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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 14
22 Mortgage & Finance brief MW: And how’s your relationship with John now after 20 years of working together? JS: Although John and I often have strong debate, in 20 years I don’t recall us ever having an actual argument. The last five-to-ten years of the business have seen some very good financial times, however for the first five-to-ten years it was tough, really tough. From humble beginnings, our business is in a very different position now. The suppor t we prov ide te a m members has changed drastically – the money we now invest in our marketing, IT, operations and training suppor t wou ld have been i ncomprehen sible 15-20 years ago. MW: Do you spend much time with John outside of wo rk? JS: I’m fortunate to have a strong relationship with my whole family, which I love. John and I particularly have always had great respect for each other. The first 10 years of Aussie were particularly exciting and all we wanted to do was discuss the business and that hasn’t changed. I still have Saturday morning breakfast with John and a few very close friends, and most of our out-of-work discussion is still about business. As a family, even when I was a young boy, we’ve never differentiated bet ween busine ss and pleasure; what we do is our way of life. So whether it’s at the dinner table with my 90-year-old grandfather or at work, the Symond family live and breathe business. Our work is our hobby and our passion. MW: How has the role of the broker changed over the years? JS: It’s changed drastically. Twenty years ago anyone could be a broker, but today they need formal qualifications, sound financial knowledge, exceptional sales skills and a commitment to the highest levels of customer ser vice. Our brokers have strong relationships with lenders to ensure that we can provide the best deals for every customer, every time. We now have a true profession with some amazing people. Regulations have significantly changed our business and our industry. At the moment there’s a truckload for mortgage brokers to sort through and I know for a fact that it would be even more cumbersome if the MFAA hadn’t worked alongside key broking groups to lobby government to ensure some sanity. The pity is the majority of members don’t realise the MFAA’s key role in this and their continuous hard work behind the scenes on behalf of its members. As a family, even when i was a young boy, we’ve never differentiated between business and pleasure. what wedoisour way of life. James sYmond on... x DIVErSIFICATION There are key streams that are just as important as mortgages these days; credit cards, personal loans, insurances. you can’t just rely on that single mortgage stream anymore; the profits just aren’t there. x brOkErS’ OuTlOOk If you do not view this as a long-term business, exit tomorrow. Pull out. you do not belong in the business. you can shear a sheep for life, but you can only skin it once. really look after the customer, that’s how you’ll have a long-term relationship and that’s how you’ll eventually be financially rewarded. x DEAlINg wITh ChANgE I remember a broker from Perth who left because we introduced laptops. he said, ‘I’m not using one of those, there’s nothing wrong with my paper and pen,’ and he left to join one of our competitors. Six months later, they introduced laptops. like it or leave it, change is the only constant, you always need to be learning and evolving. x MANAgEMENT AND lEADErShIP There’s a big difference between leadership and management. Managers are easy to hire, quality leaders are harder to find. leaders are strong and sound individuals. A good leader inspires someone to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have done. A good leader will push people to do better, to push harder to achieve better results. x ThE ‘IT’S SMArT TO ASk’ CAMPAIgN: It’s one of our most successful campaigns ever. It ’s been working its head off. we’ve received thousands of quality leads in our first month. we have brokers already saying, ‘Don’t give me any more leads, I can’t handle it.’ we haven’t been in that position for some time and we are on a recruitment drive for the best people so we can satisfy demand. Australian Credit Licence number 234945
Mortgage and Finance Brief 13
Mortgage and Finance Brief 15