At 26 years of age, Faris Dedic has established himself, both as a top broker and as a successful business owner. Last year he made it into the Top 100 after being named an MPA Young Gun just months before – a feat that takes at least one or two years for most brokers to achieve.
MPA spoke with the Balwyn North broker about how he started out in the role and the challenges he had to overcome along the way.
From burgers to business
At 23, Dedic had a lightbulb moment. He was working at a burger shop when he met his next boss; a regular who always seemed to be doing deals with other people.
Dedic soon found out this man was a broker.
“It was always the intention of mine to get into finance,” he says, explaining he did a double degree in the subject at the University of Melbourne.
When he started talking to his broker customer, a world of opportunity presented itself as a win-win-win situation.
“He said, you basically sell money to clients and you supply them with financial needs and you’re there as a trusted advisor to ensure that they can achieve their goals in building wealth,” Dedic explains.
“He taught me a little bit about how debt works in the economy and the higher level macro-economic factors.
“I turned around to him and said, hang on a sec, we sell money and the client doesn’t have to pay us?
“He said, yeah, the bank pays you. And at that point a lightbulb moment went on.”
Dedic realised that being a broker could tick all three boxes of the win-win-win situation he was looking for, and soon went on to work for the broker before stepping out on his own.
A Red Door opens
In 2017, he started Red Door Financial with long term friend and asset finance broker Stephen Andrianakos.
“We started Red Door because I saw that all the other brokers were taking a very mum and dad approach to broking, which does work, but I wanted to give our mum and dad clients, our residential clients, the experience of that commercial eye on every transaction and every movement that they do in their investing portfolio,” Dedic says.
He says commercial finance provides the company’s main revenue stream but they also help residential clients with investment loans and refinancing.
“We have a very strong niche in self-employed, high net worth clients,” he says.
“We don’t really strive to compete against other firms. We’ve always focused on doing business our own way and keeping a very tight line on customer service.”
The power of long-term thinking
Working 18-hour days in the beginning, Dedic says he invested a lot of time and energy into delivering excellent customer service and building the business.
He learned the power of responding to clients within a tight timeframe and the importance of being someone they could trust.
The biggest challenge he faced as a broker was the fact that he didn’t come from a corporate background.
“When I started at 23 years old, I had no idea how anything worked,” he says. “The most I had ever heard of was really a credit card.”
Having to educate himself while building and maintaining a business and a client base was a big hurdle to jump over, especially since he had no experience working in a corporate structure.
“But, learning through it, believing in ourselves, putting in those 18 hour days and always ensuring that we put our clients before us at our own detriment at the beginning, really meant that we could grow the network and grow the referral base to write the volume that we do.”
To other young brokers, he says making money needs to sit subsequent to the fact that customer service is the real focus.
“If you have a month where you might not pick up one new lead, the next month you might pick up 12,” he says.
“You need to focus on the long-term vision of having consistently good customer service and not focusing on month to month sales.”