Aggregator: Loan Market

State: VIC

Total value of residential loans FY2018/19: $118,201,747

Total number of residential loans FY2018/19: 309

The only female in this year’s top 10 is Loan Market’s Sarah Thomson, sweeping up the list from 36th position in 2018. She “landed” in finance after applying for a sales role, and has been able to focus on her business thanks to her husband giving up work to look after their two young children.

Thomson & Co is based in Geelong with eight staff and two brokers. Understanding the need to offer more than just home loans, the group includes an asset fi nance/business specialist. Thomson's focus over the last three to four years has also been on culture and ensuring the right staff are in the right roles.

That strong team is one of the reasons behind her success in the past year, which has been driven by their supportive business culture and the array of lenders they use to provide the best products. Their knowledge of the market was particularly helpful during the turbulent times of the last year.

Having always been a people person, Thomson says a good broker is one who is able to connect and genuinely care for their clients.

“A lot of that comes down to really listening and understanding what people want, and then delivering on it,” she says. “Too many people want to sell first and listen second. Clients need and want to trust their broker and know they have their back."

Thomson has seen a positive shift in the broking industry in terms of gender. When she first started at Loan Market around 14 years ago there were only three women and around 100 men.

“You’ve got to remember, though, that this was also a time when stay-at-home dads were scoffed at and the world was a very different place. We’ve come a long way,” she says, praising projects like Loan Market’s Leading Ladies initiative and ANZ’s Doyenne program.

For her, all types of diversity should be viewed as an asset and not a weakness.

“I also like demonstrating to industry peers that gender – particularly in this day and age – shouldn’t be a consideration; there’s nothing women can’t do!” she says.

“The industry has allowed me to champion women in broking, and that, I hope, is helping the next generation of brokers have smoother pathways into the industry.