For Sandra Joseph of the high performing Mortgage Solutions Australia office in Perth, mortgage broking is much more than just writing a loan for a client.
“I like to think that we are doing more than just writing loans for people; we are giving that person sufficient education to make the right choices, ask the right questions of their accountants and financial planners, and make sure all their risk is covered,” she says.
“We are also looking at what their five or 10-year goals might be, and making sure what we implement fits with those - or at least providing the information for them to make an informed choice. That’s certainly better than the client just walking into a bank branch and getting whatever rate they might get on that day,” she said.
For someone who became a mortgage broker almost by accident in 2001, Joseph has developed quite a passion for the business, as well as ambitious growth targets.
Linked to the Ausnet real estate group which was managed by her husband, Joseph said she fell into mortgage broking by “default”. “I was going to be a backup for the holidays and help when it go busy, but since then I haven’t had a day off,” she says.
And with the Perth market back in gear, Joseph is targeting – with the help of her PA, and loan processing assistant – a consistent $7m a month plus worth of loans. At the top end of her target range, Joseph says her ultimate goal is to write $13m a month.
“We certainly had a period of volatility post-GFC, but probably in the last seven months, things have become more consistent in terms of confidence in the market and housing prices starting to hit bottom, so I have a really good feeling about the next 12 months,” she says.
Perth has transitioned from conditions where properties were sitting on the market for 8-9 months, to properties being sold within 4-6 weeks. Joseph says first homebuyers are coming back to the market, allowing upgraders to now move up the property ranks.
But it is SMSF lending Joseph is personally concentrating on developing this year.
“I’ve been making sure I’m gaining all the accreditations, and getting up to speed with SMSF lending. That is really a space to be confident in.” Joseph said there are a “lot people in WA earning a lot of money”, and she expects it to account for 5-10% of her loan book in future. She said it was critical to maintaining a high level of service for the financial planning and accounting referral partners she deals with, with their clients increasingly borrowing through SMSFs.