Editor's Letter: Outback chats

Even in the Outback, the conversation still leads back to the royal commission

Editor's Letter: Outback chats

Even though we know how beneficial it is to disconnect, it’s getting harder and harder to actually do it. For nine blissful days this past September, I didn’t have a choice. As I hiked through the Outback on the Larapinta Trail, clocking about 30km per day, I had a lot of time to think, reminisce and wonder. I had to entertain and distract myself – using nothing but my mind.

It sounds easy, but how often do we get to do this? We’re so quick to pick up our phones when we’re waiting in lines or sitting on the train. We constantly have music or podcasts playing when we’re in the car, running or walking. And at work, we would be questioned if we sat for a while staring out of the window doing nothing.

There are very few opportunities to contemplate and process our own thoughts – and I feel very lucky that I got to do so. It’s as valuable as the experts say, if only to rekindle curiosity and creativity. What are your daily strategies for taking time out to ponder?

As much as I tried to avoid thinking about the work and emails piling up, that of course did cross my mind. And when I encountered other hikers, and the inevitable “What do you do for work?” question came up, everyone had an opinion on house prices, loans and the royal commission. Not only did it make me realise how important and how interested regular Australians are in the state of the housing and mortgage market, and how concerned they are about the behaviour of the banks, but it also revealed that some people are still confused about what brokers do and why they should go to them.

So if that’s what came out of my casual conversations with a few hikers, what are first home buyers thinking? In this issue, we’ve found out how brokers can guide these customers through the process and win customers for life.

We’ve also spoken to the alternative lenders about how the royal commission has affected their loan flows, what they’re doing to maintain service, and how they’re striving to change brokers’ habits.

As we approach the rush of the end of the year, I’m going to try to pause every once in a while and gaze out the window.

Otiena Ellwand