At first glance, software and mortgage broking appear to be two very different career choices.
But there are similarities, according to Steven Chan, who switched careers from the world of IT to home loans.
Chan was a software BDM for almost 10 years before he decided he wanted to join the mortgage industry and he now works as a broker for the Home Loan Experts in Rhodes in Sydney’s inner west.
Chan (pictured above) said he had found a few similarities between the two industries.
“The first similarity I found is the prospect of adding value to someone’s life,” he said.
“Software is all about helping businesses improve their processes in some way, whereas broking is about adding value on a more personal level by helping a client achieve their financial goals. It is all about establishing a good rapport, answering your clients’ questions correctly and helping them where need-be.”
Chan worked across multiple software and IT companies, most recently as a senior BDM selling software to HR companies.
“Working in tech sales and being able to transform business processes was fulfilling for me and I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the industry. No two days were ever the same and being able to solve customers’ challenges was very rewarding,” he said.
“I did however find in some cases the industry becomes quite transactional in the sense of selling the same product to the same type of customer. It was also a B2B role rather than dealing with customers and I craved that human interaction aspect after a while.”
Chan said in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, he was evaluating what he wanted out of his career.
“I have always been someone who is up for a challenge, so I asked myself what three things I wanted when considering my next career opportunity. I wanted to find a people-oriented role, something I was passionate about (property being one of these things) and a results driven role (sales), so after combining these things I decided mortgage broking appeared to be a great fit.”
Chan said before he started his mortgage career, he wanted to make sure he was equipped with as much information on the industry as possible.
“Initially I did my own research on the industry. I called some of the top brokers and spoke with some aggregators to get an insight to see if I would be happy with the role and the responsibilities.
“Everything checked out, so I completed my Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking before starting with Home Loan Experts and I have never looked back. The mentorship from my managers and colleagues is unmatched and coming into this industry with no experience has been a steep learning curve, so I am very grateful to my amazing team.”
Chan was an excellence awardee finalist at the 2022 Australian Mortgage Awards in the Pepper Money Broker of the Year – Specialist Lending category.
“After working in the industry for less than two years, I was very proud of this achievement. There are so many highs and lows in this industry, so this recognition was a definite high,” he said.
“One of the biggest challenges I face is learning different lender policy. I deal with over 50 lenders on my panel, so it can be a juggling act going between lenders at times.”
Chan said as a newer broker, sometimes it can be hard learning how to delegate his tasks each day to ensure he maximised his time.
“It is important to know where I am adding the most value to my team. I always make sure I am reading policy updates and staying across industry news, because information and things you pick up on makes your conversations with your clients more tangible. Your knowledge comes from being well read and having an opinion on what is happening.”