Planning, preparation pays off for Mortgage Choice broker

Franchise owner makes successful transition from banking role

Planning, preparation pays off for Mortgage Choice broker

This article was produced in partnership with Mortgage Choice

Terence Hammond gave himself a strict goal when he started his mortgage broking business – settle $25 million during his first year or go back into the corporate world.

Hammond (pictured above) has always had a passion for sales. From his first role as a door-to-door salesman in the UK all the way to working as an asset finance sales manager for a major bank in Sydney, Hammond excelled in roles where he could connect with people and identify their needs.

After moving into a mortgage broker recruitment and training role at the bank, he realised he wanted to be on the other side of the transaction.

“I discovered what it takes to be a good broker,” Hammond said. “The technical part you can learn – it's more about the interactions, how you communicate and how you explain things.”

Hammond realised these were skills he already possessed. And having always wanted to be a business owner, he decided the time was right to move into mortgage broking.

“Fortunately, my wife was very supportive,” said Hammond. “We had some money set aside, so we decided that I would give it a crack. We agreed that if our savings got down to a certain level, then I would return to the corporate world.”

How Hammond chose Mortgage Choice

Hammond researched his options and narrowed them down to Mortgage Choice and a non-franchise aggregator.

He decided to go with Mortgage Choice because while he was comfortable with the sales and finance aspects of mortgage broking, he knew he needed help establishing and growing his business. 

“While aggregators might work for people who are already set up, I wanted and needed the higher level of support Mortgage Choice provides to help me through the first few critical years,”  Hammond said.

“When I spoke with Brendan Andrews at Mortgage Choice during the recruitment process, our conversations were genuine and I never felt like he was trying to convince me to do things a certain way. It gave me confidence that other people in the business would be just as genuine and supportive.”

Setting up a franchise with Mortgage Choice

After leaving his banking role in September 2022, Hammond completed his mortgage broking diploma, receiving an exemption for certain subjects because of his previous industry experience.

He began the induction and training process with Mortgage Choice in November 2022 and started speaking to clients in January 2023.

“For the first four or five months, I put in the groundwork establishing my processes, setting up systems, tweaking and testing templates, and building my pipeline,”  Hammond said.

“I then brought on an employee to assist with administration and marketing. I wanted to have everything in place before I became too busy to concentrate on the business.”

Hammond’s goal for his Mortgage Choice franchise in north-west Sydney was to achieve $25 million in settlements during his first year of business so he could comfortably cover his work and personal expenses and ultimately replace his corporate salary.

All the work he put into his business in the early days paid off when after six months his settlements began to increase substantially.

In addition to leads provided by Mortgage Choice and referrals from his network, Hammond built his client base by joining his local chapter of Business Network International (BNI), an organisation of business owners that meet once a week.

“You only have one person from each industry in the chapter,” Hammond explained.

“So there's one mortgage broker, one financial adviser, one accountant, one plumber, one electrician and so on. The premise of BMI is that you do business with people you know and trust.

“You build your reputation and explain what type of clients you’re looking for. It’s been really successful for me and has led to some great referrals.”

Hammond’s advice for new brokers

For anyone who is considering getting into mortgage broking but may be concerned about how long it will take for the business to become profitable, Hammond recommends building up your savings first and being open to different ways to generate income.

“You might want to focus on asset finance to start with because you can turn those applications around quickly and bring in revenue faster,”  Hammond said.

“They’re easier to understand than home loan applications, so they can be a good starting point for someone who doesn’t have prior finance experience. And asset finance clients can turn into home loan clients if you nurture that relationship.” 

Hammond also recommends leaning on other brokers around you.

“The Mortgage Choice franchise owners are incredibly generous with their time and willingness to help.

“At my first Professional Development Day, when I was introduced to other brokers, they immediately gave me their numbers and told me to call them if I had any questions. They shared tips and suggestions about how to become successful. It made me feel incredibly comfortable and reassured me that I’d made the right choice.”

Now that he’s been in business for more than a year, Hammond is looking to the future with confidence – and he has no regrets about his decision to leave the corporate world and take the leap into business ownership.

“I love what I do now,” he said. “I love working for myself. If anything, I wish I'd done it sooner.”

For anyone interested in a career in mortgage broking or setting up their own franchise, visit Mortgage Choice’s page.

Terence Hammond is a Mortgage Choice franchise owner covering Colebee and surrounding suburbs in north-west Sydney. Before becoming a successful mortgage broker, Hammond worked in sales management roles for companies such as Macquarie Bank and Optus.