Mortgage broker service expands in Gladstone
A SMALL mortgage broking franchise has worked its way from a challenging start to being recognised as one of the best in Australia.
The Aussie Bundaberg team has been providing services to the Gladstone community since its inception - just before the 2013 floods - and franchisee George Farmer was named Australian Young Gun of the Year at the 2014 Australian Mortgage Awards last month.
Mr Farmer services up to 20% of his business clients in Gladstone, and the team has expanded to three, with his wife Sandy now in training herself to become a broker.
"My wife is a Gladstone girl born and bred. We generally get up there once or twice a month at least on an 'as needed' basis," he said.
"I pushed heavily to try to look after that market because of the way it was being serviced, and because we are able to get up there, meet clients face to face and build that relationship it tends to work better."
Mr Farmer said it was a "massive honour" to be named the Young Gun, which recognised individuals with less than two years' broking experience.
"We've had our share of challenges since buying the Bundaberg franchise in December 2012; the January 2013 floods in particular coming just seven weeks after I took over the business," he said.
"But by engaging with the local community and having an unwavering commitment to making sure our customer always comes first we've still been able to overcome these challenges and build a successful business."
Mr Farmer said he had been able to offer assistance to flood victims on how to deal with their banks and retain their credit worthiness in a very difficult time.
"Despite the challenging start. I wouldn't change a thing. I've recently been able to employ another staff member and the store continues to grow, recording the highest loan volume growth in the country for Aussie last financial year."
He said it was a "pretty big deal" to be voted best new broker in the country.
"To win that over brokers from Sydney and Melbourne purely by virtue of their loan size, they have significantly more volume than we do, so it's even more recognition for the work we do."