Siobhan Hayden: Think, Engage, Prosper

Siobhan Hayden Opening Plenary - MFAA National Convention 2015 - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre - Melbourne - Victoria - Australia - 2015

Siobhan Hayden officially opened the 2015 MFAA National Convention by encouraging a packed room to ‘think, engage and prosper’ – a process that she and the MFAA have embarked on to achieve future growth and strong member engagement.

Starting with the numbers, Siobhan highlighted a few key figures from this year’s Convention:

  • 1, 271 delegates registered
  • 220 industry exhibitors
  • 878 guests at an intimate Gala Dinner
  • 42 Australian and international speakers
  • 2 MFAA stands at Expomart – Stand 10 (MFAA) and Stand 38 (WIMBN)

Siobhan continued on to explore the concept of ‘Think, Engage, Prosper’ and how this relates to her ongoing mission for the MFAA.

Working tirelessly to achieve best practice and moving towards a stronger future, she first highlighted the crucial factors to THINK about before pushing ahead. These include:

Time: all actions need to have a purpose, whether they are meaningful, helpful, interesting or fun
Value expectations: at the MFAA, we need to be clear about our propositions; these will vary depending on the generation we are targeting
Market structure: a future challenge for the MFAA is confirming where we fit into the aggregator model
Generational difference: we have four key target groups, ranging from the Baby Boomers to the Millenials
Technology: lowest common denominator mentality

Through this ongoing thought process, the MFAA has worked closely with Ernst & Young to release a report about the value of the mortgage broking channel. Results cited from this report include:

  • One in five consumers value brokers due to ‘convenience’ and ‘access to best possible interest rate’. Consumers who are 25-34 and 60+ with a combined income of $100k value this the most.
  • Satisfaction is relatively high across the board, with 92% ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with the process of arranging their mortgage
  • Customers that use a broker are interested in discussing broader options including ‘insurance’ and ‘credit cards’ alongside mortgage.
  • Two in three would happily use the same strategy when arranging future mortgages regardless of whether they used a broker, went direct, or did a combination of both.

With this kind of information accessible, the next step was to ENGAGE with members. For Siobhan, this was achieved through a number of avenues including:

  • Member engagement through her ‘Paving the Road’ tour and Fact Find
  • Stay interviews with the current MFAA team
  • Lender and aggregator meetings
  • Meetings with the industry and external media
  • Relocation of the MFAA office from Neutral Bay to Pitt Street
  • Hotdesking at the new MFAA Business Centre for members
  • A submission to the FSI Inquiry on SMSF lending

Siobhan has travelled 40,000 kilometres, been quoted more than 30 times in the media, and been a speaker at more than 50 industry events in an effort to ENGAGE members.

From her discussion with brokers, Siobhan highlighted a current view of the MFAA as an association that is Professional (81.31%), Necessary (66.37%), Requirement (57.58%) and Compulsory (56.04%).

As for the future view, the aim is to create an industry body that is seen as Professional (72.82%), an Industry Leader (64.11%), Advocate (56.44%), Trusted (53.65%) and Forward Thinking (48.08%).

She referred to a famous quote from former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect, is to change often.”

So where does that leave us moving forward? How will the MFAA continue to PROSPER? Some new initiatives to look forward to over the next financial year include:

  • A new MFAA Easy.doc app
  • ‘Value of the mortgage market’ study commissioned with Ernst & Young
  • MFAA Professional Lobbyist in Canberra
  • An MFAA Job Board on the website
  • A ‘Broker 2020’ report, currently being finalised with Ernst & Young
  • A $1 million Consumer Awareness campaign
  • Change of the term ‘Credit Adviser’ to ‘Finance Broker’
  • Change of ‘Credit Adviser’ to ‘Prosper’ magazine for the industry
  • Alterations to the MFAA member on-boarding program

With a view towards future growth and success, Siobhan referenced a pertinent quote from Andy Groves:

“If you are not disrupting your own business, someone else will.”


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