What are the keys to success? We ask Australia's top five brokerages

by Annie Kane20 minute read

We sit down with the heads of the top five companies from the Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023, partnered by NAB, to find out their secrets to success.



Taking the top spot in the Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023 was REA-owned brokerage Mortgage Choice.

The major brokerage nearly doubled its broker numbers in FY22 as brokers who formerly operated under the Smartline brand came under the Mortgage Choice branding in February 2022

We chat to Anthony Waldron, CEO of financial services and Mortgage Choice, at the REA Group to find out more

What do you attribute Mortgage Choice’s success to?

The absolute key to our success is the dedication of our broker network — their commitment to their clients, to our business, and to the industry. What lights them up is helping clients achieve their property dreams. The success of our brokers is backed by our head office and state teams that put an enormous amount of energy into supporting the network. They’ve done a huge amount of work as we transitioned onto one system and to the Mortgage Choice brand. 

A highlight of the year was the investment we made in our brand and marketing. The national ‘You’re never a loan’ campaign spoke to the authentic relationships between our brokers and their customers and lifted our brand consideration and awareness among Australian home buyers.

Underpinning these successes was the backing of REA Group, which has allowed us to increase our business profile and network support offering — it’s been a very big year.

What was the brokerage’s biggest achievement in 2022? 

Our biggest achievement was the successful integration of Smartline and Mortgage Choice under the Mortgage Choice brand.

Uniting the two businesses means we now have more than 750 franchises and over 1,000 brokers operating under the Mortgage Choice brand. Over the six months from May 2022 we migrated 345 Smartline businesses including 695 brokers and franchise staff. We also doubled the size of our team supporting the network, with almost 200 staff now daily operations and future innovation. 

The integration was a monumental and challenging journey; our head office and state teams worked tirelessly for months to manage the project and change experience. This included developing learning materials to educate migrating brokers and staff and communicating our progress and plans at every step. I also want to recognise the patience and contribution of our franchisees and their teams successfully completing the migration on schedule last year help position Mortgage Choice to become Australia's leading franchise broking network. 

What will be the brokerage’s main points of focus for the next six months?

One of our main focuses in 2023 is to continue to improve the tools our brokers rely on to run their businesses. Now that our migration project is complete, we can reallocate efforts from integration to system improvement and innovation. 

An ongoing focus for the business is to create better customer experiences for home buyers and property investors financing their next loan. We’ll continue to work with REA to capture the highly engaged audience of property seekers on as well as property data and valuation opportunities from PropTrack and of course we will continue to invest in the brand. 

Rising interest rates mean we are also laser-focused on supporting brokers as they work to find the best home loans for their clients. We have been actively pursuing products that allow brokers to offer greater choice and stronger client outcomes and we’re very excited to be launching our new white label partnership with Athena towards the middle of the year. 

What are your top tips for running a leading brokerage? 

There are a few key things we need to keep top of mind: 

Remember that franchisees are small-business owners, not employees 

Keep support for brokers and their clients at the heart of everything you do. Listen to what franchisees want — never presume you know. 

Understand that growth means different things to different people and you’ll need to be flexible to encourage businesses to develop in their own way.

Get the basics right, but don’t lose your focus on the future — you need to both run the day-to-day operations effectively and future-proof your business.



Major brokerage brand Aussie has also been evolving following its acquisition by Lendi to form the Lendi Group. Chief executive of distribution, Brad Cramb, explains more

What do you attribute Aussie’s success to?

Leading from the front and staying relevant in the marketplace is key to our success. We provide our customers with quick and simple access to support and give them the opportunity to select the channel that suits them best (be it in store, online, or at home). 

By remaining connected to our customers, we can cater to their evolving needs over time as the nation’s home lending needs to constantly change along with market conditions, so must the needs of our business and our offering to respond effectively. 

Our customers trust us not only with their initial transaction but their future ones as well — our job doesn’t end as soon as the customer signs on the dotted line. We interact with them at targeted points in their life cycle to ensure we facilitate their developing home loan needs over time. Aussie has been helping customers for over 30 years and today we have the largest customer base in the industry.  

Additionally, we attribute our success to the 1,100+ brokers who represent the Aussie brand every day. We stay connected closely to our network through our Franchise Council and Voice of Broker forums that meet regularly to discuss both strategic and tactical changes and opportunities.

What was the brokerage’s biggest achievement in 2022?  

Ultimately, our biggest achievement in 2022 was migrating our first Aussie brokers onto Lendi Group’s industry-leading technology Platform. This technology transition was a centre point of focus for the basis of the Aussie-Lendi merger and is a precursor to significant change that will occur over the next 12 months that will revolutionise the way our brokers do business with their customers — we expect our new platform to assist brokers with seamlessly lodging more home loan deals currently seen at levels of 12.5 deals per month compared to the industry average of 3.5.

This has the added benefit of allowing Aussie brokers to assist more customers, gaining access to a panel of over 28 lenders — giving customers much faster and seamless access to more choice and better rates, which will have the added benefit of brokers gaining significant market share — even when it means customers require specialised assistance for their home loan. 

What will be the brokerage’s main points of focus for the next six months?

We are laser-focused on creating ‘the network of the future’ by delivering an unmatched broker value proposition that is human-led and tech-driven. 

We’ve significantly invested in our Platform and its deliverables. We are excited that by the end of the first quarter, we will have migrated 200+ Aussie brokers — these brokers are already seeing the benefits of access to ‘online approval confidence’, more lenders, more choice of products, and better access to rates and products for their customers while always being available for a conversation for further discussion and future lending needs. 

In addition to our tech-driven lending platform, we’ve simplified the lending process so brokers can reduce their ‘behind the office’ activity, increase time to approval, drive productivity, and, ultimately, supercharge growth for their business into 2023 and beyond.  

What are your top tips for running a leading brokerage?  

Home lending is one of the biggest financial decisions that Australians undertake. This cannot be overlooked or underestimated — it is as much emotional as it is transactional. To be industry-leading, it’s vital to maintain the right balance of being human-led combined with being technology-driven. 

For example, our Aussie customer-facing centres will continue to exist at a time when many lenders are closing customer-facing shopfronts. Yet, at the same time, the technology behind the Aussie human face empowers what we can deliver for our customers.  

There will continue to be a dynamic market need that combines both current and evolving channels, ensuring any broker or lender can cater to all customer needs, no matter their circumstances. Always having the option for an expert conversation and having multiple options for customer-broker interactions has and always will remain essential.



Rounding out the podium finishes is Loan Market, whose branded brokers (those operating under the Loan Market brand) led the way for broker efficiency out of the top three major brokerages.

Andrea McNaughton, managing director of Loan Market, unpacks the secrets to their success.

What do you attribute Loan Market’s success to?

We have built a culture and a business that are obsessed with driving a truly customer-centric mindset, making it easier for brokers to write more loans and grow their teams faster.

The Loan Market Blueprint is our business playbook and operating system, tailored to grow our brokers’ businesses faster and more sustainably. It’s led by Kaizen-designed processes that make processes and new staff more productive and enhance the quality of applications for faster turnaround times from lenders.

We fill the pipelines of our brokers through marketing innovations such as a customer satisfaction and online review platform, a complete social media management solution, and a social media ads publishing platform to build brand awareness. 

The Loan Market Blueprint is supported by integrated tech that does the heavy lifting on regulation. At every point in the journey, our advanced MyCRM features treat compliance and the customer experience with equal importance. That’s one of the reasons we have an average NPS of 97+ across our brokers.

What was the brokerage’s biggest achievement in 2022?  

While our brokers serviced more clients over the year — resulting in a 35 per cent increase in settlement volumes year-on-year — the experience they provided each customer was never compromised. In fact, our Net Promoter Score increased a full point to +97 against the uplift in activity.

Our tech offering does the heavy lifting on compliance for our brokers but also considers the customer experience at every point in the finance journey. This is one reason why our NPS increased while our brokers became more productive. 

Additionally, our productivity and customer service were supported by the relaunch of BrokerForce, our ‘in-sourced’ data processing and validation solution. Our team of BrokerForce specialists has now grown to 150, with more and more brokers signing up every month to a service model that best suits their workflows.

We also attracted 30–40 new client service managers (CSMs) every month to Loan Market. We’ve created an environment that recognises how important expertly trained support staff are for the productivity of a brokerage. 

What will be the brokerage’s main points of focus for the next six months? 

We’re excited to continue the expansion of Brokerversity, our own virtual campus.

Brokerversity solves two challenges: providing the lending specialists and brokers of tomorrow with an industry-leading pathway to make a difference as soon as they step into a brokerage; matching business owners with support specialists who are trained in the Loan Market Blueprint, enabling them to scale up faster and more sustainably.

By the middle of 2023, we anticipate Brokerversity will generate 100 graduates through the virtual campus to bolster our brokerage businesses throughout Australia. Brokerversity also provides us with a platform to design and deliver our own diploma of finance broking across residential, asset finance, and commercial lending.

With the residential property market tightening, we’ll also be helping our brokers diversify their businesses through support in commercial finance lending as well as building upon our exclusive relationship with Nodifi with their asset finance specialists and industry-leading platform. 

We’re also investing time and resources into better educating our business owners on succession planning and introducing them to our newly formed Young Business Owners forum, made up of young leaders who are ready to scale up with dedicated support and business coaching. 

What are your top tips for running a leading brokerage? 

A business owner should always ask themselves: “Why would someone with talent work for me?”. They should know what their value proposition is to different people and how that proposition changes as the employee develops and the brokerage grows.

At Loan Market, we have seen huge growth not just in the number of loans our brokers write but also in the size of their teams. Business owners who work hard to become great leaders are being sought out by smaller brokers and specialist staff looking to grow.

Brokers now originate more than seven in 10 home loans in Australia. That trust can be leveraged to service the complete finance needs of clients, not simply mortgages.




Sydney-based brokerage Shore Financial has once again topped the ranking for the highest-ranked independent brokerage, with the booming brokerage continuing to innovate and try new things with partners.

Theo Chambers, CEO of Shore Financial, tells us more about how they've been growing their independent brokerage.

What do you attribute Shore Financial’s success to?

Since day one, we formed a strong strategic partnership with the real estate industry. Currently, we maintain nationwide contracts with 2,000 real estate partners that trust us implicitly to look after their clients. Shore Financial is the only independent brokerage in Australia that owns the exclusive financial services rights to national real estate groups Richardson & Wrench, Fletchers, Starr Partners and PPD Real Estate. These referrals in our early years were generating 60–70 per cent of our business, but now — thanks to our great service creating raving fans — the majority of our business is word of mouth and only 30–40 per cent of our new business is real estate-referred. 

We’ve also developed a successful digital marketing strategy where we generate a significant amount of leads online through various channels and sources. We made the decision to pivot from purely generating leads through real estate groups to online initiatives to create more brand awareness.

What was the brokerage’s biggest achievement in 2022?  

We digitised and automated our end-to-end processes that ensure we’re collecting information and communicating with clients far more efficiently. 2022 also saw the development of our own in-house proprietary technology purposely built to enhance the customer journey and mortgage experience going forward. 

Tech underpins the way business is done today and so to stay true to the philosophy that our business was founded on — customer service — we need to provide an industry-leading experience. 

The team moved into our new office space in North Sydney that was created with the intent of improving collaboration and team morale to flow onto improved results within the business and, importantly, to encourage more rapport-building between junior and senior staff. 

Our senior brokers are heavily experienced with assisting high-net-worth clients in building wealth through property. We truly believe the associates gain the most knowledge and expertise through the sharing-office culture we encourage. 

What will be the brokerage’s main points of focus for the next six months? 

The outlook for the next six months heavily focuses on the further adoption of advanced technology to streamline our business-centric methodology for operations in our day-to-day, implemented by our own in-house tech that should take off by mid-2023. 

The business is heavily conscious of the current market and wants to target the Shore Financial name and brand across Sydney via media marketing public relation strategies and our own educational channels such as our podcast and Shore Financial Learning blogs to showcase as an industry leader to help guide and assist all clients to prevail through any market we experience. 

We have always strived to be an industry leader and attract the right people to our business and culture; we think in conjunction with our current offering having the best tech available will only assist us in this attraction model. 

What are your top tips for running a leading brokerage? 

Culture is key and constantly reviewing and changing your business strategy and process.

We never think we have the perfect business or perfect process, we are constantly looking to improve and adopt new methods or new technology. Technology is changing the industry and if you don’t embrace the change, you will be left behind. 



Rounding out the top five is franchise brokerage MoneyQuest, which has also been busy buying businesses and launching new partnerships. We catch up with managing director, Michael Russell, to find out more

What do you attribute MoneyQuest’s success to?

From a business-to-customer perspective, we’ve worked really hard to enhance our customer engagement. Through our AI-powered email communication platform ‘TOM’ and our social media strategy, we have positioned MoneyQuest brokers as sources of truth and education for their customers and these efforts have been rewarded with strong lead flow.

In terms of our success as a franchiser, honest and open communication has been central to the strength of our broker network. We host regular open forum sessions to provide updates and allow our brokers to have their say and we execute any plans we have for the business in a timely and effective manner. 

What was the brokerage’s biggest achievement in 2022? 

We are extremely proud of the video-based social media content our brokers and head office team produced throughout 2022 and how it worked to increase brand awareness and consumer knowledge. The aim of much of this content was to educate borrowers about how valuable, supportive, and helpful mortgage brokers can be especially in a rising interest rate environment. 

Many of the videos also focused on enhancing the financial literacy of the community in an entertaining and easy-to-understand way. 

What will be the brokerage’s main points of focus for the next six months? 

We will be focusing on refining and adding to the email content distributed to clients via our automated email communication platform ‘TOM’ to further increase our key engagement ratios. 

We will also be channelling a great deal of energy into supporting our customers especially those whose low fixed rate periods are coming to an end.

Finally, we will be focusing on assisting our members to substantially expand their referral partner networks.    

What are your top tips for running a leading brokerage? 

While user-friendly, efficient, and innovative technology is certainly a key driver of business growth and performance, we believe that the passionate people we have recruited and employed and the ongoing training and education we provide to our members are what set our group apart.

You can find out more about the Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023, partnered by NAB, here.

[Related: Top 25 Brokerages 2023: How Australia’s leading brokerages are setting new records]


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