Mark Davis of the Australian Lending and Investment Centre has accomplished the nigh-impossible by winning Australian Broker of the Year and topping the MPA Top 100 list two years in a row. Davis, a relative newcomer to mortgage broking, has rocketed to the top of the industry in a brief period of time. He explains his success is backed up by 15 years of passion and hard work.
MPA: Congratulations on two years in a row at the top! How have you managed to see such quick success after only three years in mortgage broking?
MD: I suppose it’s having a focus and just living and breathing what we’ve been doing for the past 15 years. It’s not really three years in the broker industry; it’s 15 years in the lending industry. We’re just trying to improve every day over that 15 years. I live and breathe it, which is probably difficult for my partner! But when you love something it’s fantastic, and you become good at it.
MPA: What do you think makes your business unique in the market?
MD: It’s very investor-driven. It’s around creating opportunities for clients, opening doors for them and creating net wealth for them. It’s really just improving a client’s circumstances and doing the right thing every time. We don’t believe in loan writing. We don’t believe in selling a product. We believe in seriously looking after clients the way you’re supposed to.
MPA: What made you decide to leave the banking industry and enter mortgage broking?
MD: My hands were tied. I set up the whole investment structure for the ANZ bank going back seven or eight years ago, with gearing and wealth creation. From there through the GFC, my hands we kind of tied in regards to what I could do by staying in the banking industry, so it was kind of a good decision that was made for me. From there, we always knew we could achieve what we needed to achieve, so in a way we were going from day one because we’d actually been living and breathing the concept for so long.
MPA: How do you source new business?
A: We don’t advertise, we don’t market and we have a very limited web page. It’s about clients finding us. We have clients who know what they’re doing when they walk in the door. They’re very focused and they know what they’re there for, so we’re already halfway there. From there, it’s just bringing a high level of service and having the right investment knowledge behind you to take you where you need to go.
MPA: It sounds like you’re extremely focused on a very particular market. Do you think specialisation can help brokers succeed?
MD: Definitely. I believe in specialisation. I believe in being great at what you do, knowing where your limits are and bringing specialists in around you. We could make more money by cross-selling and doing different things, but that’s not the space we want to play in.
MPA: With two wins in a row and a couple great years under your belt, what are you expecting from the year ahead?
MD: I want to take it three in a row, and we’ll see where we go from there! We’re already four months into the year, so we’re well on the way. We want to keep winning, keep putting our brand out there and changing the way brokering is done. Hopefully we do our little bit to change the industry.