Wollongong mortgage broker Paul Wright achieved a major milestone this week by reaching $1 billion in paid settlements.
Mr Wright has worked in the industry for 20 years and has secured over $100 million in paid settlements annually for the last three years.
The last financial year saw the most successful for the MoneyQuest Wollongong director who notched up a a total of $132 million in paid settlements during the 12 months from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
That was not only a 28 per cent increase year on year but far higher than the average value of loan settlements per broker in Australia which is around $13.4 million, according to Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia's latest Industry Intelligence Service Report.
Originally a banker with CBA, Mr Wright made the switch to mortgage broking in April 2002 and turned his attention to residential lending.
After operating an independent mortgage broking business under Choice Aggregation Services for several years, he took on the Choice Home Loans brand in 2012, before joining the MoneyQuest network as a franchise owner in December 2017.
Mr Wright believes his personal and business primarily to remaining attentive to his clients' needs and communicating regularly with his 6000-strong client base.
"Taking care of our clients has always been our number one priority. Under promising and over delivering is really important, as is delivering what you've said you're going to deliver," he said.
"We haven't chased a huge amount of referral sources, we have instead focused our energy on providing six-star service to our clients.
"We learned early in the piece that staying in touch with your clients is also crucial.
"Since first starting the business, we have always carried out annual reviews and regularly sent out correspondence, whether it be in the form of a letter, a newsletter, a magazine, or a birthday gift.
"We don't just do it occasionally- we do it consistently, and this consistency has resulted in client loyalty, which means we now get 90 per cent of our business referred to us by clients, or those clients come back."
Mr Wright said he was also a believer in self-education.
"Educating yourself and ensuring that you are at the forefront of your industry also makes a big difference," he said.
"I made a conscious effort to read about property investment every night for five years, and then eventually obtained a property investment advisor qualification. Having this extra string to my bow has been a major differential.
"We receive a lot of enquiries from clients regarding investments and the benefit of this is, I can provide advice, and then we write the loans.
"They are generally good-sized transactions and investors transact more regularly, so educating myself in this space has helped our business to grow."
MoneyQuest Australia managing director Michael Russell said the $1 billion achievement was an incredible milestone and was achieved through absolute professionalism, and a genuine care for their wellbeing of clients.
"MoneyQuest Wollongong is presently averaging $20 million per month in settled loans, up almost 100 per cent in the past three years, which is testament to Paul's work ethic and leadership skills," Mr Russell said.
Mr Wright said his team's ability to adapt to new technology had really helped the business during COVID-19.
"Our business was already set up to operate online, and our staff were able to adapt to new technology rather quickly," he said.
"We also put on some offshore staff to follow up loan applications and carry out data entry, which freed up our staff in Australia and allowed them to focus on our clients."
Mr Wright's advice to brokers hoping to follow in his footsteps is to exercise regularly because it is important to keep your body healthy to keep your mind healthy.
"I'm a massive advocate for getting out and going for a walk or whatever it might be, every day," he said.
"That's what I've always done. Also become an expert in our industry and other related industries, like property investment, and stay in touch with your clients. They are your best referral source."