Passion for helping customers drives broker Mandy Hill

New brokerage owner focuses on retention, communication

Passion for helping customers drives broker Mandy Hill

A chance encounter can sometimes have a major effect on how a person’s life evolves – for Mandy Hill, a conversation with a customer while working in a pharmacy as a teenager led her to a career in broking.

Hill (pictured above) has been a mortgage broker for 11 years and in November 2023 decided to branch out on her own. She set up brokerage Mortgage Managed based in Kanwal on NSW’s Central Coast.

Working at a pharmacy for two years after leaving high school, Hill’s connection to the world of broking started when she was 17.

“It’s a bit of a funny story … I was working in the pharmacy and was approached by a customer who worked in an office just down the road,” Hill said.

“He was very chatty and I’m quite a social person anyway, so we got chatting and he said,  ‘You should come and work for me.’ So I went and visited him at his office and I came home and said to my dad, ‘What’s a mortgage?’”

That customer became Hill’s boss. He ran a brokerage and after encouragement from her father, Hill joined the business in a broker support role.

“That’s how I started out, doing admin and processing and getting a feel for what’s involved [in broking].”

Hill said looking at other brokers’ deals and how they processed them really helped her when she became a mortgage broker in 2013.

“I was able to adapt what I liked about what my mentor did and how I would do things for my clients.  You get to pick and choose and put your own process in place and say, ‘I like how this person does that, but I’d probably do this differently’.”

How Hill set up her own brokerage

After working in the brokerage for 10 years as a loan writer, Hill decided to go out on her own, setting up Mortgage Managed late last year.

Hill said she felt moved by the feedback and support for Mortgage Managed that she had received from existing and new clients.

Running your own brokerage can be a daunting experience but Hill has a positive attitude when it comes to taking on new challenges.

Hill said whether working for a brokerage or running her own broker business, her relationship with clients hadn’t changed.

“It’s more about adapting and realising as a business owner, what do I need to learn, what do I need to put in place.”

Hill is now focusing on setting up her brokerage’s website and ramping up social media.

She said she had been fortunate to remain with her aggregator AFG, which meant keeping her broker ID with most of the lenders, resulting in less downtime and disruption for both her and her clients during the changeover.

Hill recently teamed up with another broker, Mecala Hale.

“We have worked together previously and she’s fantastic – we work really well as a team and I think it will definitely help grow the business. I feel like we get the best out of one another and our clients get the best too – we like to strategise together.”

Mortgage Managed focuses on residential mortgages but also offers commercial and SMSF lending, vehicle and asset loans.

Hill said the brokerage attracted a lot of first-home buyers. “I love that, it’s a very exciting time for them and I can help them on their journey – they’re probably my favourite clients.

“The business is built mainly on word of mouth, I’ve done very little advertising.”

While a lot of clients live in the Central Coast and Newcastle areas, there are also clients from all over including areas such as Wollongong and Queensland.

Standing out from the competition

The latest MFAA data on mortgage broker market share shows just how competitive broking has become, with a record-breaking 71.8% of all new residential home loans being written by brokers between October and December 2023.

It means that brokers are more often than not competing with each other, rather than banks, for loan customers.

Hill, who attended MPA’s customer-owned banks roundtable in February, said brokers needed to have confidence in their ability and that what they offered met clients’ expectations.

“With my clients, I just want to be relatable. I’m not here to take everyone’s business, I feel there’s enough for everybody. I treat clients the way I would want to be treated.”

Focusing on retention and maintaining communication with customers is vital, and for busy brokers this can sometimes fall by the wayside, said Hill

“It’s important to keep on top of that and that’s something I will definitely be focusing on.”

Hill said this meant six and 12-month check-ins with clients to discuss interest rates and pricing.

Work life balance

It is widely known that there are fewer female mortgage brokers than their male counterparts, with the MFAA reporting that women only made up 26.9% of total broker numbers.

Hill said she would love to see more female brokers in the industry and from her own experience, she enjoyed the work life balance that being a broker provided. She has two daughters, aged 11 and 14.

“I've never missed an Easter hat parade because I've been able to schedule my appointments around it and I don't often miss an athletics or swimming carnival. I’ve been able to be very present at all my kids' functions because I’m in a role like this.”

However, Hill acknowledged the more clients a broker amassed the busier they were and it was harder to take time off for family activities unless they had support staff to achieve that flexibility.

“I love the industry and I hope other females get on board and the broker numbers rise,” Hill said.

“Work-life balance is most important to me and I want to find the balance between having a successful business but still having that time with my kids that I need and want to have.”

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