From little things, big things grow

Why this Top 100 Broker is happy not to charge a fee to clients

From little things, big things grow

For Kirsty Dunphey, it’s not the big dollar deals that add the most value to her experience as a mortgage broker. Instead, says the co-founder of Up Loans in Launceston, being able to assist customers who need her help the most is what has given her lasting job satisfaction – even if it didn’t add much to her bottom line.

The Top 100 listed broker spoke with MPA about why she is glad she doesn’t have to charge a fee for her services.

Why small loans can sometimes be worth the most.

Dunphey says before she started out as a mortgage broker, she imagined any deal over $1m would be a career highlight for her – especially since the average loan size in Tasmania is about $250,000.

What she soon discovered, however, was something quite different.

“Actually, the highlights of my career have nothing to do with the deal size,” she says.

“One is a $90,000 loan I wrote for a lady in her seventies.”

The loan helped this customer downsize for the next phase in her life; making such a difference that the client says she wants Dunphey’s name inscribed on her tombstone.

She says, even though she didn’t make any money out of the deal, writing that loan was a highlight in her career.

“It’s my favourite because of the person she is and because of the impact we had with her,” says Dunphey.

She says another highlight was when she helped a single dad with two kids who had been through a separation.

“I was able to help keep his investment property after his separation so that he could keep looking after his family.”

“All of the ones that really mean something are predominately little loans and they’re just ones that have made a really big impact.”

Why charging a fee would hurt

Dunphey says if she and other brokers had to charge an upfront fee for their services, it would take away much of her job satisfaction.

“When we were talking a while ago about having to charge an upfront fee for someone to go and see a mortgage broker, I felt like that would be the worst thing for my enjoyment of the job.”

“For so many of the people that I see, that would put my services out of their reach – and they’re the ones that actually need my services the most.”

She says those who can’t afford to pay an upfront fee tend to have very different financial needs to those who can afford it.

“When I interact with them (wealthier clients) I save them money, I help them achieve greater levels of financial success, but I don’t change their lives in the way that I do for the people who desperately, desperately need to see me.”

“Whether it’s putting a four-year plan in place to get rid of debt and start saving up for a deposit or someone like that pensioner that I helped downsize, those are the ones that mean something. So, I’m really glad that we don’t have to charge a fee.”