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How this husband and wife team work on their broking business together

by Tamikah Bretzke29 minute read

The Adviser talks to Andrew and Annette Dickson, the husband and wife team behind Altitude Finance. We find out how they operate their business as a married couple and what advice they have for brokers working in the same capacity.

Tune in to Elite Broker to hear why they migrated to the Gold Coast from the city of Sydney, how they’re helping clients set goals and plant seeds for the future, and why they believe working for themselves gives them more flexibility to achieve a work/life balance.

Find out how these brokers:

  • Bought their business using equity from their property portfolio
  • Separate their work life from their home life
  • Work closely with wealth creationists to achieve their goals



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Full transcript

James Mitchell: Hello and welcome to Elite Broker. I'm your host James Mitchell, editor of The Adviser, and we're joined once again by Annie Kane, deputy editor. How are you doing, Annie?

Annie Kane: I'm fine thanks James, how are you?

James Mitchell: Very good thank you. And we've got a couple of brokers on the phone from Queensland. We've got Annette and Andrew Dickson – they run a brokerage called, "Altitude Finance." They're a married couple and also the owners of the business.

Guys, how are you going? How's everything been going with the business?

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. It's doing great, thank you. No, it's doing very well.

James Mitchell: So tell us a little bit about Altitude Finance. You guys are based in Queensland?

Annette Dickson: Yeah, we're on the south end of the Gold Coast.

James Mitchell: Okay.

Andrew Dickson: So, it's the nice end of the Gold Coast. I don't know if you know the Gold Coast very well, but it's not the Surfers Paradise part.

James Mitchell: Okay.

Annie Kane: I thought that was meant to be the nice side?

Andrew Dickson: It depends what you're into.

Annette Dickson: It depends on your perspective.

James Mitchell: Okay. Well you're a married couple, and you're both mortgage brokers. Tell us a little bit about your history in terms of how you got into the industry, where you got your start, and how you came together to launch the business that you're in now.

Andrew Dickson: That's a great story. Actually, Annette's got a really good take on one of our very first dates, so I might let you

Annette Dickson: Yeah.

James Mitchell: Fantastic.

Annette Dickson: I guess it was back in ... Andrew and I met in 2000, 2001. We both actually started pounding the streets with ... We were door to door Optus salespeople.

James Mitchell: Okay.

Annette Dickson: Yeah, in our early twenties, and in the same building he knocked on the door of a mortgage broker and basically said "Look, I'm really interested in what you guys do. I know that finance is key. We wanna get into the property market. How about it?"

And, so they took him on and at the same time I ended up going to work with RAMS. So I've got some experience in sales support, credit inquiries – all that sort of stuff. And then Andrew got head-hunted to a financial planner's office to set up their mortgage department. This is back in 2002.

Andrew Dickson: Yeah, 2002, when everyone was climbing over the top of each other to get into the property boom at the time, just like it is now.

Annette Dickson: It was a really, really busy time-

James Mitchell: Yeah, that was quite a heyday for mortgage broking I guess, in the early 2000s.

Annette Dickson: Yeah. Yeah. And property was going really well. The markets were going really well, and the financial planner that Andrew was working with actually did a lot in property, which is unusual for planning. So, I was really excited with that as well, and they was so busy that I used to help Andrew, on the weekends and they used to go to Brisbane and all around the country. They did some seminars and things like that so-

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. They had a great little model where they'd actually do a weekend seminar, and basically explain people the power of leverage, and the power of your cash flow.

Most of the people who were interested in attending to that essentially they'd already been pre-qualified. They're quite keen to get ahead financially, and by the end of that I'd normally stick around if it was in Brisbane or Melbourne, or wherever we were doing the workshop. I'd stick around for the next week and just have client meetings and pre-qualify them for finance in terms of what they could do, and what sort of size property portfolio they could build really.

James Mitchell: Okay.

Annette Dickson: Yeah. So, off the back of that I think we were only together six months and we bought our first investment property, and we were lucky to have some mentoring from the guy there as well as ... We were in the industry, we're looking around, we really wanted to get ahead and we wanted to get into our first property as soon as possible. So, we bought up here in Queensland in 2002, and off the back of that we ended up setting up our own business in 2003. So, it's a bit of a long story there, but, yeah, we took the equity from that property, bought some more properties and set up our business all at once.

James Mitchell: Okay. So, you actually used some of the equity in the property to start the business as well?

Andrew Dickson: Look, we did, yeah. It's funny, you know. I listened to a statistic the other day on the Sydney market and they said ... It might be a month or two old now, obviously with some recent stats that just come out just recently. But, they were saying Sydney hasn't had this level of price growth in 15 years. And we wound back the clock, and we're like, "Oh, it's 2002." It's exactly when we decided to fly north and not buy in Sydney, because We were working, we were new in the industry. Obviously, we'd seen what had happened with Sydney, and it had had a strong run up to the Olympics, and then it kept going for another two, three, four years after that.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: At that point we were kinda like, yeah, everyone was kinda saying, "Buy Sydney. Buy Sydney. Buy Sydney." And we were like, "No, I don't think so. We're not gonna come to the party just before the music stops."

James Mitchell: Yeah. So, it was sort of reaching the peak of the market.

Andrew Dickson: It was. It was the peak of the market and definitely in hindsight, luckily we bought up here. We bought well, and we picked up a property. I think it was a brand new house – a four-bedroom house on a golf course estate for something like $275,000.

James Mitchell: Wow.

Andrew Dickson: Within 18 months it was worth $500,000.

Annie Kane: Yeah. Wow.

Annette Dickson: We were really fortunate with picking the market and the timing, and as you said before we were able to set up our business, because obviously, we took on a lease in North Sydney. We had a small office in there, and there's a lot of expenses when you first start out and you don't know when the money's coming in. And as a broker, it can take quite a bit of lead time to get paid. But, another fortunate thing for us was that the financial planning business carried on referring clients across to us. So, they were great clients. They were clients who already had property, wanted to release equity, and keep investing. So, we were really in the trenches with those guys from early days.

Annie Kane: What company was that, that you were working with? The financial planners?

Andrew Dickson: Oh, they were a little boutique financial planning company – I don't recall the details.

Annette Dickson: NFS.

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. That was it. Yeah, NFS.

James Mitchell: Okay.

Annette Dickson: And we were only there for a short time, but as I say, we were really fortunate that they kept referring clients to us. So, that's sort of how we built our business, and we really specialised with investors as well. We were helping people get their second, third, and fourth properties.

James Mitchell: Yep. Well, how's the business evolved since then? Because property investment's hugely popular now. It's pretty hot, caused the regulators to come in, in terms of the banking side. Is property investment still a big part of what you guys do?

Andrew Dickson: Look, we do everything when it comes to mortgage broking. We particularly specialise in the residential space. I guess we've never been the sort of brokers that go out there and shoot the lights out in the sense of setting the world on fire with massive volumes and we've always kept our business fairly lean. It's predominantly been the two of us. Occasionally we'll outsource a few things, but we really work on quality business – whether it's homeowners, re-financers, or investors wanting to do everything. So, we kinda cover the full gamut from that point of view. We do a little bit of commercial, a little bit of leasing here and there, but we tend more to refer that sort of business out.

For us it's doing the mortgages, making sure people have got proper structures and they're prepared for the next three, five, 10 years of their life, because so many people rush into financial decisions without really thinking about the consequences, and where they're gonna be in another five years’ time, so we spend a lot of time preparing with clients for that.

Annie Kane: Yeah.

Annette Dickson: So, yeah, we're really big on making sure that their structure is right from the outset, and planting seeds about what they're gonna do for the future.

We try to avoid being transactional. Anyone can more or less go into a bank, or go and see anyone and just get a loan, but we like to think that we provide a much wider service around educating people about what they actually can achieve and how to set themselves up for the future.

Annie Kane: So, do you do some sort of cashflow management stuff as well?

Annette Dickson: Yeah. Absolutely.

Annie Kane: Okay. And how'd you guys ... Obviously, working together – husband and wife – how do you guys split the business? Do you both do everything? Or, do you have specialties that you both focus on?

Andrew Dickson: That's such a great question. I think it took us a long time to figure out who does what. We’re still learning that from time to time.

Annette Dickson: Look, at one point, we were definitely two captains of the ship-

Annie Kane: Yep.

Annette Dickson: And we used to clash quite a bit-

Annie Kane: Yeah.

Annette Dickson: And had some interesting discussions with loud voices. We were both brokers in our own right, but then when we moved up here I decided to take more of a back seat and let Andrew do the front end of the stuff. And I would do more of the back end work, which there's more and more of that now, so we're looking to outsource some of that too.

Andrew Dickson: Annette's very good at making sure if I start something, it gets finished.

James Mitchell: Yup.

Annette Dickson: Yup. So, Andrew's the starter, I'm the finisher. So, that's why we work so well together, ‘cause he's really ‘big picture’ and I'm very detailed, focused. So, it's a really good combination.

Annie Kane: Right.

James Mitchell: Excellent.

Annie Kane: Just in terms of actually how you guys met to begin with. You mentioned at the beginning that you both did some Optus selling -

James Mitchell: Yeah.

Annie Kane: - Is that how you met? Or, did you actually meet broking?

Annette Dickson: No, we met through some mutual friends. I was actually backpacking in New Zealand and then I came over to Sydney, and that's where I was living with a family then and over near Manly, and Andrew was a friend of the family and we met that way. And, we started out working together straight from the outset, didn't we?

Andrew Dickson: Yeah, more or less. I think Annette saw that I had drive. I had a lot of drive. Essentially, my particular family, their financial circumstances weren't fantastic and there was a point in life, and it was just before I really got serious about getting into finance broking.

I'd actually been studying at Macquarie University to do chiropractic. At the time it was two degrees, so it was a science degree followed by two years Masters. So, I'd been through the system. I'd done my science degree. I'd done all the peripheral chiro subjects and stuff like that, enrolled in the Masters. Yep, accepted, good to go. Applied for HECS, and they said, "No, no, no. There's no HECS, you've got a science degree." I said, "Yeah, but I'm not studying to be a scientist." And they said, "No, no. You're postgraduate there is no HECS for this system. You gotta pay all your tuition fees upfront."

James Mitchell:  Oh wow.

Andrew Dickson: So that was just unheard of.

James Mitchell: Yeah.

Andrew Dickson: I'd been packing shelves at Woolworths at night to get through my science degree. So, all of a sudden blinding lights went on in my head is like, "Woah! Okay. Money's kind of important. I've managed to ignore it up to this point in my life, but no, I've gotta get this sorted, and I've gotta get it sorted quickly."

Annette Dickson: Yeah. Whereas, I wasn't too worried about money. I was just sort of ... Somehow it always seemed to be okay, but at the same time I didn't want to ... I left England because … I had a good job there and I was kind of dissatisfied, and I thought there must be more out there than this. And I guess we're both very ... I suppose that's why we're self-employed, because we didn't really go too well working for other people, and we always had our own ambitions and our own ideas, and when we came together we really propelled each other forward.

James Mitchell: Yep. I just wanna ask you, you mentioned that you're self-employed and it's something, which I guess almost gets forgotten about as mortgage broking has grown into such a big profession now, but mortgage brokers are self-employed people. They have decided to do what they do to become in control of their own destiny in a way. Do you find that you deal with other self-employed clients as well, or those that have gone out on their own whether it's starting a small business, or people trying to do their own thing?

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. Good question. I mean, we're on the Gold Coast now and there are a lot of self-employed people. We moved up here for lifestyle, so probably about five years ago after the GFC we'd had an investment development deal go a bit pear-shaped, and that threw us off the rails a little bit and we took a bit of time to reassess and we said, "Look. It's a kick in the ass and it's probably a good time for us to fly north." Ever since investing our first property up near Noosa, we really love this part of the world.

And every time we come back to Sydney, the hustle the bustle, we were kind of like, this is just starting to grate on us. As you know, you get older and you lose more and more time just moving around the city-

James Mitchell: Mmm.

Andrew Dickson: Just to do simple things, you can lose 30, 45, an hour, of your life just in traffic.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: So, we were kinda like, look this is a great chance. We've had a bit of a kick in the guts. Let's just reassess. Why don't we make a move now. So, we moved up here and that was ... What was that? What year was that – 2012?

Annette Dickson: Um, late 2011.

Andrew Dickson: 2011. Yeah, people weren't even selling properties.

Annette Dickson: It was really dead up here. We were kinda like, "Oh god. What have we done?"

Andrew Dickson: I remember one of the guys in the industry saying, "Are you serious mate? Why are you going up there?"

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: They don't even transact. They swap properties.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Annette Dickson: Yeah. They were a bit derogatory. At first, we found it was very black and white to where we'd come from. But, over time we got settled, and we've made a little bit of a niche here for ourselves, plus we still service our Sydney clients. But certainly, as Andrew says, there's a bit more self-employed up here.

Andrew Dickson: Yeah, they can be challenging particularly in this environment.

Annette Dickson: Yeah.

Andrew Dickson: I mean they're very much in the environment that their accountant says, "Oh look, we can minimise your tax, so no problem." The problem is, 12, 24, 36 months later when they wanna buy a house and get a mortgage, of course, they don't serve us.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Annette Dickson: So, that's really where the education comes in. So, we work with people over the short to medium term to get them ready.

Annie Kane: I just wanna ask as well. You were mentioning there about helping people manage their finances and do some cashflow management, and you obviously had experience working in a referral partnership with a financial planner previously. Have you got any plans to offer financial planning to your clients or, are you just constantly refer that out do you think?

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. I don't think we're gonna step into the financial planning space in the immediate future. We're always looking at joint venture opportunities with good financial planners. But it's nothing that's really highly proactive on our radar at the moment. I guess we tend to gravitate towards the younger wealth creation type clients. Financial planners tend to be more for the clients who are established and they've got quite a lot of money to look after-

Annie Kane: Mmmm.

Andrew Dickson: And all the rest of it. So from risk point of view obviously there's big need for risk insurances and life, and income protection – all those sorts of things, so we do have a few planners that we can refer that sort of business to if the clients need that. But, yeah, we're very much about the younger guys getting started, and we show them how to be responsible with their money, and we show the power of their money. I mean, obviously there's a lot of the younger generation now complaining about the cost of smashed avocado.

Annie Kane: Yeah.

Andrew Dickson: You know, that doesn't vary much from café to café, right? So, you can shop around, you might be able to get it two or three buck cheaper, but that is not really gonna get you set up for life. So, we show these people how to automate their banking and simplify things. Just how to set goals and how to understand how this stuff works on a fundamental level.

James Mitchell: Just listening to your story, and how you met and how you've gone into business together and that sort of thing, and obviously the type of clientele that you service as well, the younger generation building wealth and that sorta thing. I was just wondering from a professional perspective, have you ever had any interest from someone wanting to join you, or become a broker, or have you ever been thinking about opening yourselves up to mentoring new brokers and that sort of thing? Because it seems like you'd have quite a point of difference there in terms of having a family dynamic in the sense that you're married and you work together and that sorta thing. It seems like you'd be good mentors is what I'm trying to say.

Andrew Dickson: Oh, thank you.

Annette Dickson: Oh, thank you.

Andrew Dickson: Look, it has kinda – it's crossed my mind, I guess, in the last 18 months, wanting to mentor someone and wanting to show them the ropes. So, yeah. I'd say that is on the radar. I guess I'm a little bit alternate in the way I look at things. I'm very much of the opinion, if it's meant to happen things will just turn up in your life.

When it comes to goal-setting and things like that I'm more likely to throw an intention out there, rather than to sit down and waste my weekend creating a business plan trying to achieve something.

Annie Kane: I feel like that's where Annette comes in.

Andrew Dickson: I'd much rather be down the beach. I gotta tell you.

Annette Dickson: But, yeah, you meet the right people, and then sometimes that's when things can actually come together, and that's very much how we do things. It's all about the right people, but it's certainly something that's on our radar, and we've talked about it. We looked into it a little bit last year, so certainly I think that's coming. Definitely.

Annie Kane: I just wanna ask as well – talking about mentorships there – I guess a lot of the hand-holding that you do with your clients, especially if they're younger, it seems almost like a parental figure that you're showing them how it works, and being like, "Don't buy all those smashed avos, guys."

James Mitchell: That's right.

Annie Kane: "You need to be able to save."

James Mitchell: Like a half broking, half counselling service.

Annie Kane: Yeah. But I just wondered, obviously you're doing all that day-to-day. It's quite full on and then you go home and you're still talking about work obviously, you're working together. Is there anything where you've got ... Do you have any boundaries where you're like, "Okay. We're not going to talk about work anymore. We're just gonna relax. We're gonna just switch off." How do you set the work/life balance?

Andrew Dickson: Look, you're right. There's a really clear distinction, and that's the commute between work and home. So, it's a big commute. I reckon it's probably 12 or 13 steps. From the office level to the upstairs, which is the home. But, it's an unspoken rule that, more or less, when we're upstairs we don't talk about business.

Annie Kane: Right. So, if you wanna have a conversation about work do you have to run back downstairs?

James Mitchell: Yeah.

Andrew Dickson: Hey look, the dog loves that. Go and do something, yeah, I’m sick of lying around.

James Mitchell: Brilliant.

Annette Dickson: It's just a look we can give each other that the other one knows, "Okay. Yep. I've stepped out of line. I'm talking about work when I shouldn't be." So, yeah. We're pretty flexible, because we've got flexible hours, so we don't ... It's not like, "Well, it's after six o'clock we can't talk about work." You know, if something needs to be talked about, we'll talk about it. It's no big deal – it kind of merges. We're not really strict about it. We always make time for ourselves, and make sure that the line doesn't get crossed too much in the home life, but at the same time it all merges into one pretty much.

Annie Kane: Yeah. So, do you have any advice for anyone who is in a husband and wife team, or in a family-environment, or just works very closely with someone day-in-day-out that they also see at home. Do you have any advice on how to make that work?

Andrew Dickson: I think you've gotta have a dedicated work zone. So, we bought this particular property three years ago and one of the reasons for buying it was, I mean, there's lots of reasons. The amount of land you can get up here for the amount of money you pay is just ridiculously cheap so ... I still think hold onto your horses, the south-east Queensland market has got a long way to go yet. It's only just starting to happen now. But, apart from the land it offered a downstairs section, which we could fully set up as home office. It looks completely commercial. Once you walk in the door you could be in any commercial building anywhere. So, it's a very dedicated space for that purpose, so when you come into this zone you're here to work. Whereas, the home's different. The home's completely a relaxing zone, just to chill out and just do whatever else you need to do, to cook, to take some time out.

Annette Dickson: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: You know what I mean? So, I think it's important that people have that dedicated workspace, and even if it's just a room that they set up purely for that purpose, if they're gonna be broking on the small scale. I mean, we did invest in an office in North Sydney for, I think, seven years, but after I looked at the amount of rent that we paid. I think it was something around about $300,000. We were like, "Well, hold on."

Annette Dickson: 300?

Andrew Dickson: $300,000 over seven years.

Annette Dickson: Oh okay. I was gonna say, that's a lot! I didn't realise we paid that much!

Andrew Dickson: But it wouldn't be that shy of it by the time you look at parking and tolls and everything else. And we looked at the opportunity cost of that and it's like, "Well, hey that's just another property in the portfolio."

James Mitchell: Mmmm.

Andrew Dickson: So, after that we started working from home, and that was even before we moved to Queensland.

Annette Dickson: Yeah, but look, coming back to your question as well about advice. I think it's really important that you each have a defined role in the business. We didn't do too well with that initially. We used to struggle, and as I say, it was kinda like two captains, or two chefs in the kitchen.

Annie Kane: Mmmm.

Annette Dickson: And we sorta had to work it out, and we could've saved ourselves a lot of heartache if we'd have just sat down at the beginning and said, "Look, these are your strengths, this is what I like to work on." And kinda work out who does what. And now it's just evolved to the point where we know who does what because it's just happened by default. But I think, anyone coming into it, I think a really good way is to set that up from the beginning. But it's all trial and error and you kinda work it out in the end.

Annie Kane: Yeah, okay.

James Mitchell: I think we're almost out of time, but I just wanted to ask you one more question, and that was about your end goal for your careers in mortgage broking. We had Sydney broker Tony Bice on the show recently, and he mentioned the age of 65 ... He's got a plan at least to retire and sell his business, or have someone come in and manage the business and he comes in every now and then. So, we had a bit of a picture about where the future was headed. Have you guys thought about how you want the business to grow or any final game plan?

Andrew Dickson: Yeah, okay. That's a great question. Thank you. Good on, is it Tony, was it?

James Mitchell: It was Tony Bice, yeah, from Sydney.

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. Oh, good on him. He's a long termer. A long player, so I respect that. Look, one of the reasons we don't do a lot with financial planning and we work a lot with the younger generation is because we really want to encourage these guys that they have the rights and the opportunity, and they have everything they need to create financial independence in their life, and early in life.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: I'm a big fan of Robert Kiyosaki as an author and some of his concepts. You know, we'll get people reading books like, "Rich Dad Poor Dad"-

James Mitchell: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew Dickson: Stuff like that, to really get them to understand the differences between assets, liabilities, and all that sorts of things. And, we take that, like you said earlier, parental guidance to people. To show these people they've got potential. It's not hard to break through the system.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: So many people are trapped into superannuation and things like that until ... I don't know what the access age is now, but it'd be getting closer to 70. I just turned 42. I can't see myself working at 70. I can't see myself working at 50. If, I'm not out by 45, I'll be bitterly disappointed.

Annie Kane: Wow, okay.

James Mitchell: Oh wow.

Annie Kane: You get some surfing down on the beach or something.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: Look, it's a beautiful world we live in. There's so many places to see. We're here for a short period of time.

James Mitchell: Mmmm.

Andrew Dickson: There's so much to do on this planet.

James Mitchell: Yep.

Annette Dickson: But we're still very passionate about what we do and we love helping people, that's the main thing. And I think the disadvantage, or the thing that we don't like, for us, is the extra paperwork, and obviously we came into the industry when things were a bit easy and we appreciate that legislation and all that has to come in and improve the standards of our industry. Having said that, that's the bit that we wanna outsource, and moving to the future we definitely want to bring people in and actually be able to choose the clients that we wanna work with.

Andrew Dickson: Yeah. Unfortunately, due to a few bad apples in the box. The whole industry's been tarred with this brush, and it's unfortunate that people just don't have the moral ethics for that not to happen, and I do believe we're living in an over-regulated country. It's really becoming a bit of a nanny state and that's disappointing.

Annie Kane: Mmmm. And just briefly touching on that before we close. I know recently the Small Business Minister, Michael McCormack, Federal Small Business Minister, was asking for brokers to email him, or get in contact with his office to highlight areas of red tape, or bureaucracy, that could be reduced for mortgage brokers. Is there anything that spring to mind for you guys? I mean, you're talking there about over-regulation. Is there anything in particular that you think, I just wish we could get rid of this, because it's done somewhere else in the process, or anything like that?

Annette Dickson: Oh, how long have you got?

Andrew Dickson: Wow, yeah. That's a long conversation.

James Mitchell:  Now that's a whole separate show I think, is it?

Andrew Dickson: We might have to do this as Part 2.

James Mitchell: All right.

Annie Kane: But anything, off the top of your head, like, one or two main things.

Andrew Dickson: Okay. Where do we start?

Annette Dickson: Ummm.

Andrew Dickson: What are the biggest issues? If you can just cut to the core of your question one more time, please?

Annie Kane: So, if you had an email that you were going to send to Michael McCormack saying, “These are the steps in mortgage broking for a small business owner that I would like to be reduced or removed”, what would they be?

James Mitchell: The red tape cutting stuff.

Annie Kane: Yep.

Annette Dickson: In terms of the compliance?

James Mitchell: Yeah. In terms of compliance, regulation – any areas of mortgage broking which you think are redundant or don't need to be there? Whether it's claw back, or the amount of paperwork that needs to be done – anything like that.

Annette Dickson: Yeah, look. I mean, obviously the living expenses thing has come in recently – that seems to be really painful at all levels. And -

Andrew Dickson: Look, I don't think it's individual policies. I think it's the general tone. The tone is that people are stupid and you've gotta regulate them so that they don't make mistakes and hurt themselves.

Annette Dickson: And you've gotta put them in a box, and people don't fit into a box. You can see 10 people in a day and every single one of those people have got a different scenario. They've got a different level of intelligence. And, people are intelligent and, like Andrew said, it's just this sort of "one size fits all" which box can we put them in and if they don't fit into a box ... Going back to the living expenses example. We had some clients who truly had some fairly low living expenses, and the lender actually wouldn't allow us to move forward because they said this is lower than what we think they should actually-

Annie Kane: Yeah.

Annette Dickson: Yeah but, this is what they've declared.

James Mitchell: Yeah. Yeah.

Annette Dickson: There's nothing I can do about that, and it was a big bone of contention, and we were going backwards and forwards and I thought, "Gee, what a waste of time this is."

Andrew Dickson: It's like interest rate settings. I mean, interest rate settings at the moment, they're a very blunt stick, and we've got all these APRA prudential controls over the whole industry, which are really designed to slow down Melbourne and Sydney.

Annie Kane: Yep.

Andrew Dickson: Not the whole country. I mean, you've got a geographical problem and you're hitting it with this blunt implement.

James Mitchell: It's a good point, and there's a lot of brokers out there who share your views, I know cos we've been chatting to them over the last few months with all this stuff that's been happening.

Andrew Dickson: Look, unfortunately if you wrap people up in cotton wool, and you try and protect them, you might as well just plonk them in front of the television and a poker machine and hit them with death taxes on the way out.

James Mitchell: Yeah. I like it.

Andrew Dickson: There you go.

Annie Kane: Some people would like the sound of that.

James Mitchell: Yeah, alright. Well, it's been great to chat, and we'll have to get you back on the show to talk more about some of the thread-cutting and some of your bugbears, cos I think that'd be pretty exciting.

Annie Kane: Yeah.

Andrew Dickson: All right. Well, if you wanna put a panel together I'd be part of that.

James Mitchell: All right. That'd be good. We might do that.

Annie Kane: Well, thank you so much for your time Annette and Andrew. We really appreciate you coming on the show.

Andrew Dickson: Thanks very much. Have a great day.

James Mitchell: Cheers guys.

Annie Kane: You too. Bye.

Andrew Dickson: Okay. Bye bye.

James Mitchell: All right. I think that's all we've got time for this week. Just a big reminder to all those listening, particularly new to industry brokers. We've got a new event. It's called The Adviser New Broker Academy and thanks to Heritage Bank and our generous partners we've got a number of free tickets to give away.

So, that event will be coming to Melbourne on 11 July and Sydney on 13 July, and you'll be able to hear from some of the top young performers in the industry about how they survived those tough couple of years. So, definitely check out all the information on that on The Adviser website and we'll see you next time.



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