A Big Deal: PJ Patterson

A career highlight and a win for cancer research

A Big Deal: PJ Patterson



A career highlight and a win for cancer research

My story is about a deal that started in the most normal fashion but ended up becoming something very special. In late September I was referred clients who, by all accounts, were stock standard first home buyers. They came to me to get a pre-approval, having already approached their current bank with no success in obtaining this. In reviewing their situation, I could not understand what the issue was, so I happily began the application process. I gathered all the requisite information and submitted it. They were pre-approved, no issue. Armed with that, the clients went off to an auction in their local area. I never could have expected what happened next.

The clients attended an auction for a new home in Appin, NSW, and much to their elation they were the winning bidders and got the property for $700,000. But there was something really special about the home they fought for and won at auction. It is known as the ‘house that love built’. The house is actually the third ‘Build for a Cure’ home, sold to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute. It was constructed in a mere 28 days. The house, land, materials and labour were entirely donated and all the proceeds went to the institute.


When I got the phone call from John, the buyer of the home, first thing Monday morning following the auction, the awesomeness of the situation didn’t really sink in. However, once I read an article about the sale on the Domain website, I was stoked. Upon reading the story of the home, how quickly it was constructed, and the generosity of the builder and all the tradies, I knew something special and life-changing had just happened to Financialmy clients, as well as for the Children’s Cancer Institute.

You see, not only did John and Hannah get a fantastic brand-new home, but it came fully furnished with over $100,000 worth of appliances and furnishings as well. That was very exciting indeed, but to also know that $700,000 had just been raised to aid the fight against childhood cancers was really overwhelming. I have never had anything quite this significant happen to me as a professional broker, and it seemed like random luck for it to have occurred both for my clients but also for me. Furthermore, I have also pledged to donate $2,000 to the institute.

As soon as I had the contracts, we got the deal formally approved through NAB, and my clients were well and truly relaxed. When I met up with them recently to sign the mortgage documents, I got the impression that this life-changing event still hadn’t fully registered. I’m sure it finally did when the loan settled at the end of November and they got the keys.

But there was one other thing I realised I must do. I did not know if I would ever get this type of situation falling into my lap again, so I wanted to take advantage of the marketing opportunity. Luckily I had been ramping up all my digital marketing activities in the last year, getting to know my way around Facebook, LinkedIn and the like, so I saw this once-in-a-career chance to attach my brand to the story, and pounced on this marketing opportunity.

I offshore my digital marketing, and we immediately got to work on a Facebook post, Twitter announcement and keywords that would hopefully give me some free marketing. It worked well, with my brand getting a bit more recognition and more hits on the website.

"To also know that $700,000 had just been raised to aid the fight against childhood cancers was really overwhelming. I have never had anything quite this significant happen to me"

I feel great about the outcome of this experience, and I’ve learned even more about effective marketing as a result. I’m sure everyone in the industry will relate to my key takeaways from this experience: treat every client well and don’t pass judgment until you get to know their situation. Always look for other opportunities to leverage something.

PJ Patterson

CEO, Keystone Financial

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