02 Apr Broker of the Year flourishing in a tough regional market
The Adviser caught up with NSW Broker of the Year Ian Robinson, who emphasises that the key to his success is his strong business partnership and commitment to his clients.
Recently crowned Broker of the Year for NSW at The Adviser’s Better Business Awards, Ian Robinson of Robinson and Sewell has highlighted the value of his solid business partnership.
Speaking to The Adviser, he said: “What we’ve definitely found, and it’s very apparent, is that there’s strength in numbers.”
Mr Robinson and his business partner Brad Sewell met by chance when Mr Robinson was “barrelling down the freeway” and saw his car with an agrifinance number on it.
“While I was tailgating him, I called him up and we had a long chat and that was the first discussion we had. It certainly became very apparent right from the very start that we had the same philosophy, culture and attitude towards assisting buyers,” Mr Robinson said.
He explained that working in a partnership and presenting a united front gives their business “more depth, experience and pedigree”.
“It gives us both geographic exposure and penetration, and the level of support that you couldn’t be able to exceed as a sole trader,” he added.
“There’s no down time as a sole trader. If you wanted to go on holidays, you’re letting your clients down if you’re off radar and uncontactable, whereas there are a lot synergies coming out of a united front.”
To excel in their regional broking business, Mr Robinson said that he and Mr Sewell prioritise including quality content in their fortnightly newsletter to their clients.
“We do it every fortnight, religiously. We do all our own research, and it’s all written by us, so there’s no regurgitation of any other material from third parties. And that makes the newsletters a little bit more unique and distinct.
“We try to bring in a lot of different elements to it as well. We use financial content, which is really important, but that can also be a little dry, so we find that human interest stories get a lot of engagement – talking about case studies and other farmers and what they’re doing and achieving.
“When you put those two elements together it seems to work really well.”
Their efforts pay off as according to Mr Sewell the newsletter has 4,400 subscribers and generates significant enquiry and feedback from customers.
“They come back in, they ring us or they email us. It certainly creates new opportunities for us in terms of engagement, but it’s really more about opening up dialogue and humanising our business in the market.”
Ultimately, Mr Robinson sees the best part of being a regional broker as the “incredible” friendships that he develops with his clients and the opportunity to have a positive influence in a tough regional environment.
“It’s been probably one of the most rewarding journeys and fulfilling in the sense that we actually feel like we’re making a tangible difference in the marketplace.
“We’re finding that we’re not only saving farming families’ livelihoods in some circumstances, but also helping the industry grow and become more efficient. Being a part of that journey on an intimate level with the owners of the business is one of the most rewarding tasks that we could be a part of.
“It’s a privilege and we’re very humbled and very lucky to be in a position to be able to do that.”