For Derek Jordan, the transition to broking involved quite a unique challenge. Coming from the United States, where it was the norm to have a 15 or 30 year fixed rate loan, Jordan had to adjust to the Australian market and build a referral base from scratch.
Seven years later, the Aussie broker is thriving in the role, helping countless customers achieve their finance goals.
MPA spoke with Jordan about how he became a broker and the most memorable lending scenario he has come across so far.
From the States to Aussie
Originally from the United States, Jordan was working as a financial advisor before he took a sea change and moved to Coffs Harbour to be with his partner.
He had struck a connection with Aussie franchisee Craig Budden who had offered him a place as a broker should he settle down in the area.
“Long story short, I moved overseas to a new place and started a self-employed business.”
The challenge of starting from scratch
The biggest challenge for Jordan in the early days of setting up was time.
“I was eager to find my feet as fast as I could, but it’s a learning curve and I had to remain patient with the process,” he said.
In addition to this, Jordan had to establish himself in a new community and build contacts while getting used to a new way of life.
“I really had to work on the referral base early on and looking after my customers to be able to build what I have now.”
Adapting to the lending environment
Another challenge he faced was getting used to the way Australians take out loans.
“Home loan lending in the states is very different to lending in Australia,” he says.
“Over there it’s almost all 15 year and 30 year fixed rates compared to over here, where it’s mostly variable or short-term fixed rates.”
While switching to this new way of thinking was quite an adjustment in the early days, gaining experience and going through the motions helped him adapt to the different environment.
Customer was two weeks from settlement without a loan
A few years ago, a customer was referred to Jordan after they found themselves in a dire situation.
The customer had been fully approved for a home loan with their lender.
“They exchanged contracts, paid their deposit and were two weeks away from settlement – and their lender, even though they had fully approved the loan, had actually withdrawn their approval after a second review,” he says.
“It was a second review of the valuation that was done on the property and where they deemed the property as not fitting their lending criteria even though it was the same valuation they’d approved four or five weeks earlier.”
Facing the loss of their $40,000 deposit and the property itself, the customers were at a loss on what to do.
“Essentially, we just took it on, knew where they were at, what their situation was and got them applied that same day; where we were able to secure a formal approval within 3 business days,” he says.
“Back then there weren’t many lenders that would email out formal loan documents.
“However, we were able to work with this bank in particular and get them to email them directly to a branch manager who we had a relationship with.”
The customers were able to sign the formal documents one week after coming in and the loan was settled just in time.
“I didn’t know these customers up until that point.
“To get them into their home with no delays or any charges or fees – I definitely can say I’ve got those customers for life, having renegotiated their interest rate since that time.”