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FNS40815 Certificate 4 in Finance and Mortgage Broking Assessment Tasks



Total marks possible 50

Assume you are now a mortgage broker and you are either working as an independent contractor, or are self-employed or about to open a franchise. Assume you have two other staff members working with you. Their roles are your choice.

Using the template we have provided as a guide, prepare a basic business/marketing plan outline for your business, for the next 12 months, incorporating the following activities:

- Developing professional relationships
- Networking
- Prospecting for clients
- Marketing ideas
- Client retention

Guidelines -

  1. You must type your marketing/business plan ie. construct it as a document on your PC and save either as a doc or pdf file. A minimum of 4 typed pages is expected.
  2. You will not need to provide any budgeting estimates for the purpose of this Exercise but you are welcome to do so
  3. You will not be judged on your typing or word processing ability
  4. The marketing plan template we have provided is for guidance only – you do not need to provide information for all of the points outlined unless you feel they are relevant and you do not need to follow the template we have provided if you already have your own business plan document or template to follow
  5. You will not be judged on your skill as a marketing expert but on the evidence of your understanding of the points below
  6. If you still feel unsure where to start with your business/marketing plan, then you should Google this to get a feel for what different plans can incorporate. We want to know what strategies you would use in order to succeed as a broker.

Points you must cover -

  • How do you envisage being able to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding to enable clients’ needs and expectations to be met and how will you incorporate the functions associated with the provision of a quality, professional practice to those customers.
  • How do you envisage you will develop, nurture and maintain professional relationships with clients, colleagues and other referrals in order to complete work tasks, further the reputation of the organisation or your company, as well as the profession generally, and improve long term relationships and sales.
  • How do you envisage you will establish contact and then build rapport both in your own industry and within other finance industries incorporating sales and presentation skills as well displaying an industry-knowledge of regulations, disclosure and selling.
  • How do you envisage identifying and contacting potential client prospects through use of networks, leads and research skills.

So just repeating …

Overleaf is the template mentioned which we have provided for guidance only – you do not need to provide information for all of the points outlined unless you feel they are relevant and you do not need to follow the template we have provided if you already have your own business plan document or template to follow. The template is provided to make it easier for you.

You can use the template as a guide or you can design your own business/marketing plan.

If you do not feel that you have sufficient knowledge to construct a business/marketing plan, you will need to search on the internet for assistance.

If you are going to be working for a company who has their own business plan, you can utilise the ideas within that plan PROVIDED THAT, you customise it to suit your own situation, your own anticipated methodology and your own ideas for how YOU are going to succeed in the finance industry ie. what strategies will YOU utilise.

1. Executive summary

Executive Funding is an outstanding mortgage brokerage firm that focuses on serving the lending needs of individual homebuyers, builders, and real estate professionals. The ability to access a full range of mortgage sources and dedicated to offering the best terms, costs, and rates in meeting the client's unique needs.

The objectives are to offer comprehensive mortgage broker services through focused personal and specialized services to meet the customer's specific needs. The aim of the franchise will need to become profitable in serving real estate investment opportunities. There will be the development of solid corporate identity in the specific target market and the brokerage realizes its positive return on investment in the first year.

2. Situation analysis

Executive Funding focuses on providing superior personal services to the home buyers where the franchise will provide 70% of the services to the repeat clients and their referrals. The business will not just quote but determine the customer's financial goals. Access to hundreds of loan programs allows arranging the best services for the company. The strengthening of the area's economy and the lower interest rates as more homeowners are looking to purchase homes (Meredith & Darroch, 2018). There is a boost in real estate firms contributed by the changing attitudes of homebuyers. The targeted market area will be the Old Town area where there is potential growth and stability.

2.2 P.E.S.T analysis

What are the major factors that will have the greatest impact on your mortgage broking business? For assistance you may wish to refer to the various research reports written by organisations like Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) –; Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW) -; Goldman Sachs -; or Macquarie - These are just some suggestions, the internet is a huge source of research reports.


Examples include: taxation changes, stamp duty changes, industry regulations and PS146 legislation.


Examples include: interest rates, First Home Owners Grant, inflation rates, wage movements and unemployment.


Examples include: growth in single person households and people having children later in life.


Examples include: lender comparison software and back-office processing platforms.

What are the major factors that will have the greatest impact on your mortgage broking business? Examples include: interest rates, First Home Owners Grant, inflation rates, wage movements and unemployment.

2.3 Competitive analysis

(a) Demand for service?

(b) Direct and indirect competitors?

(c) Strengths and weaknesses of competitors?

(d) What markets are your competitors targeting?

(e) An analysis of market shares:

(f) Similarities between your business and competitors:

(g) A general analysis of the competitive marketplace in which you operate:

2.4 Market analysis

(a) Market growth rates?

(b) Market expansion opportunities?

(c) Total market size?

(d) Growing or declining marketplace?

3. Marketing goals

What do you want to achieve from your marketing? Your marketing goals are your key anticipated outcomes of the marketing activities you plan to conduct during the ‘life’ of your marketing plan. Ensure your goals are easily quantifiable, as this will allow you to measure their success. A summary of the marketing goals is included in the table below:

(a) What percentage increase in conversion from enquiry to settlement do you want to achieve?

(b) Where would you like your business to be in 12 months’ time?

(c) What growth in client numbers do you want to achieve?

(d) What percentage increase do you want in sales?

(e) What growth do you want in profitability?

(f) What growth do you want in staff numbers?

(g) What new services do you want to offer?

(h) How many new distribution channels do you want to establish?

(i) What percentage increase in new enquiries do you want to achieve?

(j) What percentage increase in repeat business do you want to achieve?

4. Marketing strategy

Your overall marketing strategy should be explained in this section. Don’t be specific in any particular areas – instead provide an overview of the marketing strategy your business will employ.

Example strategies include:

(a) Market penetration: encompasses focusing on increasing lending volumes to existing markets.

(b) Market development: is where you offer your existing services to new markets. This might be via geographic expansion or by directing marketing efforts at new market segments.

(c) Product development: is when you develop new products to better serve existing markets.

(d) Diversification: is the process of taking your business into new products and also new markets.

(e) Retrenchment: involves removing or selling off parts of the business or product lines.

Some other considerations include:

(a) Niche marketing strategies

(b) New product opportunities

(c) Matching services offered to chosen market segments

(d) Customer acquisition via customer retention.

This section should be written like a conclusion – bringing all the various sections together to create a clear picture of the total marketing strategy your business will employ.

1. Market segmentation

Marketing Segmentation

The home buyers for the Executive Funding will be divided into two groups: First-time homeowners which is the bulk of new construction of Old Town that is directed toward first-time homeowners. The second group will be residential refinancing through purchasing, construction, investment properties, remodeling, and debt consolidation. The market analysis indicates that the growth of potential customers will be 15% for first-time homeowners, 10% of residential refinancing, and other home buyers taking about 7%.

The target market segment strategy will involve the mortgage brokerage franchise getting better at focusing on specific market segments that match the company's offerings. The key to the business future will be on targeted segments. The focus will be on marketing messages and the brokerage services offered through developing messages and advertised to potential customers (Barrow, Barrow & Brown, 2018).

Strategy and Implementation

Executive Funding will be focusing on mortgage broker needs from the Old Town section and the surrounding areas. The target customers will be first-time buyers and existing homeowners who may be interested in refinancing.

The competitive edge is based on the 6,000 satisfied customers to continue making referrals to the brokers. The city has estimated growth by 15% annually for the past 10 years and population over 500,000 thus putting new construction valuation at 1 billion dollars on home sales by next year.

In conclusion, the management of the franchise mortgage brokerage firm will be having both brokers being equal partners in the firm. The financial plan will finance growth through cash flow. The important factor for Executive Funding is closing sales days between sellers and buyers.

Market segmentation refers to dividing or breaking apart the total market of all prospective borrowers into smaller, more manageable segments. Common segmentation criteria include age, education level, family lifecycle, occupation, religion, race, geographic boundaries, lifestyle, etc.

5.1 Target market(s)

Your target markets are sub-markets of your main market. The selection of these markets and their relationship to each other is entirely dependent on your marketing strategy. For example, if you’ve segmented the total market based on “loan type required” and you have decided to target borrowers requiring professional packages for example, then your target markets may include accountants, doctors, solicitors and financial planners. However, had you segmented the total market of all prospective borrowers based on occupation (for example, targeting those in the medical industry), then your target markets might include those requiring professional packages, investment loans, owner occupied loans or bridging loans.

The markets selected are interchangeable, so it is important to choose your market segment carefully. By first dividing the total market into segments and then dividing that segment into target markets you are able to identify the unique requirements of your prospects in these sub-markets.

Who is your ideal client?

(b) How well do you know and understand your chosen target markets?

(c) How well do you understand their lending needs?

(d) Are there ways to segment your market so you can offer highly specialised products to specific groups reflecting their individual needs?

6. Market positioning

Your brand should reflect your market position and your market position should reinforce your brand. For example, if your market position was “experts in young family lending”, then your branding might include a photo of a young girl flying a kite with her parents. Perhaps your business name might be “Your Future Home Loans” and your logo would be fun and upbeat. What is the one ‘aspect’ you want your chosen market segment to think of when they see or hear your business name? The answer to this question becomes your positioning statement:

Put some thought into your market position, because it will have a profound effect on the long-term success of your mortgage broking business.

7. Marketing tactics

This section contains the more practical aspects of your Marketing Success Plan, such as services offered, commission levels and promotional techniques employed.

7.1 Product strategy

In this section, describe the exact “finance products” you will offer. For example, residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, leases, personal loans, etc.

Describe how these products fulfil the needs of your market segment. For example, if you were targeting the professional market, then you might only offer professional packages, investment loans and commercial mortgages. You might refer all other business to another mortgage broker that has agreed to refer your target audience back to you.

Also, mention the make-up of your lender panel. Are all required “borrower-types” covered by your lenders?

7.2 Service strategy

In this section, you detail your service process and how this will integrate into your marketing strategy. For example, if you are targeting the professional market, you might conduct lunchtime interviews at your client’s place of work. Instead of providing movie tickets as an approval gift, you might give a branded compendium. Make sure your service process ties into your overall marketing strategy.

7.3 Pricing strategy

(a) Do you charge brokerage fees, receive commissions or a combination?

(b) What is your average lender commission rate (upfront and trail) and average brokerage fee?

(c) Do you receive any volume bonuses from your aggregator or franchisor?

(d) Do possible biases exist in relation to differing commissions?

(e) Do you pay referral fees for introductions from strategic alliance partners?

(f) What is the average size of mortgages in your geographic location?

7.4 Distribution strategy

(a) You should describe how your service is delivered to your target markets.

(b) Explain the distribution methods you are employing and justify your choices.

(c) Do you have an internet presence?

(d) Do you have mobile lenders with the ability to function efficiently in client’s homes?

(e) Do you have public offices with private interview rooms?

(f) Are there any other specific distribution channels that would be appropriate for your particular business? For example, if you target high level managers from a few key companies perhaps you could hire an interview room within their building for a day each week.

(g) How do your distribution channels fit into your overall marketing strategy?

7.5 Promotion strategy

Your promotion strategy explains how you will promote your brand and services to your chosen market segment. It is the tools used to achieve results.

Following are some possible marketing tactics you might consider:

  • Brochures / flyers þ Seminars / workshops
  • Newsletters þ Conferences / public speaking
  • Posters þ Media releases
  • Direct mail letters þ Advertising
  • Sponsorships þ Web-based marketing
  • Trade shows / exhibitions þ Video brochures
  • Giveaways þ Telemarketing
  • Coupons / free samples þ Catalogues
  • Competitions / sweepstakes þ Strategic alliances
  • Host beneficiary arrangements þ Point-of-sale merchandise
  • Prospecting cards þ Information packages

7.6 People strategy

(a) What training needs to be undertaken to ensure your staff back-up your marketing messages?

(b) How will you communicate new marketing initiatives with your staff?

(c) How will you generate marketing ideas from your staff?

Remember the most important people in your marketing equation are your staff and clients – you need to consider both.

8. Research

8.1 Consumer research

(a) How will you monitor the changing needs and preferences of your clients?

(b) What methods will you employ to gain the insights you require?

(c) Who will be responsible for implementing the research findings?

(d) How will staff be encouraged to gain ongoing client insights? And how will they be rewarded?

(e) Will you use an external research company or consultant to assist in the design and delivery of research?

This section should detail systems that are in place for client feedback and reporting, that may result from service failure, product comment or bad service.

8.2 Market research

(a) How will you monitor trends in the economy? For example property sales, interest rates, lending volumes, consumer trends, etc.

(b) Are there any specific areas you need to monitor, because of your marketing strategy? For example, if you target non-conforming borrowers you would be interested in levels of financial hardship.

(c) How will you access industry trends? For example memberships of industry associations, aggregator’s newsletters, industry journals, networks and government departments.

Market trends are critical in the financial services industry, as companies need to evolve and adapt as major economic changes occur.

9. Consumer behaviour

In this section, you need to analyse the behaviours of mortgage consumers. Understanding the reasons why consumers patronise different lenders and brokers will give you a very powerful marketing weapon.

You will base your analysis on the results gained from the research activities detailed earlier. This section will address:

(a) Why borrowers use your mortgage broking service?

(b) What the perceived benefits of your service are?

(c) What are your client’s expectations and does your service meet their standards?

(d) How do you gain their loyalty?

(e) Why do your clients use your services over other mortgage brokers?

(f) What type of loan features most appeal to your prospects?

(g) How are choices made when deciding upon a mortgage broking service?

(h) Are borrowers typically presold on a brand or are they more impulsive?

(i) What activities do your prospects enjoy in their leisure time?

10. Marketing budget

For your own personal development, you can include a marketing budget here, but it is not required for the purposes of this exercise.

11. Evaluation

How will you evaluate the results achieved from your marketing activities? In order to evaluate effectively, you must set specific targets and time frames, so you can quantify the results.

Effectively, this section evaluates your success in achieving your marketing goals. It should also contain your strategies on how you will measure your success, contingencies if objectives aren’t met and a summary of ideal outcomes.

If some of the strategies aren’t working, attempt to determine the reason for failure. Is the strategy flawed? Is there a problem with implementation or timing?

12. Implementation plan





[Strategy description]

[Actions required to implement strategy]

[Who is responsible for implementing this strategy]

[When will this strategy be finished]

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