Tomorrow’s Broker/Funder Relationship, According to Funders
“In the end, we all press zero to talk to someone.”
The conversation about what characteristics will make up tomorrow’s loan brokers is surrounded with ideas latched in fintech, social media, and more. Brokers from around North America have been showcasing these new strategies on social media or in chats with deBanked, which sparked the question — what do the funders think of all of this?
Efraim Kandinov, CEO of FundFi Merchant Funding, has a lot of ideas about how brokers should function in a constantly changing financial landscape. According to him, it’s not the style of funding or modernization of business logistics that will make tomorrow’s broker, but it’s leveraging ethics with both merchants and funders to preserve future business down the line.
“I believe more and more merchants look for the digital aspect and remove the broker because of the dishonesty that we usually uncover and want something clean without interpretation. Many issues with merchants in my opinion [stem] from being misled by the broker, promising something after to just take this deal or promising to get payments lowered and take an overleveraged position.”
Other funders think much differently, identifying a sense of community being brought about by tech, having a ‘we’re in this together’ type of mantra to hold the legacy industry up.
“There’s a sense of familiarity when dealing with my brokers,” said Amanda Schuster, CEO and President of Fundhouse LLC. “We’re your friends, we get you, we get your business.”
Schuster believes that relationships between funders, brokers and merchants alike will help them weather the storm of tech’s emergence into their industry.” We are your business and it’s just as important to us that you succeed,” she said. “I have business owners that I still speak to this day, that I funded over five years ago.”
Schuster dismissed companies like PayPal, Square, and Shopify’s takeover of small business lending, circling back to the interpersonal value that a broker provides as a face to a financial product.
“At the end of the day, business is always about the people,” she said. It’s about creating a need and filling it. You can’t do that on a website.”
When asked about the value of this happy-go-lucky community of brokers, funders and merchants, Kandinov brought up how some brokers have found ways around the ‘repeat business’ model of funding deals, thus making relationships between brokers and merchants pointless.
“I think brokers are less caring of repeat business because they have discovered a short term model of stack, stack, stack, and then put in a reverse. This front loads commission. I believe a broker has a huge advantage in creating the relationship. [This] unfortunately is starting to take a back seat to a new way to score big commissions.”
Kandinov spoke about brokers who will say anything to make a sale carelessly shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to forming a book of business. By saying whatever they need to get paid now, merchants are either going straight to the funders to big tech for their next source of funding.
“Jaded merchants then look to only speak to the funding house in the future and stay or just prefer the direct to consumer model of fintech,” said Kandinov.
Despite these feelings, Kandinov does believe that there’s a bright outlook on the future of the broker/funder relationship if some change occurs.
“[Brokers] deserve their high commissions as they do a lot of work. I think funding houses have much less overhead with the broker model, but lately with the broker behavior it is almost pushing themselves out if it continues. I do not believe fintech alone is advantageous, just in speed and clarity. It’s a byproduct of poor behavior.”Last modified: February 23, 2022
Adam Zaki was a Reporter at deBanked.