James Symond sits down with Australian Broker

by Mike Wood06 Apr 2021

It's boom time at Aussie Home Loans and CEO James Symond can't wait to talk about the group's success.  

In the latest edition of Australian Broker, Symond explained how Aussie dealt with the pandemic, how the economy is rebounding and how mortgage brokers can give themselves a leg up in the industry. 

“When COVID first hit, many businesses ducked for cover and put the brakes on spending. Not our business. We forged ahead on a massive recruitment drive,” said Symond. “In fact, we’re currently looking at recruiting another 200 new mortgage brokers within a 12-month period and looking to extend our national store footprint in more local communities. So, while the world put their hard helmets on, we just went out there and said charge ahead.”

“Today, we’ve got more stores than ever, and more brokers than ever before. Our goal is to ensure that any customer anywhere can talk to their local Aussie broker. So, we will finish 2021 with about 230 stores, and by the end of the financial year we will have in excess of 1,050 brokers."

James Symond was bullish about the recovery and the property boom that we are currently seeing in Australia.

“Look at how strongly the Australian economy has been bouncing back,” he said. “The latest unemployment figures are quite stunning compared to where we all thought they would be.”

As for the property boom, he was equivocal about the reasons for it.

“Firstly, there’s a lot of surplus cash there’” said Symond. “Some mums and dads have got plenty of spare cash which they have saved over the last 12 months because they haven’t gone anywhere. Number two, interest rates are at an all-time low. Number three, there are some great government incentives particularly for first home buyers, which is really helping people into their first home.”

With mortgage brokers now getting 60.1% market share, the Aussie boss was confident that his company could keep the good times rolling for the sector.

“We’ve never been in a better position, and I’m really proud of where we are today,” he said. “We’ve established a culture, systems and processes that really help mortgage brokers succeed.”

“The number of mortgage brokers that we have all the time that are in the top categories of best mortgage brokers in Australia is always very impressive. I’m very proud of that.”

“We’re one of the rare brokerages that can take someone who has a customer focus, a great work ethic and lots of passion and turn them into a professional mortgage broker. We’ve got some stores that are writing half a billion dollars a year in settlements, which is quite extraordinary.”

“Mortgage broking is very much consumer-driven and repeat business. Consumers want choice, and that’s what has made this industry and certainly our business successful.”

This is an extract from an interview with James Symond in the new edition of Australian Broker. The magazine hits desks on April 5.