Why this psychologist and investor chose mortgage broking

Justin Zhu built a $5.2 million property portfolio

Why this psychologist and investor chose mortgage broking



Helping other people is what Justin Zhu did for a decade as a clinical psychologist.

After building a $5.2 million investment property portfolio on the side with his wife, it’s that same motivation that is now driving his career as a mortgage and finance broker.

Zhu launched his mortgage broking business GG Loans in the second half of 2022. Based in North Ryde in Sydney, he is building a fast-growing, Zoom-dominated business that services customers Australia-wide, with a particular focus on building wealth for aspirational investor clients.

It was the attraction of helping people with their financial goals – as well as some great experiences with his own mortgage brokers during his investment property journey – that led Zhu to choose to enter the mortgage broking profession as a career change at age 36.

“Helping people as a psychologist was very, very rewarding, but after a decade, I decided I needed something a bit different,” Zhu said. “Maybe it was brought on by COVID, but I got to thinking about what else I could do, and I remembered how my brokers had had such a big impact on my life.”

“I also saw that as a broker I could take the time to help people and listen to what their goals are, what their barriers are, and come up with solutions for them – so basically what I was doing as a psychologist but now with property, loans and numbers instead.”

Helping investor clients from personal experience

Zhu had other knowledge and skills to offer. Together with his wife, Ning, he had spent 10 years acquiring six properties around Australia, starting with an apartment in Sydney’s Zetland and moving on to three properties in Brisbane’s Logan and then two in Perth

“When my broker first told me that, on my income we can get you to this amount of properties, I thought it was impossible. He explained it to me, but it wasn’t until we got the third or fourth property that I thought this really actually does work.

“Being a property investor and home owner myself means that now I really do get it, because I have my own lived experience and my own take on property investing and buying my own home – I know what worked for me and I find it very interesting.”

Though his success as an investor meant he was probably just as qualified to move into other real-estate related professions, Zhu decided that it was mortgage broking that suited him best.

“I did consider maybe becoming a buyer’s agent – I had a lot of friends who were asking how to find a property, what is my methodology, because I find them all myself.”

“But I think buyer’s agents and real estate agents help more in the immediate sense – buyers and sellers come to you and you sell or pick up the new place – but as a broker you have a much larger picture of your client’s finances and what their goals are.

“It’s almost like a puzzle. Everyone’s situation is different, and what works for one person might not work for another, so every client scenario is new and that is a challenge. And if they want to invest and earn a large passive income, we can help map out that journey.”

A healthy business vision for the future

Zhu said his property experience and advice from other brokers prepared him for what the industry entailed and helped him set up and structure the behind-the-scenes processes at GG Loans. However he has still found some aspects of mortgage broking stressful.

“It’s when unexpected things happen. It could be a client not declaring something – like one who had a credit card he didn’t tell us about – and others who filled out a form saying they were full-time employees, but from their pay slips it was clear they were contractors.”

But Zhu is still passionate about helping clients and he has plans for GG Loans.

“I think in terms of being a broker I want to continue to focus on helping investors, but also I’m looking at health professionals, like doctors, psychologists and others, who work hard on the frontline but may not know their way around property, which is a shame.”

Zhu is also looking at expanding his property portfolio into commercial investing.

“We have a good asset base now, and we might start looking into commercial. I definitely want to learn more about that space and get into it, either that or development.”

One of his Perth investments is due to be rezoned as a development site, which he said could be his first step into the market.

“I won’t say I won’t buy more residential homes, but at this stage I’m very interested in commercial property or property development.”

Does your real satisfaction in broking come from helping people - or something else? Share what really drives you in the comments section below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!