Brokers 'stronger than ever' as trend towards leaving the industry reverses

by Mike Wood26 Nov 2021

The broker channel is looking strong going into 2022 after weathering the challenges of 2021, according to a long-time industry insider.

Nick Young, managing director of loan book buyer Trail Homes, monitors the tide of brokers leaving the industry closely, and sounded the alarm during the height of the lockdowns about brokers selling up.

Since then, however, the industry has rebounded with brokers adapting to the combined challenges of APRA lending changes and increased regulation and the logistical difficulties that came with lockdowns and pandemic-enforced restrictions.

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“Back in July, we were seeing a lot of people who, because of issues such as Covid and compliance, were reassessing their lives and their mortgage broking careers,” said Young. “We saw an above average jump in people leaving the industry.”

“We’ve also seen the industry mature: we got the first round of people who had been very successful over the years think about retiring anyhow. We were a young industry 20 years ago and now we’re a mature industry, so there’s always a group of people who are thinking of leaving, and that was exacerbated.”

“Now, what we have seen is a settling down. We’ve moved into a new phase where people who are in now appear to be more committed, they’ve been through it and forced to make changes: whether that’s IT, loan processing or meetings, they’ve taken the opportunity to revisit how they run their businesses.”

While some brokers did leave the industry during the winter lockdowns, those that stayed are primed for success into 2022, according to Young.

“We’ve emerged out of the end of it stronger,” he said of the lockdowns. “When you put people under pressure, some choose to not play and leave, others come out stronger.”

“That’s what we’ve seen play out right before our eyes in the mortgage broking industry. For the people in the game now, there is a lot of optimism going into 2022.”

“If there is such thing as a typical mortgage broker business, I think that business is stronger now than at the start of the year. That’s because they’ve been forced to revisit how they conduct their business.”

“That’s partly due to compliance, but partly due to Covid, which has forced change. If you’re going to have to change because of those things, then you might as well have a review anyhow. They’re more streamlined, strong and now in a better position.”