With the uncertainty that has surrounded the broking industry since the findings of the royal commission in 2018; many would be reluctant to forge a career in the profession through fear of failure.
That is not the case with Smartmove’s Jessica McLean, who has taken the industry by storm and experienced considerable success in the face of adverse times since joining the Neutral Bay-based brokerage more than two years ago.
McLean’s success saw her named as one of the 25 MPA Young Guns for 2020; an accomplishment she said was an “absolute honour”.
“To be honest I didn’t think I’d get it, but it was really nice to be recognised for all of the hard work,” McLean said.
“It’s been a tough 12 months for the industry, and given I have to balance my workload with my home life, it has been a very challenging yet rewarding role.”
Despite her start as a broker having been somewhat of a baptism of fire, McLean said it has been a blessing in disguise as it ensured she was able to hit the ground running.
“It was either sink or swim for me and I refuse to give up easily,” she said.
“Obviously when I started there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the royal commission, so I initially found it quite difficult as there wasn’t much buyer confidence in the market and therefore there weren’t many enquiries.
“However ever since the royal commission began winding down and the election was over, business has been booming.”
Proof of McLean’s success is in the pudding, as she has written just shy of $25 million in loans, an impressive figure no matter your level of experience.
She said the foundation for that success was one built on a customer-first approach.
“I’ve always thought that the customer is at the centre of everything we do, and that’s an approach that I’m thankful Smartmove also values first and foremost,” she said.
“It’s never about the dollar figures; it’s about getting the best outcome for the clients, and we’re fortunate to have the systems in place internally to provide that service effectively.
“That’s why Smartmove has been the perfect fit for me – we share the same attitude towards broking.”
Given the volatile time she entered the industry, McLean can act as a point of inspiration for a number of brokers who hold concerns over what broking will look like in five to ten years’ time.
“I believe certain elements such as regulations surrounding living expenses and assessment rate buffers will remain,” she said.
“However, I think compared to 12 months ago; banks are starting to think more logically and are getting common sense deals across the line.
“And I think interest rates will be at an all-time low for the foreseeable future, so things are starting to look up.
“For those brokers who are just starting out, my piece of advice would be to be resilient as there are no quick wins.
“It is a long-term game, you can’t give up and always expect to see success early on, but if you’re able to put a plan in place and see it out for five or so years, you give yourself the best chance.”
Whilst McLean’s rise to prominence has been in large part due to her own set of skills and industry knowledge, she noted the impact her superiors at Smartmove have had in aiding her success at the company.
“A massive thank you has to go to my team leader and one of our directors Simon Orbell, our chief executive officer Darren Little, and the team of brokers we have here,” she said.
“If I’ve ever got a question or scenario that I might need help with, I can call on anyone.
“While I’ve had individual success, I don’t think I would’ve achieved that not being in this environment.
“And lastly I want to recognise our clients; it is not only a privilege to assist people in their lives, but it’s also great to build long-term relationships with them.”