Major franchise posts record settlement volumes

by Julia Corderoy20 Aug 2015
Major mortgage franchise, Mortgage Choice has reported record settlement volumes over the 2014/15 financial year, and remains bullish about the outlook in the year ahead.

Mortgage Choice’s core broking business grew total settlement volumes by 10.6%, reaching $11.5 billion over the 12 months to June 2015, according to the franchise’s full year results released yesterday. 

The franchise’s loan book hit $49.5 billion, up 4.6% from the 2014 financial year.

Mortgage Choice chief executive, John Flavell says solid growth in loan writer and franchise numbers ultimately helped the mortgage franchise achieve its record result.

“Throughout the 2015 financial year, we appointed 41 loan writers taking our total loan writer count to 575. In addition, we sold 23 greenfield franchises and 14 existing franchises to reach a franchise footprint of 422.”

Further, the franchise - which diversified into financial planning in 2012 - reported a 99.4% increase in cash gross profit in its financial planning arm. Funds under advice surged by 165% year-on-year and inforce premiums were up 91%. The adviser headcount also increased by 45%, to 45. 

The financial planning arm now accounts for 3.2% of Mortgage Choice’s gross revenue, up from 1.6% in the previous financial year. According to Flavell, the financial planning business is on target to break even on a monthly basis in the fourth quarter of FY2016. 

Moving forward, Flavell says he is bullish about future growth, with major plans to increase franchisee revenue by ensuring increased lead volumes to its brokers and planners.

“Our business primarily is a mortgage broking business and growing our core franchise in mortgage broking through generating increased volume of leads provides opportunity across everything that we do,” he said at the release of the full-year results.

“We have taken a very aggressive approach to changing the shape of our marketing mix and changing the nature of our marketing approach. We have done that since May this year and have seen a steady increase in relation to the volume of leads coming into the enterprise.

“We have a major national campaign supported by a local campaign that commences on the 1st of September. We are very confident in terms of our ability to continue to drive increasing lead volumes, to continue to drive our cost per lead down and to continue to provide the opportunities to the franchisees to grow their revenue within their businesses - and our target is to do so by 7% or more through increased mortgage sales and increased diversified sales.”