The coalface: Sebastian Scurria, Better Choice

by Ben Abbott15 Nov 2011

A patchy market is not making the Perth market easy, but Better Choice's Sebastian Scurria is finding diversification - and where the business is located - makes all the difference.

Speaking to Australian BrokerNews, Scurria said it really depends on which suburb you are talking about when it comes to defining how well the Perth market is performing for brokers.

"If you have referring agents in the suburbs doing well - and we do - then your broking business will be doing well," he said.

Scurria said that, due to a continued influx of immigrants from England and South Africa who want a house "five minutes from the beach", the Northwest coastal suburbs were doing well.

"The further flung suburbs east of the city are very quiet, the market there is very ordinary," he said.

Having a diversified business across residential, commercial and equipment has helped Scurria to weather the market downturn.

"We've always diversified - we cater for all of a client's different financing requirements," Scurria said.

"There are some people who pitch solely residential, commercial or equipment finance, but the only thing we don't do are personal loans - a flat market is challenging, and three forms of finance are better than one," he said.

The equipment finance portion of the Better Choice business - which accounts for about 10% of revenue - has been "buoyant" due to the impact of the mining boom. The rest of the business is 65% residential and 25% commercial, with some loan writers busy and others quiet.

Commenting on fee-for-service, Scurria said its success in Perth could be different from that of the rest of Australia, due to the "price sensitive" nature of the market.

"WA is the most price sensitive market with regard to any good or service, and I shudder to think how the market would react if we charged a fee. We have no plans to go down that track at this point in time."