March 2019 Blog

Slice of Inspiration

This may have been my most inspirational month thus far! Not because I had one big eureka moment, but rather many little moments, quotes, and words of wisdom that rang true that made me sit up and reflect on my own life.

On Thursday I attended a conference for the broking industry and had the privilege of listening to a chap by the name of Sam Cawthorn. You may remember him as being the Young Australian of the Year in 2009 when he memorably shook the hand of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and left his prosthetic hand in Rudd’s. As funny as this scene was, Sam’s story was nothing short of inspirational. He was a young man with the world at his feet when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car whilst driving in Tasmania and veered into oncoming traffic, colliding with a semi-trailer truck. He technically died at the scene, but was resuscitated on the way to hospital. His injuries were extensive and resulted in him having his arm amputated just above the elbow and metal rods in his leg, which he is now unable to bend at all. He had two punctured lungs, a lacerated liver and lost all of his blood two times over. He is now an international motivational speaker and self-help author. He overcame adversity, looked for the opportunity and found his ‘why’.

Here is a quote from his presentation that I have been pondering:

“It is your decision, not your condition that determines who you are.”

Monthly Musings

So here we are, in March! Autumn is approaching and we are just about back to full throttle in the business.

It’s been a busy month with lots going on. Aston is currently cutting his molar, so the sleepless nights are continuing. I had forgotten how long the teething process takes! I don’t think we have had a decent nights sleep for the last month.

Azalea is turning 5 this month, and although she is eligible to begin school, we have made the decision to postpone her school start for another year so that she is not the youngest in the class, plus we just don’t think that she is ready for it quite yet. So this year we are getting serious about making some decisions about where to send her for schooling. There are so many options, and everyone seems to have an opinion!

I have finally started to get back into the running, which has been long overdue since Aston was born and the sleepless nights set in again. I have fallen foul of the words ‘I’m too tired to run today’, almost every day! So to get me focussed and keep me accountable, I have signed up for a 13.5km run at Hanging Rock at the end of the month – ‘Run The Rock’. I will let you know how it goes in my next monthly musings!

A noteworthy highlight of the month was RateOne winning an award on Thursday night at The Adviser Better Business Awards, which was highly deserved! We won the Best Independent Office (more than 5 brokers) in Victoria. I can’t say how proud I am to be a part of this amazing group of professionals that keep on adding more and more ways to help me in my business and provide my clients with the best service and experience possible.

Finance Bit

Since the last email, a lot has happened in our industry. The Royal Commission handed down their recommendations to the government and the broker industry were up in arms. Here is my LinkedIn post the day after the announcement (there was no way that I could have posted on the day, I was in too much disbelief and emotions were reeling).

To recap very briefly, the main issue I have, that 99.9% of people working within the broking industry seem to agree on, is that out of the 76 recommendations handed down by Commissioner Hayne, there is one that could potentially destroy the broking industry, destroy competition, and leave customers with fewer choices, handing the power back to the big four banks. The recommendation is that you the client, the customer, the borrower, should pay a flat fee for the broking service rather than the banks paying commissions based on the size of the loan written.

The facts speak for themselves: 60% of all loans written are through the broking channel, and this number is growing. That means more than 6 out of 10 Australians choose to use the expertise of a broker to find them the the most suitable and financially beneficial deal available rather than going into the bank. The stats show that broker customers are more satisfied than going to the bank direct. A recent survey found that 96.3% of broker customers were either satisfied or very satisfied (84%) with the service that they had received, compared with 66.8% (of which 25.8% were very satisfied) of direct to bank customers.

The same study asked customers if they would be prepared to pay a fee to a broker and if so how much. A massive 58% were not prepared to pay a fee.

In conclusion, customers are happy with the service they get. They continue to pick brokers over going direct to the bank, and have no issue with the way that brokers are paid. However, the Commissioner seems to think that it is a system that is broken and his proposed solution to the perceived problem is that you should be paying for the service you receive, not the banks! Ridiculous! Many of the 2nd tier lenders would not survive if this were to happen. The likes of ME Bank, Macquarie, MyState, Adelaide Bank, ING, Suncorp, to name just a few, do not have the branch presence to compete with the big four. These businesses receive the majority of their loan introductions from mortgage brokers and rely on the broker channel to survive.

So I am calling all of my readers to help me, help yourselves and help your fellow Australians, by helping to prevent the potential disaster of losing competition in our mortgage industry. Please click here and sign the petition and / or send a letter through the same link to your local MP.

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