In the hot seat: Kirsty Dunphey

When Kirsty Dunphey, director of Launceston-based Up Loans, transitioned from a career in real estate to her own mortgage brokerage, she thought it would be a simple cross-step into a similar industry. But 'it was a steep learning curve,' she says, 'and one I'm still on!'

In the hot seat: Kirsty Dunphey



Q: What was your first job before the finance industry?

A: I’ve worked in my parents’ businesses since I was a child(laundromat, property investment, petrol station, fishing shop and more!). I was really entrepreneurial from a young age. I started my own businesses, beginning with my own jewellery market business importing jewellery from Thailand at 15; a web design business, also at 15; and owning my first real estate agency at age 21. My first paid ‘jobs’ were also at 15: one in an ice-cream shop and one at a real estate agency. I definitely preferred the one where I got free ice cream and doughnuts.

Q: Moving from real estate into mortgage broking, what was the biggest surprise for you?

A: The overwhelming kindness of the broker community. People aren’t as cut-throat as I was used to in real estate. The broker in another state is there to commiserate with you when you’ve had a tough day, and your closest broker down the road is still a mate and doesn’t see themselves as your competitor. If you have a question, they’ll answer it kindly and helpfully. Broking is a very, very welcoming and friendly industry.

Q: If you could change anything about the broking industry, what would it be?

A: Less compliance and paperwork. I get that it’s necessary, but I often wonder just how many more people we could help if our average time to get a file ready wasn’t 10 hours.

Q: What is the one thing you wish everyday borrowers knew about finance?

A: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is (for example AfterPay,credit card limit increases, interest-free cards). The one thing that really does seem like it’s too good to be true to me is that a member of the public can go to a broker, have them work diligently, compare huge numbers of lenders, end up with the same or a better interest rate than if they’d gone directly to the bank, and oftentimes give them a significantly altered customer service experience. And then they can have that same broker fight for their rate on and ongoing basis at annual check-ups and other times. And they don’t pay them! That really does sound too good to be true, and that’s the easiest part of my job – there’s no sales pitch. Who wouldn’t want that?

Q: If you weren’t a broker, what would your ideal career be?

A: A travel portrait photographer. I’m an amateur photographer, and I’m happiest when on a plane or in a foreign land, being fascinated by the new tastes, smells, sights and faces. I’ve made travel a huge priority in my life, and I spend about three months of the year travelling (and working remotely). I have two kids who are awesome travel buddies every school holidays, and we’re hanging out for the time when the world reopens and we can get back out and explore.

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