4 MARK DAVIS
The Australian Lending & Investment
Centre, Melbourne VIC
Total value of residential loans
FY 2014/15: $266,852,495
Total number of residential loans
FY 2014/15: 1,071
With a staggering 1,071 loans written over the 2014–15 financial year, Mark Davis is Australia’s most prolific loan writer. But that’s not all: as well as being the top broker outside NSW, he’s also a multiple winner of MPA’s Top 100 Brokers and 2014’s AMA Finance Broker of the Year. Clearly, Davis is a high performer – but how can a single broker possibly write over 1,000 loans in a single year?
“Our increase has come through changes in internal processes; every day, we’re trying to improve who we are and what we do,” Davis explains. Indeed, the Australian Lending & Investment Centre’s (ALIC) processing changes helped them top this year’s Top 10 Independent Brokerages report, in part by handing more responsibility to customers to submit paperwork.
ALIC specialises in investment clients, and APRA’s changes are for Davis a “massive opportunity as the banks and the branches out there are really struggling to write deals”. He can still write those deals. He hasn’t even gone back to the existing client base; churning the book and re-writing loans “is something we’ve never done.”
In fact, they don’t need to, Davis explains: “A lot of our clients are repeat clients; in a good investment market they go and buy. I’ve built my client base up to 2,500 clients – my individual clients – in five-and-a-half years, and it’s about putting processes in place to service those clients.” With no marketing in place, clients only come through referrals, and are generally being serious about building property portfolios.
To manage that client base, Davis has an assistant, a second-incommand and a back-end business to handle the paperwork – and he still does 7–9 appointments a day, interviewing every client himself. Given that workload, could Davis be approaching the limit? “I’m not sure: it’s new ground. It’s getting harder, so I’ve got to change my role. If I’m going to see every client, your other work needs to be more of management of the staff under you.
“To do these numbers, you have to live and breathe it,” Davis concludes. “You have to be very committed. Do many, many appointments a day, be at the coalface all day, and be very committed.”