Hot Seat: Will Unkles

by Melanie Mingas07 May 2019

The award-winning director of 40 Forty Finance, shares his tips for keeping on top of the email avalanche

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a broker?

A: At age 24 I was working at a financial planning firm. I was in charge of preparing and organising all annual client reviews. In the same year, I purchased my first home. During the process with the mortgage broker, I asked him what ongoing service I could expect given he would receive trail on my mortgage. Not only did he not have an answer but he told me I was the first person to ever ask. At that moment, I thought to myself, there is an opportunity for a high-touch model within the mortgage broking space, and then went on a five-year journey before starting my own business.

Q: What’s one of your recent career highlights?

A: In October 2018 I was named Australia’s Independent Broker of the Year at the 2018 AMA awards. This was a huge shock on the night, and I am still in some disbelief that it was possible only three years after starting my business. What it did represent is a changing of the mentality within the industry away from loan volumes towards a more holistic client focus.

Q: If you won $1m, what would you do with it?

A: I’m too sensible for anything interesting here… Buy a family home within 10km of Melbourne’s CBD.

Q: What do you wish you’d known when you started out as a broker?

A: I came into broking with fantastic operational knowledge; however, I didn’t know anything about lender policy. It took me more than 12 months to figure out that every lender has a policy document or portal where you can look up their different slants on various scenarios. I wish someone had pointed this out to me earlier as it would have saved a heap of phone calls to BDMs and lender hotlines.

Q: What are your top survival tips for working in finance?

A: Strict email management. I use a ‘ball in your court’ method. Any email in my inbox is for me to action. Once I reply or action what is required, the email gets quickly filed/deleted out of my inbox to ensure I can keep focused. Any email that comes in needs to be quickly returned to the lender/client to put the ball back in their court and await their response.