Top 10 Independent Brokerages 2015 - 4 APPLE HOME LOAN

Contact Information
Established in 2005
Based in Sydney, NSW
Senior lending manager: Roger Guo

Headed by Roger Guo, Apple Home Loan are consistent performers in MPA’s Top 10, thanks to their simple emphasis on good customer service. This year they’re taking that approach to commercial lending, getting accredited and designating a broker to focus on increasing their commercial business. “It’s basically coming from the customers’ requirements,” Guo says. “We got a lot of enquiries; we cooperated with the bank to provide commercial funding for our customers.”

Guo believes Apple Home Loan’s customer-service-centred approach also
assists them with lead generation. “We haven’t been doing any new marketing,” he says, “just providing good customer service and getting more customers to come back and get more finance from us.” He estimates that 98% of the brokerage’s clients are from Sydney and looking to buy there, which he puts down to the brokerage’s Sydney location: “Of course the customer is looking for a local broker, because most of the time they want a face-to-face conversation about their financial needs.”

Being local has its costs, though, specifically when it comes to the back office. Apple Home Loan have a team of support staff shared between brokers. “Our process team works for every broker,” Guo says, “but some [high-performing] brokers also have a personal assistant working for them.” They’ve been considering options for reducing back-office costs without resorting to offshoring, Guo adds. “We’re still looking for a local support team. To save on costs, we ask that the broker also shares the cost of the company.”

Apple Home Loan have close links with specific communities in Sydney, and their brand is well-known within these communities. “Most of our leads are from the Chinese community and other Asian communities,” Guo says, “[and] we think being independent helps with that.” For Guo, Apple Home Loan’s independence is a significant advantage specifically because of its localised approach. “We’ve never been a franchise before, as franchises may have a lot of restrictions. We rely mostly on the local community, so we don’t think being a franchise would be useful.”