If you have never used a mortgage broker, or even thought about it, knowing what we do and what value we can bring to your lending process has possibly evaded you. Let’s face it, if you haven’t sought out the services of a broker, it’s probably because you felt you didn’t need one.
In the wake of the banking royal commission, it’s really important property buyers understand how we can help and support you through what can be quite a complex and sometimes daunting process. To help build awareness, this month, we address the question, ‘what does a mortgage broker do?’
Over the last few months, I, like many brokers have had my eyes glued to the television, phone and computer screen, fixated, as the findings of the banking royal commission have been handed down and broadly publicised.
I have watched as an industry I am a part of — one that I genuinely and thoroughly enjoy working within — has had its reputation dragged over the coals.
Now, no industry is perfect, and of course, not all brokers work the same way, have the same focuses or goals, or are driven by the same values. But for the most part, brokers are professionals who strive to do a job really well so they can achieve a great result for their clients.
One of the most surprising things about the commission, for me, was the public commentary surrounding it, and the sudden motivation for people to start wondering, ‘what do mortgage brokers actually do?’
Being a mortgage broker isn’t a simple, transactional job — not if you do it properly. While it is based in finance, what really underpins what we do, is relationships. We work hard to get to know our clients, to understand their aims and ambitions and to find a way to help them get from where they are now, to living and enjoying those ambitions. So what exactly does a mortgage broker do?
1. Some mortgage brokers offer specialisation
When I was younger, I was convinced I wanted to work in healthcare, and so I completed many years of study in order to specialise in Nuclear Medicine.
Working with surgeons, radiologists, specialists and other healthcare professionals, something I consistently noticed was no one ever had any time for themselves.
Yes, they were devoted to their patients and that was both necessary and admirable, but they also had to sleep somewhere, eat something, drive something, and direct their own careers.
What I saw over and over again, was that health professionals who were investing in real estate, vehicles, getting started in their own surgeries, were so busy with their jobs, that often the financial decisions that go hand-in-hand with these personal tasks were rushed, poorly-informed, and squashed into the few spare minutes they could find each day.
With an existing passion for finance, I made a career decision, that possibly most other medical professionals would think insane! I jumped out of medicine, and into finance, specialising in helping my former colleagues and my friends make smarter decisions when it came to financing their personal lives.
For almost two decades I have now specialised in home loans, vehicle loans, commercial and other loans for medical professionals.
Something important to know about mortgage brokers is we have a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge, and in some cases, like mine, a specialisation — and we are happy to share what we know to help you find the best solution, with the least effort on your part.
2. We negotiate for you
I know a lot of brokers who work with clients for the first time, and the client enters the relationship thinking the broker is more-or-less an admin person who crunches numbers, submits forms and coordinates logistics with lenders on their behalf.
That is part of what we do. A small part.
Among other things, we also negotiate on your behalf. Many people don’t really consider that loan terms and rates aren’t necessarily set in stone. And even if they are aware there may be ‘wiggle room’, so many just don’t feel comfortable challenging a lender on their conditions or rates.
We have worked tirelessly to build really solid relationships with contacts at major and smaller lenders so we aren’t just calling them up to get some numbers. What we’re doing is reaching out and really working those numbers until they are the best they can be for you. And if we don’t find what you need, we have relationships with dozens of other lenders to lean on.
3. We open up new options
If you have read my case studies, you will know I have worked with quite a few doctors who have wanted to invest in property, upgrade their home or start their own practice, only to be denied by their own bank because of issues like employment status.
For so many people, when seeking any kind of finance, your own bank is not just your first stop, but your only stop. For many others who have more time or are more adventurous, the list of calls ends with the big four banks, or lenders with big reputations.
We work with more than 25 lenders; that’s 21 options outside of the big banks. Through our understanding of the industry, our knowledge of which lenders are reliable and trustworthy brands, and our broad contacts, we open up your options so you have a better chance at a better solution.
4. We keep up with requirements so you don’t have to
Over the last six-to-12 months, getting a loan has become much more difficult and a more cumbersome, time-consuming process.
The goal posts have shifted and the level of scrutiny you are subjected to, the amount of questions you need to answer and information you have to provide has increased.
As brokers, one of our most important jobs is to walk you through the lending process, help you know what to expect and gather together what you need for different lenders — because they can have different requirements. We clear up confusion, answer questions and simplify the process so it takes less time and energy from you.
Mortgage brokers are under a lot of scrutiny right now, and personally, though I feel many of the recommendations from the commission would do more to undermine the integrity of the lending process than enhance it, I always welcome a close eye.
I pride myself on how my team and I conduct ourselves, on our absolute commitment to our clients and I hope to see our profession continuing to provide a much-needed service for many years to come. SO, after all this, if you’re still scratching your head and wondering, ‘ what does a mortgage broker do?’, just give me a call, I’d be happy to chat!
*Every client’s situation is unique, Terms and conditions apply, contact as to initiate a full application assessment for you, to determine an outcome.