Throughout her two years as a broker, Grace Gardner has helped clients through many “weird and wacky” lending situations – but one in particular stands out as her most memorable.
MPA spoke with the Tassie broker and Young Gun about how she helped a discharged bankrupt start their life over again as well as the reason she moved from branch manager to Aussie franchisee.
Building a client base
After working at ANZ for about seven years, Gardner decided to jump the fence and start broking with Aussie.
“I wanted to have more control over being able to achieve my own goals and work out what I wanted to do,” she says.
Keen to focus exclusively on the lending side of things and help more customers without the constraints of ANZ’s credit policy, she set out to build a client and referrer base by contacting her existing business partners and networking with new ones.
“I think the biggest challenge when coming from the bank was building up a customer base and getting to the point that you are regularly busy,” she says.
Having been flat out at the bank, she found herself with an inconsistent workload – something she remedied by stepping out of her comfort zone and working to build a strong referral network and client base.
Helping non-conforming borrowers
For Gardner, the transition to broking has come with many memorable scenarios in which she helped clients who would have ordinarily been turned down by the bank.
One such customer had been victim to an identity theft through a telco hack.
“They took all the client’s details and they managed to use those details to apply for credit.”
She says the hackers had stolen copies of the client’s driver’s licence, work registration details, bank account details and income details. They had even stolen mail from the client’s letterbox in order to activate bank cards.
“The police couldn’t find out who it was because it was all done online with different addresses,” she says.
“The client had to declare bankruptcy to stop the credit activity happening.”
After having just been discharged, ceasing work due to health problems and moving interstate to start again, the client approached Gardner for a home loan.
“We had to look at a non-conforming lender and it was good to be able to have that option to use with someone like that,” she explains.
“The customer didn’t really mind what the interest rate was, they didn’t mind how it was structured – they just needed somewhere to live.
“Being at a normal lender you just straight out would not be able to do it because they had been previously bankrupt. Even if you did explain to a normal lender why it had happened, they’re not going to look past the bankruptcy for that reason.
“This is understandable, but when you take the time to sit there and chat about why it happened and look at all the evidence they have about what happened and how it happened – it’s unfair for someone who didn’t do the wrong thing.”