Unlike many mortgage brokers, this one didn’t start with a finance background
Unlike many mortgage brokers, Warren Freeman didn’t start his career with a background in finance. In fact, Warren was working as a full-time school teacher when he decided it was time to venture into a new path.
Now, some 25 years later, Freeman is director of COSIMFREE Home Loans and the Vic/Tas winner of ALI’s 2020 Broker of the Year.
From the classroom to the boardroom
It was a combination of factors that led Freeman to become a broker. When he was a teacher in the classroom, he began to notice how regimented the classroom structure had become and how accountability was everything.
“Everything became about checklists and being compliant. It stopped being about listening and interacting with the children and being able to have that spontaneity in teaching, to it becoming just a process and ticking off a checklist,” he explains.
Having a real passion for helping people and a dream of becoming a business owner, Freeman ventured into the finance industry and joined a broking group before starting his own business in 2005.
He says there are definitely similarities between teaching and being a mortgage broker.
“The important skills in teaching are also important in broking; educating and the development of relationships such as trust and the aspect of being able to nurture,” he says.
It's no easy feat being a broker
Freeman says to make it as a broker you need to put in a lot of hard work. He spent his early days in the role trying to learn as much as he could from those who were successful.
He also focused on the needs of the customer as a central part of the job.
“Having not come from a banking background like a lot of mortgage brokers, I really believe I was seeing the industry through different eyes,” he says.
“From day one, this business has been built on putting the customer first and there are countless examples of where I have done wrong by myself and my own family because it was in the best interest of the client”.
Protecting clients with ALI
“Seeing first-hand what happens when you don’t have that protection in place, it has certainly steeled my resolve to promote the need for protection, now more than ever,” he says.
“We spent many, many months helping a young couple buy their land and build their home. We became very friendly with them and the female applicant left a lovely review on our COSIMFREE Facebook page.
“Then one day last year she rang very teary to see if we had a copy of her birth certificate and when I asked what was wrong, she said her cancer had returned and she was terminal. She passed away just seven days later.”
A lot of COSIMFREE’s client base are young people with the common misconception “nothing bad will happen to me, I’m too young.” But, as Freeman and the team have now experienced first-hand, age is no barrier to unforeseen circumstances.