3. Mark Davis, The Australian Lending & Investment Centre

Aggregator: Connective

State: VIC

Total value of residential loans FY2018/19: $219,432,735

Total number of residential loans FY2018/19: 301

Don’t be deceived by Mark Davis dropping down a position from last year; he actually wrote the highest value of home loans in our Top 100. In what he says was the hardest year of his career, his loan values fell 27%, but he is the only broker to have written over $200m in 2019.

Lending only to investors, Davis is another broker who doesn’t use marketing or advertising to push his business; customers come to him through word-of-mouth referrals.

The lending environment was particularly difficult in the investment space over the last year, with tight regulation and the anticipation of a federal election that had the potential to affect negative gearing and capital gains tax.

With all the changes that were made, including to net of offset, and the reduction in sales, Davis’s business was down 54%.

“It’s a year we never want to go through again. No business wants to go through a 54% change in costs and revenue,” he says.

Davis says he had to work even harder than before, ensuring stronger communication with banks and customers and turning the business into one that consistently educates and trains.

The Australian Lending & Investment Centre, which Davis set up in 2009 after 20 years in banking, offers a different model to other brokerages, establishing loan structures and strategies for clients who want to create wealth. He doesn’t believe in lending money for the sake of lending money.

Conducting on average 7.2 interviews a day, fi ve and a half days a week, Davis tries to spend the majority of his time in front of his clients. The long days are something he has taught himself to manage.

“I believe you should get better every day; you should be better tomorrow than you are today and then better the next day,” he says.

He admits being in front of the client has become harder over the past year, however. “That’s become challenging because of the amount of changes and red tape, and how many times you get dragged back into the file,” he says.

Despite that, Davis not only made it to third place in the Top 100 but also won three AMAs. “It’s nice to have something come through after a year where we were coming home and thinking, do we want to be in this industry any more?” he says.