Anthony O’Flynn, director of IFA Mortgages and Finance, on moving from a major bank to broking, meeting his first client at a barbecue, and the lifelong friendship that came out of helping him buy his family’s first home in Australia
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a broker?
I worked as a senior credit manager at one of the majors for over a decade, and I noticed more clients using brokers to originate their loans. One major broker was securing his clients lower rates than what we were offered as staff! Passionate about doing the best thing for every client, I wanted to extend the types of products I could offer, and found broking to be an enthralling way to save people thousands without charging them a cent.
Q: What is one of your most memorable broker experiences?
I met one of my first broking clients at a family barbecue. This friend of my father’s had recently arrived in the country with literally just the shirt on his back. I was disappointed that even as a senior credit manager I was unable to assist him because of his short-term employment and minimal savings.
A few months after I left the bank and became a broker, he called me. This time I could access multiple lenders and finally found one that would take him on. He phoned me in tears, he was so proud and grateful for what we had done. It must have been such a huge victory, considering what he had been through. He, his wife and three children now live in that home, and I consider him a close personal friend.
Q: When clients come to you, what are their main concerns?
Increasingly, it’s young families who can’t get a look-in in the market because they’re being massively outbid by investors. Most don’t realise there are other ways to break through this first hurdle that don’t necessarily involve saving tens of thousands of dollars for their first deposit. I sit down and develop a strategy that accesses their own equity or allows them to jointly borrow, which gives their kids a leg-up and secures their own retirement. It’s a win-win!
Q: What are you currently watching?
One of my colleagues has me well and truly hooked on Suits. He thinks of himself as a bit of a Harvey Specter, closing deals with banks and pushing hard on credit assessors. Watching it now, they really don’t have a lot in common.