Founder of controversial ‘be your own broker’ model has hit a nerve, but it works

  • Why the Australian Broker of the Year stopped working Saturdays

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  • Why the Australian Broker of the Year stopped working Saturdays

    And still managed to crack the $200m mark in residential loans


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    Innovative start-up Hero Broker is attempting to revolutionise the mortgage broking industry by empowering every day Aussies to “be their own broker” and earn commission in the process.

    The online platform jettisons the traditional model by allowing consumers to have direct access to tools and resources that were once only available to brokers. Consumers can now search, review, and apply for home loans in a single place.

    Merely a month after its launch in 2018, Hero Broker has seen 3,000 sign-ups and processed loan applications worth tens of millions of dollars.

    In an interview with MPA, Hero Broker founder and CEO Clint Howen said he wanted to design technology that directly builds the relationship between consumers and lenders.

    “We charge banks and lending partners much lower than traditional brokers, and that results in lower interest rates for consumers,” Howen said. “On top of that, we can get loan approvals faster than traditional brokers and we reward customers.”

    Hero Broker is managing in a week what most brokers do a year. Howen projects that in another year’s time, they’d do more in a day than what most brokers can accomplish annually.

    Struck a nerve
    Howen is aware he’s hitting a nerve with brokers because they know his concept can be done. People would try to flag him off when he tells them anyone can do it.

    “I’ve got about 300 negative comments from other brokers,” he said. “The biggest criticism is the amount of money I give back to consumers. They say it’s not enough, when in reality it’s a lot more than what other brokers give.”

    Despite all the negativity, Howen remains enthusiastic because for every comment he receives, he gets about 15 home loan applications.

    Stuck dinosaurs
    Howen tosses out the traditional middlemen in the same way he does dated home loan doctrines.

    Hero Broker released a statement recently that expressed Howen’s aversion for reading articles quoting the likes of notable 90s housing gurus John Symond and Mark Bouris.

    “They’re stuck in a model that came before the internet,” Howen said. “Since they’ve been around, they haven’t automated and digitised their processes and systems. They’re stuck in a franchise model, which means they can’t offer what we can offer.”

    Howen added that “they’re dinosaurs stuck in a physical road”, while Hero Broker is moving on a digital one. “Not only do they refuse to embrace technology, they rebut it,” he said.

    According to Howen, if both men can’t bring themselves to sit down and have a meeting with someone offering new products and services, “How are they going to embrace technology and develop new ways of looking at things?”

    Even if the franchise giants did decide to go digital, they wouldn't be able to offer what Hero Broker can because the brokerage is 100% customer-driven, he said. Howen said both men know that encouraging people to become their own broker goes directly against the franchise model.

    Complete digitisation
    Howen plans to roll out more products and services that are not traditionally offered by brokers and banks. He’s also looking to make Hero Broker become its own digital bank.

    “We want to completely digitise everything about getting a home loan to the point people don’t need to think about it,” Howen said. “They don’t even have to put in their information; everything they need is already there and pre-approved.”

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    Original Article