So what’s it like to actually work as a mortgage broker? Jonathan Lee has been a franchisee for Mortgage Choice, one of Australia’s largest mortgage brokers, since 2012. He took some time out of his schedule to give us insights into what really goes on behind the scenes…
How did you get the role?
I grew up in Wagga in country New South Wales and my father was a builder. When I finished school I spent several years working as a building surveyor and estimator, before heading off overseas. I found myself in the UK for stretch…working in paintball sales! It was then that I developed a real passion for selling.
Coming back to Aus, I went back to work as a estimator; and found it depressing sitting behind a desk knowing what I would earn each month. I was looking for something with more variety, more challenge, more upside.
A friend recommended that I check out mortgage broking and sent me a link to an information session being run by Mortgage Choice. After much procrastination, when I finally checked out the link the session was for the next day! I went along…and haven’t looked back.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m heavily involved in a number of community-based networking events. I helped found a new chapter of Business Networking International (BNI), which meets at the Williamstown RSL club for breakfast every Friday. I’m also involved with a local Toastmasters group that gets together once a fortnight.
Days are typically taken up with business meetings, mostly with referral partners.
In the evenings you’ll find me meeting with clients – especially new clients. We’re all time poor these days, so it helps initially to meet people after work hours. In a normal week I’ll average 1-2 of these evening meetings each day.
Outside of business, I like to stay fit. I used to be involved in bodybuilding and still like to get to the gym before work. I also make time for a regular squash game.
What do you love and not love about the job?
This is easy.
What I love - getting deals done and seeing clients’ journeys towards home ownership and financial independence.
What I don’t - lender declines…and requests for information that they’ve already been provided. (Just read what I’ve sent you people!)
What’s something that people may not know about the job?
All Mortgage Choice franchisees work on a flat commission structure. Sometimes it can be a bit of a mystery working out where commissions come from, but we like to keep it 100% transparent, so you know that we’re acting for you and not the banks.
Tell me a funny story from your time as a mortgage broker
I once had a major bank (based in Melbourne) question a recurring debit for ‘Myki’ that was showing on an applicant’s bank statements. They wanted to know what this debt was. It was kinda bizarre having to explain to them that Myki was for public transport…and not a debt instrument.