Latin dancing is all about passion, how do you see that translated or being communicated with your work as a broker? Do you see this as your competitive advantage?
I not only dance, but I have also taught Latin dance. Teaching helped me learn how to communicate better with other people. It helped my confidence, to be able to get up on stage in front of a crowd of people and dance, count, move and explain something all at the same time... without falling over!
How do you find time to pursue your dancing and your busy lifestyle as a broker? How do you prioritise things and balance your life?
My business coach has helped with that. There was a period of time where my life as a broker took over my life, however, working with my business coach has helped me realise the importance of making time for the people and activities that I enjoy. The honest truth is that I have to work at making time for the important things. I have a little sign in between my two computer screens here at work which says "I'm so thankful that I can get it all done in eight hours a day".
What do you do when you’re not dancing and working as a broker?
If I'm not dancing, and not working, then my business coach tells me I should really be relaxing. A relaxing night for me would include a glass of red wine, cooking a meal and spending time with my partner. On the weekends you might find me on the tennis court, or walking up a mountain... however, if I must do the "relax!" thing, catching up for a coffee with a friend is always nice, too!
What’s the biggest misconception about mortgage brokers?
It's a hard question to answer because the people I deal with and who are more than likely reading this, are already converts to what we do. I think one thing that many investors find valuable but isn't well known, is that we're a good sounding board for property investing ideas, as we see daily so many offering scenarios being played out. Another is a broker's contacts. We know, for example, which buyer's agents are good and which solicitors are typically tardy.
If you chanced upon $200,000 in cold, hard cash, yours but only for investing, where would you put it?
It would depend on the maturity of my portfolio at the time, and my goals and objectives for the next five years. What could my portfolio do with right now? If it's equity I'm chasing, then I might target a growth area, say Toowoomba or inner Brisbane. If it's some cash flow to help with any current negative gearing, then I'd focus on somewhere I can achieve a decent rental return, perhaps a dual occupancy in Dubbo. Importantly, I wouldn't make a decision alone. I would look at where my clients have been buying and their success, I would talk with my colleagues and also to different buyers advocates who I trust and know do exceptional work.
What’s the best part of being a mortgage broker?
Being a busy broker takes a long time, energy and hard work, but like anything - the more you put in, the more you get out. Not just in monetary terms either. Sometimes, the hour-long meeting where I'm just helping the single mum out with her budget (no 'deal' in it for me) can really provide me with a feeling that I'm not just working for the sake of a dollar, and lets me know that I'm out there actually helping people. Being this type of broker will give you a sense of fulfilment that you can't just get by earning money. Being this type of broker also means that your clients will trust you. If your clients trust you, then the whole transaction becomes easier.
Tell us the five little-known things about you as a person and what sort of reaction you get from people when they find these out.
This was a hard question to answer, because I'm an open book with no filter, but there are a few things that might not be common knowledge including:
1) After recently completing my personality profile, I'm the only one in the whole office (of 10 people) with a high "I" (which stands for "Influence"). I found it very interesting to realise that I'm a little different from everyone else. The reaction from my colleagues was "aaahhh... yes, that explains a lot!".
2) I have a business coach. He is great, keeps me on track and focused on my goals.
3) I was born in Far North Queensland, and grew up in New Zealand. As a self-made Canberran, this can quite often be an interesting starting point to some conversations.
4) I scuba dive. I've dived the Great Barrier Reef, and swum with seals and also patted a shark.
5) I've been riding motorcycles for the past eight years, and have ridden multiple times on the race-track (track days and SuperBike school).
This feature is from the September issue of Your Investment Property Magazine. Download the issue to read more.
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