After identifying a gap in the mortgage broking market, Russell Munfaredi has gone on to excel in his profession, ranking 12th in MPA’s 2019 Top 100 and establishing a solid reputation within the industry.
MPA spoke with the managing director of Mortgage Pros about why he became a broker and how his business has thrived during COVID-19.
A change in country and career
After working as a treasury dealer for the National Bank of Kuwait, Munfaredi was keen to find a role that could allow him to leverage his expertise after making the move from Bahrain to Sydney.
“I was looking for a role that could capitalise on my strengths which are technical capabilities, sales skill and the ability to articulate my thoughts,” he says.
“I found the role of a mortgage broker, which is not available where I come from, and said, this is perfect for me.”
After breaking records at Home Loan Experts, he identified a gap in the market – that of dealing with doctors, accountants and other professionals who had special considerations when it came to applying for finance.
“The way that doctors receive their income is not as straight forward as you think, whether it’s salary packaging or they’re going from public to private or locuming.”
“Sometimes doctors have a hard time getting approved for the right amount.”
“That was the opportunity that I felt and I capitalised on that with my business partner William.”
He says Mortgage Pros was launched in late 2016 and has been doing well ever since.
How business has thrived during COVID-19
Keeping on top of change in the industry has been the biggest challenge for Munfaredi so far.
“We always did our due diligence a bit more than the banks, that’s why we have a very high approval rating, but with the royal commission they even pushed it further. So, we had to up our game as well.”
“We had to continuously learn, innovate ways to improve our process and make sure that we’re always on top of things.”
He says May this year was a record month for Mortgage Pros despite the effects of the pandemic.
“We have a meeting every day with the entire team to make sure that every member of the team is aware of every change in compliance and policy.”
“With what happened with COVID, some of the brokers weren’t up to date, especially the one-man bands.”
“They had a hard time keeping up or getting approvals and we’ve been getting their business.”
He says the most memorable lending scenarios have been when the doctors or accountants he has helped with finance have been pleasantly surprised about what they could achieve based on their income type.
“A lot of clients, especially accountants and some of the doctors as well, aren’t aware that they can get their LMI waved.”
He says by structuring the application in the right way and providing income forecasts from the client’s accountant or financial planner, he has been able to assist a range of clients with their finance goals.