Professional Services Award

 

 Logan Chamber Awards

 

Q6. In a Word

“Dedicated”

Dedicated to assist our clients achieve their finance goals

Dedicated to the Logan Community

Dedicated employees

Dedicated to move the business forward into the future

Dedicated in everything we do!

What the Chamber Saw

Q1. About Connect Finance Qld

Connect Finance Qld is a Logan based finance broking business established 13th July 1998. The business has changed names a few times over the years due to parent company changes. We have been known as Northern City Finance, City Pacific Finance and First Chartered Capital.

We now aggregate through e-choice and were given the opportunity to change our name to better reflect our service offering. The name Connect Finance Qld was born in July 2013 under the guidance of our Principal Steve Cooke. Steve has been a part of the Logan Business Community since 1984 and has been in the banking and finance industry since 1969.

Our team boasts over 90 years’ experience in the banking and finance industry.

Connect Finance Qld assists both individual and business clients through the sometimes confusing area of loan options and requirements. The team can assist with finance for home and investment loans, business finance, commercial finance, plant and equipment finance, business vehicle loans and loans in self-managed superannuation funds.

We have access to hundreds of loan products from our panel of 25 lenders.

Just choosing the lowest interest rate is not necessarily the best option for the client in the long run. Connect Finance Qld conduct thorough loan comparison research with all lenders on behalf of the client. We utilize our extensive experience to negotiate with lenders, which can be a very stressful and time consuming process for the client to carry out on their own. Comparisons are presented to the client, who then make the ultimate decision on the lender they prefer.

We pride ourselves in acknowledging and working with our clients unique circumstances.

An application is then submitted to the lender of choice and we follow the process through to completion. It gives us great satisfaction to make that phone call to the client and tell them “your loan has been approved”.

 

Q2. Business Development

As a small business we continue to concentrate on business growth and strategies to keep us relevant in the market place.

Our business is an ever evolving one, as it must be, to keep up with the many changes and challenges that lenders present to us. We must keep up to date with lending packages to ensure our clients are offered the best result for their circumstances, when it comes to their lending.

We have gone to great lengths to build excellent relationships with the lenders Business Development Managers. They are the key people who can assist us to achieve our goal of providing quality products to our clients every time.

We nurture and respect the relationships with our referral partners. We believe these partnerships are an important aspect of business development. Our service reflects on the referrers business and therefore it is important to us that we compliment their service and not complicate it.

Steve Cooke (Principal) is the face of the business. It is through Steve’s many years of experience and his way of connecting with clients that the business continues to grow. Whilst we have embraced new technology, marketing strategies and ensured we have an online presence, the key to our business success has and will continue to be face to face contact. With lending being one of the most important decisions a client will make in their lives, we have found that a little old fashioned service goes a long way. Sounds simple, but that is our competitive edge.

You don’t get “lost” in our business as you may do elsewhere.

The team in the office have extensive lending knowledge and are the backbone of the business. Each team member knows their role and are supported fully in that role. There is an open door policy and our strategies on driving the business forward are clear and embraced. As a small team, ideas, strategies and thoughts are shared openly and commonly put into practice.

Our main vision is to provide a seamless loan process for the client. From interview, lodgement, approval, through to settlement, our clients always know what stage their application is at. Client relationships are key to the business, so we keep in contact with the client after settlement to ensure everything is going well.

We don’t just profess “set and forget” loans.

We believe these strategies will drive us into the future.

 

Q3. Marketing

Our target market is typically home loan lending. Whilst our other lending services compliment our business, home loan lending is our bread and butter. With the support of our aggregator e-choice we have access to some great marketing tools.

Our marketing strategies today are very different to even 3 years ago.

We of course use traditional marketing tools like business cards, fliers, posters and occasionally ads in magazines and papers.

75% of our business however comes from client referrals or repeat clients which we are extremely proud of.

Business referral partners are a source of excellent new business. These partners are regularly visited and updated. Promotional packs with relevant, current and innovative material about our services are provided to our referrers. It is a testament to service ethos that 50% of our A class referrers do their personal borrowing through us, with many of them referring their family members to us.

With digital marketing taking over and more and more of the population having smart phones, including most of our clients, it was important for us to not be left behind. We developed a website which we ensure stays relevant, fresh and user friendly. Our website can be viewed on desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

We have a business Facebook page. We make sure we post quality content that is relevant to our business, along with some light personal information to engage with our clients. It also allows us to communicate with our clients via comments, messages and emails.

We send out a bi monthly newsletter to our entire client data base.

Steve Cooke (Principal) and Con Lagos (Lending Manager) have LinkedIn profiles so we can stay connected with the business community. This tool is all about networking and connecting with other professionals.

Digital marketing offers 24/7 exposure and allows us to reach clients and potential clients far easier than traditional methods. Using all of these tools we can measure our success. We know how many clicked through our website, how long they stayed there, and what pages they looked at. We can see how many likes on a Facebook post, read the comments and modify the campaigns as needed.

All of our clients receive our client welcome pack.

The pack contains useful information about our business and information to assist them with the loan process.

Clients, referrers and visitors to our office are greeted with their own personalised “Welcome Sign”. This personal touch provides a warm welcome, the reactions are always positive and starts the meeting with a smile.

Q4 Customer Service

Customer service is paramount to our business. If we provide great customer service the client is obviously more likely to talk about us, refer us to friends and relatives and spread the word. We stay in constant contact with our clients throughout the loan process. It is a very anxious time for the client waiting on a loan approval. In the buying process apart from us there are many parties involved. These include Real Estate Agents, Solicitors, Lenders, Mortgage Insurers, House Insurers and Building & Pest Inspectors, just to name a few.

We strive to take the stress out, liaise with all parties involved to achieve the desired result as quickly as possible.

As stated previously 75% of our business comes from client referrals and repeat clients. We believe this is a direct result of our customer service and the fact we treat our clients as very important and not just a number. We are now seeing 2nd generation clients which is something we welcome and are proud of. You will always speak to a real person with questions answered promptly.

We ensure we know our products and we don’t leave our clients wondering.

Once a loan is settled we do make contact with the client to ensure all went well and we ask for feedback on the process. On most occasions we don’t have to ask as we often receive delightful emails from happy relieved clients.

On the rare occasion that we may receive negative feedback, we will always find out why and if we can rectify any issues we will. We will always explain the reasons for any negative outcome and work with the client to change the result if possible. It is often a stressful time for the clients and this can lead to miscommunication. By staying calm and not taking a stressful conversation personally we can usually resolve any issues and calm the client down.

We communicate with our clients via email, newsletter and Facebook. We seek feedback and ask for ways to improve our service. We discuss any issues openly as a team and always work together to improve our customers experience with us.

TESTIMONIALS

Q5. Community Contribution

All of the staff currently employed at Connect Finance Qld are locals and have been part of the Logan business community for many years.

Our Principal, Steve Cooke is very community conscious and through Connect Finance Qld becomes involved and supports many local community events. We have sponsored School Fetes (St Edwards 2014), Soccer Teams (Loganholme), a team for Sids & Kids charity golf day and currently a junior go kart competitor. Steve was an active participant (2013/2014) in the Logan PCYC ‘Time for Kids’ raising much needed funds for the kids of Logan. He was even locked up with Mayor Pam Parker!

For many years Steve has been actively involved in the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal, hosting a table of business people at the official launch, held every year at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

Steve has been a member of the Logan Chamber of Commerce since 1991 and Beenleigh Chamber of Commerce since 1989.

Steve is often asked to cook a free BBQ, chat to the locals, attend openings, play in charity golf days and donate prizes, which he does willingly.

We promote our business as “Your local Finance Broker” and we are proud to support and be supported by the Logan community.