William Chen of Pacific Mortgage Centre is on the 5th place of the MPA Top 100 brokers of 2015.


Pacific Mortgage Centre,
Sydney NSW
Total value of residential loans
FY 2014/15: $194,090,607
Total number of residential loans
FY 2014/15: 436

Consistently appearing in the Top 100’s top 10 is a huge ask, but it’s one that William Chen manages, coming fourth last year and eighth the year before. It’s not been so easy this year, he explains: “I took on one more supporting staff member, but at the same time I lost two loan writers last year … it was a tough year for me.”

Chen’s success is in part a reflection of his experience in the industry: “We’ve been in our industry for 13 years, so people know us.” He notes that “90–95% of our leads are customer referrals or existing customers coming back to us. Only 5% are referrals from real estate agents”.

However, his decision to stop marketing altogether this year was also a strategic move: “The majority of people who see adverts and come here are just enquiring; they’re not genuine so they waste a lot of time.”

While many brokers welcome wealthy foreign investors, Chen is concerned about their effect on affordability. As he puts it, “We have a foreign investor invasion onto our soil”. He attributes this to a low Aussie dollar and believes LVRs should be adjusted for non-residents: “We shouldn’t allow foreigners to take on a huge amount of debt: the majority buy a property and then leave it empty, waiting on capital gains. As a local, we aren’t able to do that, because property prices are too high.”
Chen also believes the newly introduced fees on foreign investors – currently $5,000 for properties worth up to $1m – “don’t hurt foreign investors; it’s nothing”. Raising the stamp duty for foreigners to 30%, equalling the level in Hong Kong, would achieve this, he argues.

Chen believes his experience – 13 years in broking and seven years in banking – gives him “a major advantage over the new entrants, firstly because I know bank policy well, even when I’m half asleep … and secondly, I understand the structuring of the loan. New entrants have to concentrate on both these areas. I also live by the motto ‘Understand your product before you understand your customers’.”