Merger a smart move for WA broker

by Adam Smith02 May 2012

A Mortgage Gallery broker has said the company’s franchisees are already seeing benefits from the 1 April merger with Smartline which was announced late last year.

Mortgage Gallery broker Justin Smith of Rockingham in WA has said the deal will bring a boost to the company’s franchisees.

“[Smartline’s] back office systems are a lot better, and they’ve got more of an Australia-wide perspective on things rather than just a state perspective,” Smith said.

Name recognition is an important factor in the deal, Smith said. While he said The Mortgage Gallery was a well-recognised brand in WA, Smith commented that Smartline brought with it national name recognition.

“Financing a home is the biggest decision most people will ever make. With a good name and a big name, consumers are more confident, whereas if you’re just some kind of backyard job no one knows if they can believe you. Size and reputation are everything,” he said.

Acret touted the merger as a good fit for both companies, pointing to what he said were shared values.

“The Mortgage Gallery is a great business. Both groups share similar values and have a similar culture – a culture of helping each other, professionalism and a real client focus. Both companies have a franchise model with a commitment to helping their franchise owners succeed and grow,” Acret said.

Smith agreed, and said the transition to Smartline had not been difficult, with The Mortgage Gallery maintaining its own branding, but adding a Smartline logo to its marketing materials.

“They’ve got a similar ethos to us, and they’re more of a family-oriented type business just like the Mortgage Gallery. They’re certainly happy to listen to us and take feedback on where things can be improved,” Smith said.

A major change has been the switch to Smartline’s software platform. Smith said the move took getting used to, but was optimistic it would be a beneficial change.

“Like any amalgamation of software, there’s been a few hitches, but we’re working through it and I’m positive things will be all good in the future,” he said.

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