3 JOSH BARTLETT
Loan Market
Cheltenham, Vic
Aggregator: Loan Market
Total value of residential loans FY2016/17: $184,700,000
Total number of residential loans FY2016/17: 485

In a year of regulatory pressure and uncertainty, with many brokers happy to maintain their numbers, Josh Bartlett stands out from the crowd. For his first six years in broking Bartlett was still running gyms; over the past two years he’s moved from 16th to 6th place and this year to the third spot in the Top 100, having added $20m to his total.

That Bartlett can continue to prosper in this market reflects in part the clients he deals with. Whereas most Top 10 brokers specialise in investors, Bartlett’s network of real estate agents puts him in contact with more owner-occupiers. He believes APRA’s restrictions have actually helped his business: “Anything that we are lodging, there’s probably a lot better conversion to people purchasing, especially over the past three to four months … because of investors dropping out there’s more owner-occupied purchases.”

Bartlett is also building on years of good relationships and a growing reputation. “I get better-quality leads now by winning these awards,” he says. “When a customer calls me now they’re already going to do a deal. They’re calling me going, ‘We’ve been told we have to talk to you. When can we see you?’” There’s much less chasing business; in fact Bartlett has conducted meetings from his office for the last two years.

Real estate agents are crucial to Bartlett and he has put considerable effort into educating them in recent years, even developing the ‘eBroker’ mobile app to track referrals, which has since been extended to the entire Loan Market Group. Recent lending policy changes have made this education all the more important. “I’m doing a big drive on that at the moment, seeing two groups of referral partners every single week,” Bartlett says.

Next on Bartlett’s list of targets is hitting $200m in residential settlements, and he’s taken on an executive assistant to help focus on writing loans. He remains confident that the tough lending landscape gives him an edge: “I think you’re going to find more professional brokers in the future and less of those brokers that are only doing one or two deals, because I have no idea how those people could keep up.”