contact PLAN Australia today for more information on how to leverage this opportunity, enhance your reputation and grow your business.

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Robin Christie is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in financial services and personal finance. He has written for Your Investment Property magazine, and edited Your Mortgage and Mortgage Professional Australia. He was most recently a reporter for Asia-Pacific Banking and Finance.

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