Broker profile - Great Aussie Dream
Great Aussie Dream (GAD) is a family run brokerage business located in Penrith NSW – and it’s doing big things. At this year’s MFAA Excellence Awards, GAD took home the award for “Mortgage Credit adviser Business of the Year”. And this isn’t the first time, Great Aussie Dream won the same award in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and achieved these accolades with only two loan writers – David and Leonie Jackson, a husband and wife team.
“When we started Great Aussie Dream in February 2003, I was a Primary School teacher and David was in IT” says Leonie. “We were a typical family, struggling with a mortgage and wanting to get ahead, but there was nobody to help. After a bit of research, I decided to start a brokerage that was dedicated to helping families like ours. Our motto is ‘we make the dream a reality’ and nothing makes me happier than helping someone into their first home or to buy their first investment property.”
The MFAA Excellence Awards are judged on professionalism, integrity, ethical conduct, innovation and role model value. All attributes that David and Leonie obviously hold in spades.
Exiting MFAA CEO Phil Naylor said about them: “The MFAA holds its members to higher standards of education and conduct and the Excellence Awards celebrate the best of the best. Great Aussie Dream was selected as a finalist, independently judged alongside its peers from across the country and named the winner. I congratulate Great Aussie Dream on this achievement which is made all the more remarkable given that Great Aussie Dream also won this award in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It is clear that Great Aussie Dream embodies all of the qualities and characteristics that the MFAA promotes and that their clients should be well served.”
All very high praise indeed! So what makes David and Leonie so successful? We lead them with a couple of questions to see if we could get to the bottom of their success secrets.
What are your top 3 ‘must dos’ for a successful business? Here’s David’s view
- Be the person that can be relied on by the client
We have an attitude of never letting our clients down. For our clients, we make sure we’re the experts who know everything they need to know and what’s important to their deal – so they understand they can rely on us to be the lynchpin in their transaction. For our business clients, we know how to structure deals and get them across the line. They can rely on us to get them a positive outcome*.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be an effective communicator. To close a deal it’s important to communicate with your clients so they know they’re in safe hands. Communicating with them makes them feel confident and dispels their natural nervousness which helps to keep the deal alive. While the application is in process, we continue our communications with our clients so they know things are happening. And after we write a loan, we continue to communicate with our clients so they know we care about them. Continuing to service after the deal is important to client retention – you must always be in front of the client to retain them for repeat business and to win new business via referrals from them.
- Always look out for your client’s best interests
At Great Aussie Dream we work hard to put our client’s needs first. We always communicate with our clients to find out their situation and work with them to get them the outcome that’s best for them and in doing so, engender a huge level of trust from them. We don’t just take a transactional approach, we take the time to find out our client’s long term goals and then build a strategy that addresses both their current needs and their future aspirations.
We’ve had many situations where the client is not really in a position to move forward right away, so we give them a road map to follow that will get them where they want to be. By taking this attitude, we’ve gained business from prospective clients as many as three years down the track.
What’s a mistake that you’ll never make again?
I think the mistake we made when we started out was a mistake that loads of brokers make – undervaluing what we bring to the table. In the beginning it caused us to miss opportunities. We have so much to offer our clients by way of knowledge and experience – which is probably way beyond the knowledge you get by dealing with the banks directly. We now take a lot of trouble to demonstrate to our clients the knowledge and skill we bring to the table – it’s a big part of differentiating ourselves from the banks and other brokers. We have since nurtured our reputation as being the experts in our field and feel this is very good for our business.
We hope that you found David and Leonie’s story at Great Aussie Dream as inspiring as we do. Their success at the MFAA Excellence Awards just goes to prove that you can be awarded for carrying out your day to day business activities to the best of your abilities. If you haven’t entered your business for an award this year, why not consider an entry in the upcoming Australian Mortgage Awards? Check it out here.
*Outcomes are always dependent on your client’s personal financial circumstances.