A New Zealand mortgage broker has written $1 billion in loans, in what is believed to be first time across the ditch.
Bruce Patten, 42, is the director and sole broker at Designer Mortgages in eastern Auckland. After just 12 years in the business he has reached the $1 billion milestone, which he attributes to the dedicated service he provides his local community.
“It’s the quality of service and the knowledge you share with clients that makes a difference in becoming a trusted adviser,” he told Australian Broker.
“A lot of the success is down to longevity, and being in the market for the good times and the bad times.”
That he reached $1 billion is no mean feat considering New Zealand brokers suffered hard during the GFC and more recently because of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s macroprudential LVR restrictions.
New Zealand brokers also do not get commission trails, after the payment method was halted around seven years ago.
This prompted Patten to expand his business into insurance – which still attracts trail – and he now employs one insurance adviser.
“It replaced our passive income which allowed us to grow our business further. Insurance fits in perfectly with mortgages because everyone needs it when they buy a house. It just gave us more touch points with clients,” he said.
While Patten recognises it is harder for Australian brokers to qualify as insurance advisers, he recommends branching out if possible.
“I’d definitely recommend brokers expand to include insurance. I look back and think if I’d been doing insurance since I started the business, we’d be in a far better place.”
Patten, who has won many accolades for his broking skills including broker of the year awards five years running, said it is the brokers who are just a few percentage points ahead that do the best.
“It’s amazing what a few points do to up your bottom line. So many brokers do the bare minimum, but if you go the extra mile it means a huge amount to your clients. That’s the difference between a great broker and an ordinary one.”
New Zealand Professional Advisers Association chairman Bruce Cortesi said the $1 billion milestone was an “outstanding achievement” which he believes has not before reached before in the country.
“The thing is with Bruce, he has been very consistent in developing relationships within the industry and is committed to professional development. He has good and open relationships with product providers and lenders. You have to be to achieve that; to write $1 billion in lending is quite significant.”
Patten’s brokerage is under the Loan Market umbrella.
Loan Market chairman Sam White said Patten epitomises what is great about the industry.
“Bruce has delivered outstanding customer service throughout the highs and lows of the New Zealand market, he's maintained terrific relationships with his lenders and referral partners and has continued to strive to find new improvements and opportunities in his business.
“More than that he's a terrific guy – Bruce has always been keen to help others. He's been generous to many of our brokers in sharing his business process and habits and inspires so many of us to be better. He's a wonderful ambassador for our business and for our profession."
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