Mixing both broking worlds for success: Grant Rheuben

| Jun 30 - 2 min read

Grant Rheuben had a massive 2022: Broker of the Year at the Australian Broking Awards; Finance Broker of the Year at the Better Business Awards (Victoria) and Loan Market’s International Commercial Broker of the Year.

His accolades represent his ability to service the spectrum of clients. On any given day, his diary can start with first home buyers eyeing-off opportunities in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and end with a high-net worth investor seeking to add to their portfolio with an inner-city redevelopment site.

Importantly, his energy and willingness to add value across disparate discussions doesn’t waver.

“I treat everyone the same, whether they're building 40 apartments in a development or they're a first home buyer,” Rheuben said in a recent webinar hosted by LMG.

“I feel everyone deserves respect. For the first home buyer obtaining a loan of $500,000, that’s just as important to them as it is for someone building 40 apartments. So, for me, the process is the same.

“I meet with the client, explain who we are and what we do, the responsible lending obligations, what we're doing and why we're doing it. And that enables a level of trust in who I am, and who we are.”

Rheuben came to broking via stints in banking and as a chartered accountant.

In accountancy, he developed the skills to provide value to clients with complex affairs.

It put him on a path that’s now seen him write $1bn for clients, with - by his own admission - some trials and tribulations along the way.

But when entering the broking industry, he didn’t dive all-in to the world of commercial broking

“I felt, at the start of my career, that residential lending was a great sounding board,” he said.

“If you are reliant on commercial lending when you're starting out, you could write a $2m deal, do all the work, and then the customer says, ‘You know what, that's not the right thing for us.’ The decision is made on profit and business principles.

“So I started in the residential space because it had a greater element of personal attachment for clients. I wrote loans that were smaller in size, but more in number and built a business that way.”

Rheuben began working with accounting firms as referrers and was subsequently introduced to a number of self-employed clients.

“As a chartered accountant, I had the background to be able to take on commercial and business style transactions. It was almost a natural transition for me.

“What I did have to learn was all the commercial lending products and policies but, over time, it came to me.

“I think if I was a residential broker, today, who wanted to move into commercial, you could start with commercial property.
“Commercial property transactions are, to a large extent, similar to residential: there's a loan to value ratio, there's an interest rate and there's a property as security.

“If you start going into other areas like cashflow lending and property development, there are a few nuances and complexities around that.

“I’d recommend brokers team-up with a commercial broker who can mentor them on those finer points because there's a lot of time and effort involved with that.

“As a broker, you have to understand whether you have the knowledge and skills to be able to run a commercial transaction. Equally, you have to be fair and true to your client that you have the knowledge and level of confidence that you can do it.

“It's not one transaction that's gonna teach you the world, but hopefully if you do that for a year or two, you'll learn a bit, here and there, and start to do a few things on your own.”