The weakest mortgage approvals in eight years and morbid consumer sentiment have not dented the broking industry’s confidence, with diversification tipped to drive new revenue streams in the year ahead.
Over 60 per cent of respondents to Mortgage Business’ recent straw poll expected their business to grow in the 2008 financial year.
David Deakin, of Queensland-based brokerage Deakins Home Loan Supermarket, is confident his business will continue to evolve – driven in part by diversification.
Mr Deakin recently introduced a buyer’s agent service for his clients to build not a new revenue stream.
“I think as a whole the market is expecting a decline [in volume] but after repositioning our business a couple of years ago we have been able to escape any significant impact,” he said.
Data released by the ABS yesterday showed owner-occupied loans fell 7.9 per cent in May – the largest decline in eight years.
Mark Haron, director of Connective, said borrowers’ increased preference to deal with brokers would mitigate any residential lending slowdown for brokers this year.
“The broker proposition is stronger now than ever and this represents a big opportunity for brokers in the coming year.
“From leasing finance to home insurance, there is a lot of scope for brokers to diversify,” he said.
Joe Sirianni, director of Smartline, said he was confident his franchisees would be able to maintain a steady level of growth albeit at a lower level than the previous year.
“Most of our franchisees have a really good customer base that they’ll be able to draw upon. Growth won’t be huge, the market is more subdued, but it should be steady,” he said
Mr Sirianni said there were a lot of potential threats to business and it was unlikely the market had seen the worst of it but he was optimistic in six to nine months borrower confidence would return.
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