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What George Antonas has learned about valuations

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    George Antonas has seen a lot over his last 20 years on the job. The Top 100 broker has come through the GFC, the Royal Commission and the pandemic to maintain a solid reputation in the industry. MPA spoke with the Investloan broker about the biggest challenge he has faced and why having a good credit file will be essential following the full roll-out of open banking.

    Mortgage broking was a natural progression

    A move into mortgage broking felt like a natural step for Antonas after he left his job working for a private lender in the late nineties.

    He started working for Investloan about 12 years ago during the wake of the GFC after the start-up he was working at failed to get funding for a new mortgage product.

    “Most of the business I’d done in the past was investment lending so it was a natural progression and it fit in quite well with my experience.”

    Last year Antonas ranked 47 in MPA’s Top 100 list of brokers and continues to help investor clients structure their finance correctly.

    The ins and outs of valuations

    Valuations have proved to be the biggest challenge Antonas has faced during his time as a broker.

    “Because valuations are subjective, I’ve had multiple times where I’ve done five valuations and had five different results.”

    “Understanding the banks’ systems is important.”

    “Knowing which banks have what valuation platforms is important too because if you have five banks and they all had the same valuation system you’d more than likely get the same result.”

    He says using AVMs and desktop valuations can help a broker save time when doing a refinance.

    A stressful client scenario

    One of the most memorable lending scenarios he has encountered involved a client who had a writ entered onto their credit file following lodgement. The client had gone unconditional on the contract and faced losing their deposit of $180,000 as well as a possible lawsuit.

    What made this situation even more stressful was that the client was a close friend of Antonas.

    “The challenge with that was trying to have the writ removed.”

    He says they turned to credit repair for a solution.

    “We had a good credit repair person up in Queensland who found that the person who put the writ on it didn’t follow protocol.”

    Despite it taking about six weeks, the client’s credit file was repaired and they were able to settle the loan.

    He says once open banking has been rolled out it will become more challenging to help clients with difficult credit files.

    While educating clients will help to mitigate against this to some extent, there will be some instances where the damage has already been done.

    Related stories:

    • James Algar on 20 years of broking
    • Investloan national manager says education and structure are key

    Original Article