2. The Australian Lending and Investment Centre

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Over the past year the team at The Australian Lending and Investment Centre (ALIC) has worked on “refining the basics” and staying close to its clients. During a year of royal commission fallout, changing property market sentiment, dropping cash rates and the coronavirus, the brokerage has also stuck to its model of focusing on risk-tolerant clients looking to build wealth through property.

Of making it into this year’s Top 10, managing director Nate Fosnaugh says, “The biggest reward we get is from helping clients achieve their financial aspirations, but there are certainly a number of great operators across the industry, and it always feels good to be recognised amongst them.”

Established nine years ago, ALIC strives to ensure that its brokers have as much time freed up as possible to spend with their clients. Having multiple people working on an individual client’s application means that the brokerage’s processes are clear and consistent, and also provides an advantage when it comes to recruitment.

“We are able to recruit a broad spectrum of people from different backgrounds to learn the mortgage broking industry as we are not solely reliant on a single person to process a fi le from end to end,” says Fosnaugh.

He explains that the brokerage has worked hard over the past 14 months to introduce new technology to streamline its end-to-end process; expand its offshore team; and improve the look, feel and consistency of all its correspondence with clients.

ALIC has also rolled out ALICBlue, an asset finance business based on customers’ requests for support in that area.

One of the bigger challenges the brokerage is facing right now is the amount of time required to manage its existing customers as the business grows. While Fosnaugh admits that the model is not for everyone, he says ALIC is always looking for great brokers who are willing to put the effort in.

When it comes to navigating challenges like the current crisis or complex lending environments, he says the brokerage strikes a balance.

“We work hard not to get distracted by the various things that are coming at us every day, but at the same time remain flexible,” Fosnaugh says.

For other brokerages looking to grow, he says no one can know everything, so it is important to have partners who can help you and your clients.

“It is a bit of a leap of faith,” he says, “but as a small business, having a well-defined customer niche has proven to be really important.”

Total loan book: $2,652,441,923
Total settlements, 1 March 2019 – 29 February 2020: $683,443,701
Number of loan writers: 12
Avg. annual volume/broker: $56,953,641
Conversion rate: 87.7%