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The Mortgage Pros managing director explains how his business has thrived during COVID-19
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After changing the way she thought about lead generation, Amy Small was able to crack an established market to become successful in the world of broking.
MPA spoke with the Newcastle broker and regional director of Professional Lending Solutions about her journey so far as well as the most memorable lending scenario she has come across due to COVID-19.
Broking was the perfect fit
After working at a bank for many years, Small recalls how she used to feel when she couldn’t offer her clients the best deal in the market.
“The reason I went from banking to broking is I used to get frustrated if I knew there was a better deal for the clients in front of me down the street at a neighbouring bank,” she says.
“So, I think broking was made for me.”
Almost five years ago she made the switch to the world of broking, dealing just in construction loans for the first year or two before coming on board with Professional Lending Solutions.
“I’d started branches at banks from scratch, I’d started the construction broking arm from scratch so I knew I could do this on my own,” she says.
“I just needed the opportunity to do so and Professional Lending Solutions gave me that.”
A different approach
The biggest challenge she faced in the early days was building a client base in a community where there were already several well established brokers. After pounding the pavement for referrers she decided to try a different approach.
“Instead I thought, well, let’s speak to clients directly and I grew a social media presence,” she says.
Small started posting education videos on her social media networks and had great success; some of her videos getting more than 25,000 hits.
“Carving out my own space in the industry was probably one of my biggest challenges and I’ve been able to grow from one loan a month to over 25 just on my own without a big brand or anything to support me.”
A divorce in lockdown
The most memorable lending scenario she ever encountered occurred just a couple of weeks ago.
“I had one client who was divorcing from a partner and she was approved and ready for settlement, we were just waiting for the court to finalize everything,” she says.
“Then, her ex-husband actually came to me on Monday the 8th of June and said that his current broker wasn’t able to secure his finance, and without his finance my original client would not be able to finalize anything.”
Despite the pair parting on amicable terms and agreeing on the split of their trust fund, because court proceedings had been pushed back due to COVID-19, the ex-husband couldn’t get a formal approval.
“I was able to get him approved by Thursday the 11th and settled by 16th, on the Tuesday after, just so that my original client could settle as well,” she explains.
“It was a mad, mad rush but not only was I able to set up my original client and look after her, I was able to look after the ex-partner.
“They were both so grateful that the houses that they were going to buy were still going to move forward.”
On being the cranky lawyer
When she’s not helping clients with their finance needs or spending time with her family, Small enjoys performing in musical theatre.
“It’s quite difficult to do. You do dedicate a good six months of your time and it’s a few nights a week for several hours,” she says.
“It’s a good way to break away from the stress and pressure of being a broker.”
Having featured in a production of Legally Blonde at the end of last year as “the cranky lawyer”, her singing is now on hold due to COVID-19.
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