8 Colin Mason, SMS Finance

SMS Finance
Aggregator: AFG
Maroochydore, Qld
Total value of residential loans FY2017/18: $152,280,893
Total number of residential loans FY2017/18: 372

The royal commission has cast a long shadow over 2018, but that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom for the sector.

“Like all brokers at the moment the royal commission is having its e­ffect, with credit tightening in the banking industry. That’s been a slowdown point for us, but numbers are still good. The market is still growing on the Sunshine Coast and there’s plenty of activity; it’s just about grabbing our market share year-on-year.”

Mason has achieved this by being extra communicative with clients. “Clients are appreciative of everything that we’re doing because we’re really upfront about time frames from start to finish,” he says.

With a team of 27 behind him, he’s been able to focus on what he’s best at: servicing his clients while they handle the back end. As compliance becomes more rigorous and time-consuming, having a team that can get files ready, check bank statements and prepare follow-up questions allows him to develop and nurture relationships with clients and referrals. “Otherwise you can get bogged down [in the paperwork] quite quickly, and that will a­ffect your sales.”

Over the last nine years, Mason has built a database of more than 100 real estate agent referral partners on the Sunshine Coast and beyond. He keeps up with those contacts by sending a weekly text message informing them about what’s happened in the past week and what “out-of-the-box deals” he’s been able to get over the line, as well as sharing other relevant tidbits of news about interest rates, ID requirements and living expenses.

“On the back of the dramas in the industry, the real estate agent is at the coalface, and they’re seeing more and more of their contracts crashing because of finance being declined,” he says. Showing them what a broker can do for them and their clients has generated solid business for Mason.

On work-life balance

Mason believes that once you form a pattern, it’s easier to stick with it. His strategy is to turn off­ his phone every once in a while at night or on the weekends. “With the way technology is built these days ... you can be accessible anywhere, so you have to be committed to switching o­ for two or three hours and giving yourself that down time.”


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