'Forget the home loan business', Packer told Bouris

Yellow Brick Road chairman Mark Bouris has revealed how a meeting with Kerry Packer helped him understand what the mortgage business was really all about.

Speaking at the The Adviser’s Better Business Summit, Mr Bouris told a roomful of mortgage professionals about a meeting he had with Mr Packer in August 1999 when he approached the late billionaire about investing in Wizard Home Loans.

“Kerry was counter-intuitive about everything he did,” Mr Bouris recalled. “He was a questioner. That’s the best form of mentor you can get, someone who asks you questions rather than telling you everything.”

Mr Packer asked Mr Bouris what business he was in. “And don’t tell me home loans,” Mr Packer said. “Nobody wants to borrow money off you for 25 years and have to pay it back every month,” he said.

“Forget the home loan business. You are in the business of hopes and dreams. Never forget it. Never forget it in all your messaging, your branding and your sales process and in everything you do. You are in the business of people’s hopes and dreams.”

Mr Bouris told brokers that mortgage broking is “a great business” because people’s hopes and dreams are sustainable.

“They stay,” he said. “They don’t disappear. Everybody has hopes and dreams of having a roof over their head and to have shelter. They will have hopes and dreams of making it better, and improving, of moving from this suburb to that suburb and from this size house to that size house, helping their kids get a property, investing in a second one and a third and a fourth one so that one day they can retire and retire comfortably.”

Mr Bouris said brokers need to remember that they are feeding the hopes and dreams of their clients to improve their lives.

“It is more about that than it is about the pricing,” he said, adding. “Sure you have to get the best deal for them, but if you want to keep them as a client you need to understand where they are coming from, and that’s called empathy,” he said.

“Who would have thought Kerry Packer, of all the people in the world, would be telling me about empathy?

“You need to understand what your customer wants.”

[Related: YBR reveals aggressive acquisition plans]

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