by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 07
MFAA Mor tgage Broker of the Year 2010, Smartline, Cleveland, Queensland focused on educating people, so we regularly hold seminars to provide information on the home loan market and property investment. We also place a high importance on our relationships with the banks and recognise the importance of a partnership approach to get a good outcome for the client. What other ways have you used the award to promote the business? We took out a three-page colour feature in the local paper to advertise the win. We are still getting calls about it from prospective clients to this day. The promotion of the award has actually been noticed by many of my old clients from my banking days, so it has been very useful to reconnect with them and let them know what I am doing. How did the business perform in 2010? I think 2010 was a pretty challenging year for many in the industry and we were not immune to that. However, November and December were the best months, so it was great to finish the year strongly. We settled more than $60 million last year, which was slightly down on previous years, but I was still reasonably happy with that considering the state of the market and some of the difficulties we had finding quality staff. There were also numerous challenges in dealing with many of the lenders this year and ensuring that we could still provide a high level of service to our clients. Some of the banks could probably improve in this area. This year, with the right staff in place, we will be aiming for $100 million. What challenges do you foresee this year? One of the biggest hurdles will be trying to find the right people to work for the brokerage. In my experience, only certain types of people will excel in this industry. I think that really good brokers need to have some kind of background in the banking sector. They need to understand the pressures of the industry. Thankfully, there is now an ever-improving pool of talent to draw from as we continue to come out of the global financial crisis. What key issues are facing brokers at the moment? Trying to work in partnership with the banks is certainly a challenge at the moment. The level of service from most of the banks could certainly be improved. I think diversification should be a key consideration for any broker wanting to do well in the industry. I expect that bank commissions will only tighten in the future, so those brokers who choose to be solely reliant on them as a source of income could find themselves squeezed in the coming years. I think a lot of brokers are really struggling with the patchy housing market at the moment. I think they will need to be prepared to look as far afield as is necessary to build a sustainable business. What do you do to bring in new customers? My service is tailored to the needs of the client. It may be that some need assistance with budgeting and debt reduction so they can buy their first home, while others may need assistance with the structure of more complex property investment deals. It's not a 'one size fits all' approach. Whatever the need, I am able to help my clients or refer them to someone I know and trust who can provide the service or advice they need. Is there anything that you do differently to set yourself ahead of the competition? I take a much more holistic view of my clients' finances. My advice and approach with each client is tailored, based on their individual goals and situation. I provide advice, rather than simply facilitate one-off transactions. I also think the comprehensive client care program, which focuses on building and maintaining an ongoing relationship with my clients, is a key point of difference. It is one of the key reasons why more than 90% of my business is the result of referrals. What else do you do to keep busy? I hear you are quite involved with several charities. I am verypassionate about animals, particularly protecting endangered species. I am heavily involved with the Australian Orang-utan Project as well as elephant conservation. I own a property in Thailand and my dream is to eventually spend about three months a year over there, doing hands-on work to help protect these creatures. Le Comte “We took out a three-page colour feature in the local paper to advertise the win. We are still getting calls about it from prospective clients to this day.” Mortgage & Finance brief | 29 Interview
Mortgage and Finance Brief 06
Mortgage and Finance Brief 08