How I became a broker – John Tarazi's story

"It was a proud achievement for me because I'd worked my way up from the bottom"

How I became a broker – John Tarazi's story

John Tarazi (pictured), director of Echo Finance, shares his journey from working at a trucking firm to an entry-level position in financial services, to establishing a brokerage firm.

Getting into the industry

With beginnings in a compliance role at Sesame and later moving to SimplyBiz, Tarazi’s industry experience spans over a decade, providing a strong foundation for his move into mortgage brokerage.

He then became a mortgage relationship manager, which paved the way for him to obtain his CeRER and Cert CII (MP) qualifications.

“Becoming a fully qualified mortgage broker was a proud achievement for me because I’d worked my way up from the bottom,” Tarazi said. “I left school aged 17 on a YTS scheme and my first job was with a trucking firm where I earned just £67 per week.

“I left SimplyBiz in 2009 and worked for a couple of brokerages, and met my business partner, Lee Trett at one of them. Lee and I shared common goals in financial services and we quickly realised our skillsets complemented each other’s perfectly.”

The formation of Echo Finance in 2012, alongside Trett, was a pivotal moment for Tarazi. Their shared vision and complementary skills have propelled the company forward, launching ventures like Echo Ads, Echo CRM, and the innovative mortgage comparison service, Teito.

Motivations to continue as a broker

Tarazi’s and Trett’s drive for success and self-improvement continues to fuel their ambition, with the growth of their brokerage serving as a primary motivator.

“Both Lee and I are driven by success and a desire to better ourselves,” Tarazi said. “That was the case when we started Echo Finance in 2012, and it is no less true today. Seeing things continue to flourish and watching our brokerage grow is a powerful motivator for both of us.

Financial rewards and maintaining control over the direction of Echo Finance are significant motivators for Tarazi too.

“I appreciate the financial rewards because I know I worked hard for them,” he said. “I’ve always pushed myself, not just when I started out on the compliance side of the industry, but from the moment I took a job at that trucking firm, aged 17.

“Being able to maintain ultimate control of Echo Finance with Lee also keeps me motivated. We aren’t at the mercy of any networks, so this means we can maintain our vision for the business and do things our own way.”

The partnership between Tarazi and Trett is strengthened by their distinct roles within the company, blending broker-facing initiatives with technological innovations.

Looking to the future

Looking ahead, Tarazi said Echo Finance is set on expansion, with plans to grow their team, enhance their service offerings, and continue innovating to meet client needs.

With a focus on both technological solutions and personal service, Echo Finance aims to bolster their advisor count and support networks through comprehensive recruitment and development of their in-house teams.

“Our recruitment drive has also seen us build up our in-house marketing, IT, compliance, and admin teams to help us grow our advisor count and support our broker network,” Tarazi said.

“Above all, I want us to maintain the exceptional service we have been providing over the last 12 years, and continue to establish ourselves as a brokerage people respect and trust.”

Tarazi’s journey is a testament to the power of ambition, hard work, and strategic partnership. Echo Finance stands as a model of innovation and excellence in the mortgage industry, with Tarazi and Trett at the helm, steering the company towards continued success and growth.

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