An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Wayne Jones
Location: Brisbane North
Franchise: Mortgage Choice
Why I chose franchising
I had previously owned a business for a number of years and I enjoyed the challenge of running my own show. However, seeing as I was starting this business virtually from scratch I wanted the added value of a strong and reputable consumer brand and the support services that go with a good reputable franchise brand.
I looked at a number of mortgage broking franchise systems before making my decision. Mortgage Choice was a clear winner in terms of brand strength, transparency and support systems.
What I did before taking up a franchise
Prior to owning my Mortgage Choice franchise, I was the Finance Director and part-owner of Brisbane Private Hospital. Previous to this, I had worked as the Finance Director in the private hospital industry for over 10 years.
How I raised the finance
I had sufficient funds from the sale of my previous business to pay cash for the business. The franchise fee for Mortgage Choice is quite minimal; the cost is more “sweat equity” in the first year or two while I build the business.
The training and support I receive from my franchisor
Mortgage Choice offers an intensive two week induction training course at their Group Office (head office) based in North Sydney. The training covers off their proprietary software for comparing lenders and interview techniques when meeting clients, as well loan product and basic credit policies. In addition, each franchisee is assigned a mentor for their first full year in operation. The mentor is an important and valuable support as it can be hard to quickly absorb all the product knowledge required for Mortgage Choice’s extensive lender panel, which has hundreds of products available for customers to choose from.
Mortgage Choice also offers an excellent support system via their Group Office staff. I have daily access to Mortgage Choice’s lending support team and the marketing, public relations and finance teams whenever I need them.
The franchise network is also supported via an intranet site, referred to as the Mortgage Choice Information Centre (MIC). MIC has extensive array of information and resources including marketing material, public relations tools and content, business operations, budgets and just about anything to do with running a mortgage broking business.
The challenges I have faced
The biggest challenge is learning all the products and credit policies of our current lender panel members so I have the confidence that I am recommending the loan that meets the customers’ individual needs and circumstance.
Building the business and getting my name known in the local community is also a challenge during this early period. I am putting a great deal of effort into local marketing and media relations activities.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how
Mortgage broking is quite different to my previous career choices. I do find I spend a great deal of time working outside of regular business hours as this is when it is most convenient for my customers. But, the trade-off is worth it. I enjoy the direct customer contact I get and nothing beats knowing that you have helped someone achieve dreams of property ownership.
My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise
Research the business thoroughly to make sure you feel comfortable with the franchisor and the business model. I attended multiple information nights for a number of mortgage broking franchise systems before making my decision.
Prior to signing with Mortgage Choice I spoke to at least four franchisees at length and visited the Mortgage Choice head office to familiarise myself with the support available and processes involved.
If you don’t feel comfortable right from the start then chances are it probably isn’t the right fit for you. Also, be conservative in your estimates of how much you will make in the first year or two and make sure you have a financial buffer to sustain the business during any lean years.
My plans for the future
To continue to grow the business and hopefully help as many people as possible to achieve their financial goals, whether it is buying their first or next home, refinancing their current loan or getting them on the investment property ladder.
I admire many of the successful Mortgage Choice franchisees and would like to emulate their success in having professional offices and employing support staff.
Would you do it again?
Yes I would. It can be challenging and stressful at first but the rewards are clearly there for those who are prepared to work hard. It really suits someone with the people skills to listen to customers’ needs and find a quality solution.
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Mortgage Choice franchise