In the hot seat: Amber Linzner

by Antony Field29 Nov 2021

Amber Linzner had her heart set on being a major bank BDM when she joined the finance industry but soon discovered the advantages of mortgage broking. She became a qualified broker 16 years ago and set up AKL Finance Group in 2012.

Q: How and why did you become a broker?
When I started as a mortgage adviser’s personal assistant at 25, my aim was to learn about the industry, gain experience and become a BDM for a major bank. Once I had been working for six months, I decided the mortgage adviser role had so many different aspects that excited me that I would make this my long-term career. From a young age I had always loved property and found myself reading property investment magazines and exploring ways I could purchase my first property. As I learnt more, I saw the opportunity to build my own business and create a life and future in which I could look after myself financially.

Q: The proportion of female brokers has fallen to 25.8%. How can the industry attract more women?
The industry needs a clear pathway to becoming a broker. We need to support new entrants financially and with education and on-the-job experience, whether they are male or female. The biggest hurdle to attracting more women is having a clear and supportive pathway to becoming a broker, and talking about the reality of having children before it happens and how you manage life and your business afterwards. If we can have these conversations with a new female entrant and they can see how other women have managed this, I believe it may assist in keeping women in mortgage broking long term.

Q: How did you cope with COVID lockdowns and look after your clients?
I didn’t like being locked down, but I did try to look at what I was gaining rather than losing. I spent a lot of time with my husband-to-be and my son, exercised and ticked several items off my to-do list! I reached out to several clients to check in and see how they were coping and how they were being affected. We discussed lender support and options, and I connected them to the right people. I did have lots of conversations with my clients who’d had their work hours reduced about putting their mortgage, car and credit card payments on hold.

Q: What’s the best career advice you have received?
Feel the fear and do it anyway – that’s my motto. Career change and growth can be scary but very rewarding.

Q: What will drive business growth for brokers in 2022?
First home buyers and owner-occupiers will continue to drive growth in 2022. Brokers who can assist clients with their recovery and growth after the lockdowns will have a client for life. Our 2022 is customer focused – we want to embrace new tech to stay connected to our clients while ensuring we maintain a personal touch. We want to continue to improve our processes and what we do every day to ensure the customer journey is a stress-free and enjoyable experience.