Satish Kamath: From accidental start to mortgage mastery

Stumbled into mortgages, excelled by design

Satish Kamath: From accidental start to mortgage mastery

In an industry that’s seen radical transformations over the past few decades, Satish Kamath, of Mortgage Mantra, stands out not just for his tenure but for the depth of his experience and the breadth of his compassion.

Starting as a mortgage adviser in late 1999 without prior knowledge of the mortgage industry, Kamath’s journey is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the profound impact of personal connection.

An unplanned beginning

Kamath's entry into the mortgage advising world was less a choice and more a necessity.

“I became a mortgage adviser accidentally, and not through choice,” he says.

Emigrating from India to New Zealand, he found himself in a precarious financial situation, with a family to support and no job on the horizon. The decision to stay in New Zealand and venture into the unknown world of mortgage advising was one borne out of sheer determination.

“I enjoyed talking to people about their finances, especially when they trusted you and welcomed you into their homes," Satish says.

Evolution of the mortgage industry

Over the years, Kamath has witnessed first-hand the phenomenal growth of the mortgage market – from a $52 billion industry to one that’s exponentially larger today. He attributes much of this expansion to technological advancements and the internet, which have simplified processes for borrowers and advisers alike.

“There is a new generation of mortgage advisers that is tech-savvy,” he says, noting how this shift has empowered borrowers and heightened the need for advisers to stay abreast of technological trends.

However, challenges persist, particularly around clawbacks and regulatory constraints that often disappoint both borrowers and advisers. Kamath calls for a resolution to clawbacks and a return to a more commonsense approach to lending.

“Industry is challenged by regulation which is too prescriptive,” he says.

Facing challenges head-on

Kamath’s career has not been without its trials. He shares poignant experiences of working with clients on the brink of losing their homes, emphasising the importance of empathy, diligence, and creative problem-solving in crafting rescue packages for those in dire straits.

“It's never easy,” he says, underscoring the emotional toll of such situations on both the adviser and the client.

Advice for newcomers

For those new to the mortgage advising field, Kamath offers sage advice: set clear expectations from the start and prepare clients for the inevitabilities of property ownership, from fluctuating property values and interest rates to changes in income.

“Always have plan B,” he says.

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