MPA: What changed in your business and your local market this year?
Matt Cunliffe, managing director: In our business we have picked up a fourth franchise patch (Brisbane North) and are opening a new retail office in Nundah Village as of May (fitout currently being completed). The new franchise is a Greenfield (brand new to the area), which we are putting a lot of focus on growing. This is very exciting for us to stretch our reach even further across Brisbane. Also within the business we have brought on a new broker and are training existing staff to move into broking roles. We will be looking to expand further with new hires over the coming 12 months.
MPA: How do you benefit from being part of a franchise?
MC: Mortgage Choice provides a great brand. It is a household name for many and instils confidence in clients that we do business with. The brand awareness that the franchise brings with it provides a good platform for us to perform from ... Mortgage Choice as a franchiser provides a wide range of support services, and it is great to be able to operate as a ‘small’, nimble business with the backing of a publicly listed entity.
MPA: Other than through client referrals, how do you generate leads on a limited budget?
MC: We generate leads online through our local mini-site (franchise website) as well as social media. Both avenues can be done quite well with little spend. We ensure we are providing regular content as well as a focus on search engine optimisation and our Google rankings to ensure that we appear high on related search topics. In addition to this, referrals through partner businesses (solicitors, accountants, property groups, developers) can also be obtained with relatively no budget as these are relationship driven.
MPA: Have your clients been affected by recent rate hikes and policy changes, and what are you doing to respond?
MC: A large number of clients are being impacted by recent policy changes. Clients are still out there hungry to invest, and policy changes affecting investors have started to stir confusion among our investor clients ... These changes, although frustrating at times, are a great opportunity for us as brokers.