Brokers should look overseas for next big opportunity

by Julia Corderoy01 Feb 2016
Overseas expansion presents a huge opportunity for brokers to diversify their business in 2016 as the Australian property market starts to come off the boil. 

According to a recent poll conducted by Australian Broker, 53% of brokers agreed that overseas expansion would be a good way for them to diversify their services this year. 

Josh Gilbert, the managing director of a Loan Market franchise in St Kilda, Melbourne, is one of these brokers. Gilbert, who diversified his services to Malaysia last year, told Australian Broker that the current property market conditions are ideal to tap into the foreign investor market.  

“With an oversupply coming for off-the-plan property I think it is a really good time to look at that market,” he said.

Speaking to Australian Broker about his experiences in Malaysia, Gilbert said there are two very distinct markets for brokers who want to expand into the south-east Asian country.

“There are two really distinct markets in Malaysia – Malaysian nationals and expats. Both are very different but both are very strong,” Gilbert said.

According to Gilbert, Australian property is a comfortable and stable decision for Malaysian nationals looking to invest.  

“They are definitely comfortable with the Australian property market. There is a little bit of political unrest in Malaysia at the moment so they are very keen to shift some of their wealth out of the country. A lot of it also ties in with better lifestyle and education opportunities.”

Besides just investment opportunities, Gilbert says the migration market for Malaysian nationals also offers brokers a big opportunity. 

“There are a lot of Malaysian nationals who have future plans to migrate to Australia and a lot of them already have children who are over here studying and working. 

“So there are options for people buying investment properties for their assert portfolio and also buying property – working with migration agents as well – with the opportunity to move across to Australia.”

Diversifying his business into Malaysia has been easy with the help of a local financial planner, according to Gilbert. For other brokers looking to expand their services offshore, he says establishing a referral relationship with local businesses is the key. 

“I had friends over there living and working and they put me in touch with financial planners who were looking at trying to do seminars to the Malaysian national market looking to invest over here," Gilbert told Australian Broker

“I have been several times to speak at a couple of seminars there, organised by the financial planner in partnership with a migration agent. The financial planner can tap into their database that they have and we will work together to run a seminar which gives everyone information under the one roof.”