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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 12
Mor tgage & Finance brief | 37 People W hen Rose De Rossi left high school at the tender age of 16 to enter the banking industry in 1985, she never dreamt it would lead to a fortnightly radio show. For the last two months, De Rossi has co-hosted a half-hour segment on Perth talkback station 6PR as a mortgage and finance expert, answering queries from listeners. “They were already doing similar segments for things like gardening,” she says, “But they weren’t doing anything for finance. “After a few months of pushing the idea, the producers had me in for a chat and they liked the idea.” While it’s still early days, broadcasting as a financial expert already looks like having a positive impact on her North Perth broking business, Diversifi. “I’ll get back to the office from the station and there’ll be calls and emails from people who were unable to ask their questions during the show,” De Rossi says. “Sometimes, the station will contact us to let us know that they’ve had a caller between segments. “It’s been excellent so far.” Getting involved in the community has been a long-term strategy for De Rossi ever since making the switch from banking to broking with Choice Home Loans in 1999. “I have always written articles for the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia’s Homebuyer magazine and now I’m doing a lot of Facebook and LinkedIn marketing,” she says. “I've always considered myself an amateur author. “I’m also the Vice President of the MFAA Western Australian Council, so I get to see things from both broker and lender perspectives. “Getting out there is really important in terms of branding. A few years ago we rebranded Choice into Diversifi; it was like starting over again. “We had to get our name out there and essentially re-establish ourselves as specialists in finance.” With more than 25 years in the industry, De Rossi has no small claim to being a financial specialist. Straight out of high school, she quickly realised how rewarding it was to help people achieve their financial goals. However, over the next decade, she concluded she would never be able to help as many people as she wanted by working in the banking environment. “I thought I would be able to reach a lot more people if I had a broader range of lenders to use,” she says. “So, in 1999, I made an appointment with Choice Home Loans and afterwards, I thought: ‘Yep, this is something I’d like to do.’” With a young child at school and a baby at home, the flexibility that broking offered had an immediate appeal. She was able to work from home when it suited, but still had the resources of an office to call on when needed. “Fortunately, my husband became a stay-at-home dad for the next eight years, which gave me the chance to work full-time and have a real crack at my career,” she recalls. At that time, she wasn’t yet reaping the financial rewards from her labours, but the move had certainly fulfilled her goal to help more people. “I knew that I needed to stick at it, because obviously you need to hang in there for a little while to see a benefit of all the hours you were doing,” she says. “But within the first six months, I quickly fell in love with the whole process of going into other people's homes and helping them – it was just so rewarding.” While dealing with customers came naturally to her, De Rossi admits handling the challenges of running a small business was sometimes a daunting task. “You know how to write loans,” she says, “But do you know how to run a business? Do you know how to do your super or do the payroll?" Despite those challenges, De Rossi’s more recent achievements would suggest she has thrived rather than survived. This year she was awarded her aggregator’s Mortgage Professional of the Year award (which De Rossi rates as one of her biggest successes), while her business has grown to 14 staff across two offices. Ultimately, she has ambitions to start up agencies across the country. Her ambitions aren’t limited to her broking career either, if her budding entry into the media is anything to go by. “Radio now, TV next!” she jokes. Rose De Rossi Diversifi North Perth, WA geTTing ouT There is really imporTanT in Terms of branding. a few years ago we rebranded; iT was like sTarTing over again.
Mortgage and Finance Brief 11
Mortgage and Finance Brief 13