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Scoring tries in franchising – life after elite football with Mortgage Choice franchise

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An Australian Franchisee Case Study


A career after sport is easily achievable…
Matthew McPherson began his highly rewarding rugby league career playing with the Parramatta Eels, at the age of 14. Compared to a young Brett Kenny, he was known as a good leader and a star on the rise.
Being one of the youngest players ever to sign with Parramatta, Matt played all his junior representative football there. He was also selected into the New South Wales and Australian Schoolboys teams with some of the stars you see on the television today.
His successful grade career lasted four years and it was towards the end of this period that Matt realised planning life after football was becoming a pressing need. He needed a job to fall back on that would give him an income and allow him to continue enjoying a comfortable life.
The Sydney-born footballer had tried accountancy but discovered it didn’t have the fun factor. Matt found it difficult to imagine what career he could switch to that would provide security and the flexibility to work from a home or retail office, and would also be pleasurable.
Now, at age 27, Matt is the owner manager of a successful Mortgage Choice mortgage broking franchise (covering the Randwick marketing area) as well as an enthusiastic property investor.
His business partner with both ventures is Paul Gallen, captain of the Cronulla Sharks and current New South Wales and Australian player. Paul will complete his mortgage broker training in 2009 but is in the know about the business, coming into the office almost every day to check things out.
In business since the end of 2005, Matt now settles 50 home loans per year, which in his words “is not record breaking but good for a rookie”. This equates to around $22million in loans a year for the last two years. This substantial figure is increasing thanks to his utilising football connections such as the National Rugby League Players Association plus his accounting background / networking skills to grow a strong referral business network.
Matt’s business is all about finding customers the most suitable loan from a large database of lenders and loan products. From his home office or whatever location the customer chooses, he sets up his laptop and helps them navigate the mortgage maze by using Mortgage Choice’s easy to use software programs. Once their chosen loan is approved by the lender and settles, Matt receives a commission – a percentage of the loan value – via the franchisor’s head office.
Because he is so content with his new career path, Matt runs talks at football clubs on ‘a day in the life of a mortgage broker’ and invites other footballers to drop into the office to see what it entails.
Announced the Mortgage Choice NSW/ACT Rookie of the Year in January 2008, Matt has this to say about his business…
What are you favourite aspects of being a mortgage broker?
What you put in is what you get out of it, just like football and any other sport. You work hard you get the rewards and you help people at the same time. It’s a win win.
What do you tell others who are wondering what career path they should take after sport?
They should utilise the contacts they make during their careers. A lot of the people I know and deal with are switched on and have great contacts that can be utilised.
What is your record month?
Around $3.8million in loan approvals for December 2007 but I think this will be topped very shortly, to around $5 to 5.5million.
Average month and loan amount?
$2 Million a month and around $420,000 on average, however this will continue to rise.
Your short-term goal?
Open a retail office in Randwick area and Caringbah area.
Your 12-month plan?
Get the right staff around me and grow my business with those staff and the great business alliances I have built.
Biggest career challenge and how was this overcome?
Delegation and building a team in which members complement each other. I plan to utilise my business coach to work on my skills and development areas, and employ the right team to set up a business that works like clock work and everyone enjoys working in.
What does every broker need?
A good back office and work/life balance. You also need to believe in what you do and enjoy it.
Where do you intend to increase business over the next 12 months?
I would like to expand and look more into the commercial property side. With my accountancy background I think I have an advantage – an edge over other brokers.
What is the most effective form of advertising for your business?
I think you definitely need a spread of all types, Word of mouth is the best for me at the moment. Doing a good job is the way to get your name out there. I would have to say Local Directories and Domain East (newspaper) advertising has worked well.
From where do the majority of your referrals originate?
I have very good referral partners with a fantastic Financial Planner and Accountant. I also have a guy who specialises in car and personal loans so I have the contacts of all financial services needed but I only personally specialise in the residential loans and commercial loans.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love doing a lot of different things: movies, gym, beach, but I love going to a nice café near the beach on a Sunday morning for good coffee, hot breakfast and reading the paper from back to front. It’s my must do every week. Then I usually have a good walk around, catch up with mates, etc.

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