A mortgage is an “ordinary every day” thing for a lot of people, and a lot of people have mortgages. But a huge proportion of them have quite poor financial understanding. I greatly enjoy the conversations where I am asking questions and people begin to click, where they begin to see and understand concepts like interest rate averaging, why to include a revolving credit and how to structure their next mortgage.
Before coming to mortgagehq I worked at a bank originally in an accounting role and then in the financial markets team, managing foreign exchange risk for businesses – I found the bank disheartening. Especially the sales nature of my role where I would literally give people the worst FX deal they could get unless they specifically asked for a competitive rate. I looked for a new finance role where I would enjoy the people and the 9-5, and where there was a customer-first culture. I was eventually referred to mortgagehq where I am now a senior mortgage adviser.
There have been a huge variety of experiences which shape who I am today, ranging from infantryman to ACC carer to banker. I graduated with a finance degree from the University of Otago after originally studying maths and accounting but switching to ensure I didn’t get trapped in a single path career of an accountant.
I wasn’t driven specifically to a Mortgage Adviser role, being primarily motivated by working at mortgagehq, but discovered the passion grew as I started here. I was initially attracted by the calibre and quality of my colleagues. What I discovered when I researched the company was a culture of helping clients and taking a long term view, which stuck out as a win-win for everyone. I love that I don’t have to price things, but am able to transparently push and negotiate with the banks to get you the best deal possible. I love that I work for my customers and you don’t even need to pay me, the bank does, so I don’t feel like I ever need to ‘sell anything’.
Clients get a huge win by working with us – they get independent advice about which bank they should use. And it could be based on pricing, or pushing the boundaries in certain areas like borrowing capacity or credit history. Which bank or lender you are with can make a very big difference. We saved a client 12 years on a mortgage.
They were on a 30-year term with a 2nd tier lender, thinking they were unable to refinance to a main bank. They went from an 8% interest rate to 3.99%. They had ended up in this situation because he was working on boats in international waters which means no tax is being paid on his income. This was a big stumbling block for the four major banks, and why their previous mortgage adviser had settled them with Avanti. However, because we are one of the few advisers accredited to sell Kiwibank products we were able to get them back to a bank. My colleague Madhav had started with this client, but he had to go to India for a family trip to scatter his grandad’s ashes. So I got the satisfaction of picking up this client and delivering a fantastic result.
I think there is a lack of schooling around the financial industry, but the major mechanics of a mortgage are relatively simple. There are four key factors: 1) the interest rate, 2) the type of product, 3) the term for the interest rate, and 4) the term for the loan. The loan term and payments move together, a 30-year term will have lower repayments or you can decrease the term and increase repayments reducing the total interest paid.
I enjoy meeting with customers face to face, and am able to explain these concepts with a few diagrams and a conversation so get in touch and let’s catch up to work out how to achieve your goals by managing your mortgage intelligently.