How a muddled job interview turned into a successful career

Broker now writing $137m in home loans

How a muddled job interview turned into a successful career


By Jayden Fennell

Over the past financial year, broker Mat Kirk has written a staggering $137m in mortgages – a record at the Melbourne brokerage he works for, Empower Wealth.

Kirk (pictured above) said that his path to a mortgage broking career was “kind of accidental”. After completing his accountancy degree and working full time in retail, he returned from an overseas trip and found himself back behind the counter.

It only took a few weeks for Kirk to realise he was no longer a university student, so he should try to secure a position using his new bachelor of accounting and finance degree.

“One day as I sat down for what I believed was an interview for an accountancy position, the person sitting opposite started talking about mortgage broking,” Kirk said. “So, I started asking a lot of questions and then at the end she said I’ve got really good questions. In my mind, I was thinking, ‘it's because I've got no idea what you're talking about.’ But anyway, they offered me the job.”

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Kirk said he worked as an assistant at that firm and then as a broker for a few other brokerages for the next few years before securing a position at Empower Wealth Advisory in August 2019.
“I think what we do is highly teachable and I take great pride in passing on my knowledge to staff and clients,” he said. “I’m very process-driven, so the method is the same for every single kind of client that comes through. We go through the same stages and it's almost robotic in its method, but obviously individual in its circumstance. I do the same thing on repeat for every client and go through the same steps, which obviously makes it a little bit more scalable.”

Kirk said he did not set out to write $137m in loans in one year and attributed this success to good old-fashioned customer service.

“It's just exactly the number of people who needed my help and who I was fortunate enough to assist over the past year,” he said. “I don't particularly have goals the same way other people do. I think gradual improvement is what the goal is for me, and being a little bit better than yesterday.”

Kirk said he would continue to write loans and he had also taken on a mentor role at Empower Wealth.

Empower Wealth Advisory head of mortgage broking Ben Magnus said as well as continually recording 98% satisfaction ratings from his clients, another impressive element of Kirk’s personality and career prowess was his altruistic nature.

“Mat’s high altruistic values have seen him find solutions for clients who are really stuck. He persevered to ensure he could better his client’s financial position,” Magnus said. “Refining your processes to ensure no waste remains is how you scale your business. Mat’s a clear leader in only doing tasks once and he provides an education-first approach. He may not be remunerated for the advice, but he can set clients up to make the best decisions they can for the future, even if they don’t use him as their broker. He always considers the long game with clients and treats every interaction as an opportunity to serve a client either now or into the future.”

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