Aussie’s premier brokerage continues to roll forward with a dedicated focus on investor lending
Aussie Parramatta is a near-permanent feature of this Top 10, but also a rather exceptional one. Whereas most brokerages serve a broad base of clients, the Le Quesne brothers – Ross and Scott – have targeted property investors, who make up 60% of their clients. “We’ve got a focus on property investment and are experts in the field,” says Ross Le Quesne. “Most of us are property investors ourselves, so we can provide authentic advice and loan structuring for those clients.”
That focus has continued. What’s changed over the past year is an increased emphasis on the back offi ce, Le Quesne explains. “We continue to reﬁ ne our processes and the training of our processing staff , and that’s allowed us to increase the volume we’re able to do.” The objective is to ensure that “the handover is seamless from the broker to the broker’s assistant and from the loan manager to the settlements offi cer”. They’ve rigidly documented their processes and created templates and charts to aid communication within the brokerage.
Dealing with investor clients means taking a diff erent approach to repeat business: “we’re big on focusing on why they’re here; what they’re focusing on long term; the bigger picture of what they’re trying to achieve rather than a point of interest rates”. That said, small tweaks of interest rates are a good way to add “massive value” to clients, Le Quesne adds. A recent client saved $30,000 on interest from a 0.5% rate reduction.
Focusing on investors has exposed Aussie Parramatta to recent changes to investor lending by APRA and the banks. “We’ve had to say ‘no’ a lot more than we ever have, because serviceability changes have been quite great because they’ve assisted people with bigger portfolios,” notes Le Quesne. “For every million dollars of lending they’ll need to earn an extra $40,000 in gross income, and people just aren’t getting those pay rises.” Nevertheless, the brokerage’s settlements for 2015/16 – $296,146,652 – are nearly $50m higher than for 2014.
In addition to four brokers, Aussie Parramatta has six support staff , who are assigned to speciﬁ c brokers, and two trainee brokers, who also do administrative work. New brokers generally start in admin roles, Le Quesne explains. “Recently we’ve had a couple of brokers leave, so we’ve had guys on the bench, if you will, who are ready to step in and get their accreditation.” The brokerage is looking to hire additional brokers as it is presently purchasing an additional Aussie franchise.
Expanding the business also means Le Quesne has to take a step back. “Over the next 12 months, part of what I’m going to do is that transition to a leadership role: I’ve started having my trainees and assistants sit in on every appointment and phone call, and they can hear the way I talk and present to clients.”