MPA: What changed in your business and your local market this year?
Linda Ireland, co-owner: We had a very stable year in terms of our business, its services, staff, clients and processes. We didn’t make any major changes this year apart from slightly improving on some of our processes. Off the back of a number of major changes in 2015 and 2016, reconnecting with old clients was one of our priorities which we have maintained. We got quite a few investor clients, assisted by the fact that all of the brokers in our office are keen investors themselves and have a great deal of experience to share.
Our clients are generally mum-and-dad investors, although looking to build portfolios, and our business wasn’t hit by the first wave of investor lending restrictions in 2015. Quite the opposite: clients came back to us looking to renegotiate with their existing lenders, or refinance.
Therefore our aim this year was to gain better balance after a couple of high-growth years.
MPA: How do you benefit from being part of a franchise?
LI: We find the support and mentorship really valuable within the Mortgage Choice group office. We also love
the Mortgage Choice community and network; we have gained valuable knowledge from other franchisees, and everyone is genuinely very supportive and encouraging.
MPA: Other than through client referrals, how do you generate leads on a limited budget?
LI: After so many years in the business, we stick to some basic marketing concepts, mostly working closely with real estate agents, solicitors and accountants. It helps that I have an accounting background and so some links with local accounting firms.
Our brokers all have different specialisms, including in construction and commercial finance, which allows us to bring a broader range of clients into the brokerage.
MPA: Have your clients been affected by recent rate hikes and policy changes, and what are you doing to respond?
LI: Yes, and we have been very proactive with our communication to our clients and managing their lending to make sure they understand the recent changes and the effect they have on them.