MPA: What changed in your business and your local market this year?
Keith Caine, owner: I took over running the brokerage last year, and since then we have recruited one new loan writer and one further admin support staff member. It’s a great addition to a large and experienced team: some of my colleagues, including Malcolm Simpson, Julie Mahony, Rea Magill, Darren Rayner, Ginet Moutakis and Heather Jones, have spent multiple decades working in financial services.
MPA: How do you benefit from being part of a franchise?
KC: Firstly would be branding! Customers are often already familiar with our brand, and I’m regularly told by my customers that it’s a brand that comes with a lot of trust! Secondly, we benefit from Mortgage Choice’s compliance and regulatory support. It is great having head office support, with such a changing market and all the lender and regulatory requirements we have to keep up with.
MPA: Other than through client referrals, how do you generate leads on a limited budget?
KC: Local-level club sponsorship, real estate agents and accountants. Our sponsorships include the Glenelg Football Club, home of the Tigers, and the Glenlea Tennis Club. We have built many important relationships over the years, both with referral partners and more broadly in the community, and we work extremely hard to maintain these and deliver exceptional customer service outcomes for all involved.
It also helps that we can offer a range of services, as the brokerage has an established financial planning arm. We also offer car finance and a door-to-door car-buying service, which can save our clients a great deal of time and money.
MPA: Have your clients been affected by recent rate hikes and policy changes, and what are you doing to respond?
KC: Absolutely! It’s obvious that none of our investor customers have been happy with their rates going up, but we make a conscious effort to remain positive in this space. All too often it’s doom and gloom, so we always focus on what we can do to help and improve their situation.