About five years ago, Aaron Christie-David dove from a marketing role into the deep end of mortgage broking and has been swimming great strides ever since.
Last year the Sydney-based broker ranked 76 in MPA’s Top 100 after increasing his total value by 16.89% to over $67m for the financial year. But success did not come about through any sort of short cut. Instead it took hard work, the right team and a good dose of science.
From marketing to mortgage broking.
Working in a marketing role for the Commonwealth Bank’s broker channel, Christie-David knew a fair bit about the industry before making the transition.
“I knew a lot about the broker network and distribution but I had never written a loan.”
He says his wife suggested the move to mortgage broking after he found himself at a crossroads in his career.
“Then I literally just stumbled across a Mortgage Choice franchise for sale – and I bought it.”
It was a decision that soon paid off. The new to industry broker was named an MPA Top Gun in 2016, after learning lending from the deep end as a franchisee.
“I was super grateful for the recognition.”
He says, after earning this distinction, lenders started to take more notice and he was able to build great relationships with them.
“I had the franchise for nearly 18 months before I stepped out on my own – and that’s when we started Atelier Wealth.”
A family business is born.
Christie-David co-owns Atelier Wealth with his broker wife Bernadette.
With a strong focus on helping property investors, the pair have built a four-year-old family business that stands out from the crowd.
“We’ve created our own ecosystem methodology,” says Christie-David.
“We call it the ‘fearless property investor’. It helps the first-time property investor take the plunge.”
By providing education for their clients, as well as access to a network of successful investors and professionals alike, Christie-David says they have created a point of difference out of an industry of sameness.
“That’s come off having a really good network and really good relationships.”
Christie-David says Atelier Wealth has put a lot of hard work into nurturing relationships with buyer’s agents, accountants and financial advisors who refer their customers to them; holding thank you functions to show their appreciation.
“We bring them all around to say, ‘Thank you very much for referring your customers to us’.”
“We’ve never done referral commissions – we don’t take and we don’t pay for the business,” he says, explaining the importance of building good relationships in return.
“Our currency is, we’ll refer customers and we’ll say thank you and we’ll make sure we do a good job.”
Clients are then able to reap the benefits of having a team of specialised professionals at their fingertips, as well as access to educational resources and inspirational content.
“We created the Australian Property Investment Podcast, which gives some tips and interviews with experts.”
He says they also give clients a checklist to complete so that, by the time it comes to a first meeting, the client has covered off most of the legwork and they can talk strategy.
“We also get them speaking with some of our existing and more mature investors.”
“Connecting them with some of our existing clients then forms a new level of trust.”
“Then we refer them out to an accountant who has 50+ investment properties himself, or a buyer’s agent that’s done very well.”
From artist to scientist – the secret of running a business.
Christie-David attributes much of his success to hard work and having a great team.
“Anyone in that top 100 has to have a quality team around them, because you can’t physically do the hours.”
He says his team come together every week to discuss numbers and the action they need to take. Establishing methodical routines and processes has been a key part of his business strategy.
“I used to think business was more an artform.”
“You think as an entrepreneur or a business owner it’s very artistic, but it’s actually not.”
“It’s all science.”