Hot Seat: Melissa Gielnik

Melissa Gielnik of Smart Lending on challenges, rewards and the perfect actress to play her in a biopic



What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an interior designer. I just liked fashion and cushions and I used to redecorate my bedroom and move furniture around all the time. To this day, I still enjoy shopping and redecorating.

What inspired you to become a mortgage broker?
I was actually working over in London and before going over there I had worked in retail but when I came back, my dad was a broker and he was looking for staff so I decided to work with him until I got a “real” job. Initially it was a gap-filler working with family but then I discovered I had found what I was really passionate about.

What was the most rewarding client experience?
We have so many different types of clients and each situation is so different I actually can’t answer that! I genuinely love the interaction with all our clients. I am particularly passionate about helping the people who can’t source loans anywhere else. I find that challenging and I like how it makes you feel at the end of it – to make a client who couldn’t find a loan anywhere else really happy.

How has the mortgage industry changed since you started as a broker?
We used to write our applications on an application form and fax them in! But we didn’t have to do compliance so it was probably a lot quicker and a lot easier and it was definitely more personable. It was all on relationships, if I said something was a good deal then it was a good deal. There are better loans out there now, the loans in the market have obviously become more sophisticated, but in terms of the process it was a lot more personable.

What was the most life changing or memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
I think that not everyone always views a situation like I do. A situation can be viewed multiple different ways so it is all about perception and accepting that your perception and another person’s perception is never the same. Growing up as well, my mum and dad would always say to me that they could give me a really good education but what I did with it was up to me. That advice has also been important to me.

If you were to live anywhere other than Australia, where would it be?
I would have to say Nashville because it is relaxed, it is country, but it is also city as well. Also, I would love to own a big ranch and have lots of animals and grow my own vegetables.

If you could cast any actress to play you in a movie about your life, who would it be?
Reese Witherspoon. Reese is from Nashville as well! I also just love her, no matter what role she is playing. She seems really wholesome. Although if someone played me in a movie about my life, I would be worried it would be pretty boring!

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!