THIS YEAR, the Top 25 Brokerages welcomed eight new entrants, a clear indicator that Australian mortgage businesses are continuing along a strong growth trajectory. Data collected from the 25 groups was based on the 2016 financial year – a period of significant growth in home lending supported by a buoyant real estate market.
Aussie managed to retain its position as the number one brokerage in Australia, with more than $18 billion in volumes over the 2016 financial year. The group now boasts a loan book of $63 billion.
Melbourne-based brokerage RateOne and Sydney-based N1 Loans saw the biggest improvement in this year’s ranking. Both brokerages moved up nine places from last year. iSelect was the highest placed new entry, jumping into the 2017 ranking at 13th place.
Collectively, the Top 25 have built a loan book valued at $198.7 billion, up 4.6 per cent from last year. Total volumes slipped marginally by 1.03 per cent and broker productivity fell significantly – down 10.23 per cent.
Non-franchise brokers continue to be significantly more productive than their branded counterparts. This year collective non-franchise broker productivity was $24.8 million, while the average franchise broker wrote $17.2 million. The number of brokers has increased by more than 10 per cent this year, indicating that the 162,519 loans settled over FY16 (down 1.9 per cent) are being spread among more loan writers.
How is the ranking compiled?
How was the ranking scored?
A WORD FROM NAB
Partner of the Top 25 Brokerages
THE TOP 25 BROKERAGES included in this feature deserve to be celebrated for their hard work and dedication to the broker channel. Building a leading brokerage in our competitive market is not easy, and truly requires a commitment to delivering the best financial outcomes for customers.
Top brokers are professional and personable. They are not only experts in their field, they also fully grasp the importance of the lending journey for a customer. Broking is more than a series of deals – it is about developing strong, longterm relationships and helping customers with what may be the most important financial decision of their life.
In a lending environment that has been characterised by regulatory change, these brokerages should also be applauded for staying on top of industry trends and providing trusted guidance to customers on how they may be impacted.
NAB is committed to the broker channel and supporting brokers to build top brokerages. We have evolved our offering by listening to broker feedback and ensuring we are providing top quality service and loan products.
On behalf of NAB, I would like to congratulate all of the outstanding brokerages featured throughout the next few pages on your achievements.
General manager broker distribution, NAB
The highest ranked newcomer in our Top 25 Brokerages this year, iSelect is part of a growing sector of digitally savvy operators making serious headway in the home loan market. Chief executive Scott Wilson explains how the business marries traditional broking with technology.
Q. It’s a bit of a landmark moment to have iSelect included in our ranking. Tell us a bit about the business.
We’ve been offering mortgages since 2012. Back then you used to have mortgage brokers running around in cars. What iSelect has done over many years, and we are looking at the different parts of customers’ lives, is focus on this movement towards online.
Digital disruption is the buzzword. Whether you’re opening a bank account, a share trading account, today it is all done online. The mortgage application process – from the time of inquiry to the time of settlement – is the same process and a lot of the items had been the same for years: witness signatures, verifying payslips etc. Yet in many other industries there were digital solutions that gave the same outcome, and often a more secure and better outcome.
Three years ago, we looked at digitalising the mortgage process without compromising on the advice given to the customer. Our objective as mortgage brokers is to get people into their homes with the right advice and the right loan as effortlessly as possible.
Q. iSelect has 25 brokers. How do they operate, given the digital nature of the business?
Our brokers happen to be on the phone. We are just using a series of technologies in the back to strip out all the non-value-added steps. Traditionally brokers would post out an information pack or visit the client for an hour, get to know them and identify their needs, then go away and do the comparison of what loan meets their requirements and then come back again. In our model, we use the website and technologies in the background to do that in real time. We are doing things like using MOGO to bring in a client’s bank statement and ZipID for identity verification.
Q. In the 2016 financial year, iSelect settled 961 loans and achieved $404 million in volumes. What are your goals moving forward?
I’d like to see us quadrupling our volumes, so heading towards that $2 billion settlement mark over the next couple of years. We are starting to get that scale and leverage the marketing demand. We will continue building the number of brokers we have. We probably get as many leads as the big four banks, so it’s not about demand, it’s about achieving that e cient process. We are going to try and serve as many customers as possible as best we can.
In this year’s ranking the non-franchise brokerages outperformed the bigger groups for broker productivity. We sat down with Jeremy Fisher to find out how 1st Street excels in this area.
With a team of 15, how has 1st Street managed to take the top spot for broker productivity once again?
Out of those 15 there are a number of new recruits who wouldn’t have contributed too much to the overall volumes, but productivity has always been the backbone of 1st Street. There are brokers here that are a lot more productive in terms of volume.
Is that a culture that has been fostered or does it come down to processes?
I think it’s both. Certainly, the processes that I’ve evolved over the years have been adopted by the team. We always work together to improve best practice as a general rule. We are not a franchise, so nobody is told ‘this is how you do it’. As an unwritten rule, it has always been the case here that it’s not just about saying yes to a broker who wants to join 1st Street. It has to be the right broker who fits the culture, is self-sufficient and a high performer. That has been an important thing over the years.
Why do you think non-franchise brokerages have the upper hand when it comes to broker productivity?
It’s a different business. We’re a smaller group of high volume, successful brokers. There is more business spread across fewer brokers. It’s a different model to some of the larger groups. Over the next few years the productivity may change a bit because we’re looking at bringing on more brokers.
It’s one of the pioneers of mortgage broking in Australia. Aussie CEO James Symond explains how, after 25 years in business, the group has remained relevant in a highly competitive market
Aussie celebrated its 25th birthday this year. Over FY16 the group settled more than 55,000 mortgages. That’s a huge amount of traffic going through the business. It certainly is.
We are very proud to be the number one group in the The Adviser’s Top 25 Brokerages once again. Aussie is always evolving and changing, and if you look at our business five years ago and 25 years ago it has changed rapidly. Only 12 years ago we didn’t have a single retail store. Today we are just about to open our 215th retail store. For us it’s about staying one step ahead.
iSelect were the top newcomer in this year’s ranking. There is an emergence of new online players, some with no pedigree in finance, entering the mortgage space. Do you see these groups as disruptors?
There are a number of new players entering the marketplace using technology. We are keeping a close eye on that. But our business is still growing very strongly, and the industry is still growing very strongly by being face-to-face. As the industry gets more complicated and more competitive, customers require more hand holding. Today in the Australian marketplace that is something that is done face-to-face. We don’t see that changing anytime soon. Certainly, change is the one constant in life and ultimately you would think technology will play a far more material piece in the industry but I think that is some way off.
Broker productivity was much lower with the big franchise groups this year, compared to the non-franchise brokerages. I understand Aussie does a lot of work with new-to-industry brokers. How does this impact overall productivity?
New-to-industry brokers is what we have built our business on. Aussie has arguably been the largest trainer of mortgage brokers in Australia of all time. At any one time, we’ve got over 1,000 Aussie branded brokers and in excess of 200 stores. We are bringing in new brokers all the time, and that lowers our average productivity across the group, because we never stop growing and never stop training new brokers.
Search the rankings below by using the text filters
|2017 RANK||COMPANY||CHANGE FROM 2016 RANK||BUSINESS STRUCTURE||LOCATION||NUMBER OF BROKERS||TOTAL SUPPORT STAFF||TOTAL LOAN BOOK (END OF FY16)||LOANS SETTLED (FY16)||BROKER PRODUCTIVITY (FY16)||TOTAL FY16 VOLUMES|
|2||Mortgage Choice||No Change||Franchise||NATIONAL||642||90||$52,577,600,000||39,624||$19,887,116||$12,767,528,356|
|3||Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers||No Change||Franchise||NSW||310||35||$25,141,000,000||18,926||$20,092,592||$6,228,703,576|
|4||1st Street Financial||1||Non-franchise||NSW||9||2||$4,653,165,000||1,677||$91,221,243||$820,991,190|
|6||The Australian Lending & Investment Centre||2||Non-franchise||VIC||9||21||$2,665,253,056||2,962||$84,500,521||$760,504,687|
|7||Resolve Finance||No Change||Non-franchise||WA||39||64||$3,042,374,944||3,321||$21,194,630||$826,590,587|
|8||Oxygen Home Loans||1||Non-franchise||NATIONAL||28||2||$2,384,984,463||1,605||$29,183,587||$817,140,427|
|10||KeyInvest Lending Services||4||Non-franchise||SA||78||7||$3,515,552,209||1,663||$5,728,806||$446,846,894|
|11||Tiffen & Co||No Change||Non-franchise||ACT||6||10||$1,907,650,248||1,328||$70,754,522||$424,527,130|
|14||Green Finance Group||NEW||Non-franchise||QLD||9||21||$691,952,074||797||$41,519,548||$373,675,932|
|19||Mortgage & Finance Solutions||2||Non-franchise||WA||5||5||$1,095,612,594||803||$37,691,559||$188,457,796|
|21||Strategic Investor Group||NEW||Non-franchise||NSW||6||19||$521,007,000||308||$28,259,500||$169,557,000|
|23||Option Finance Australia Pty Ltd||NEW||Non-franchise||NSW||11||18||$504,818,089||388||$17,312,037||$190,432,410|
|24||Switch Now Home Loans||No Change||Franchise||VIC||5||7||$764,650,000||285||$25,636,000||$128,180,000|
|25||Moneywise Global Home Loans||NEW||Non-franchise||NATIONAL||7||3||$400,000,000||429||$22,028,571||$154,200,000|
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