Steph Thomas's Journey with Loan Market

| May 25 - 3 min read

Two years ago, Stephanie Thomas made the move to broking following a highly successful career in banking. When she left, she’d progressed to the influential role of Relationship Manager with CBA.

When deciding which aggregator to align with, several factors led her to Loan Market.

“I wasn’t blind to the fact that I was coming out of a role that I'd been in for 10 years which was broker-facing, not customer-facing,” she said.

“I knew I’d face a lot of challenges, time and costs if I attempted to create Steph Thomas Home Loans or something else, rather than just joining a brand that was recognised. I knew I could leverage the Loan Market brand to grow my own presence through their marketing tools and relationships.

“Having had interactions with the majority of mortgage brokers in Brisbane, I also knew that Loan Market, as an aggregator, had a great reputation with its brokers. It has a family approach and a hands-on approach to support.

“MyCRM (Loan Market and LMG’s tech platform) helps me process deals quickly and ensures I remain on top of compliance and regulation.

“The business had grown faster than I ever thought it would.”

Last month, two years of brand-building, scaling-up with new brokers, opening her own shop front and cementing one of the network’s most productive referral partnerships earned Ms Thomas’ business the title of Franchise Office of the Year at the Better Business Awards.

Ms Thomas bought a loan book not long after making the transition. Over approximately 18 months, the book’s value has increased almost 50%.

Initially, her leads were a legacy of her time as a BDM.

“My first lot of referrals came from other mortgage brokers that I'd looked after at CBA,” she said. “They were so used to ringing me to ask my advice on policies - they just continued to do so wanting to know what I’d do with X, Y, and Z.

“I’d give them my thoughts and then they’d say, ‘OK great, can I get you to look after it for me’.”

Being part of Loan Market, Steph was introduced to the brand’s real estate affiliate Ray White’s Ipswich office, one of Ray White’s Top Performing Chairman’s Club businesses.

“They’ve been a high-performing business for a long-time - they don’t need me to be successful.

“Everything I do with them is not about my business, it’s about their business and how that will help them bring sellers and buyers closer together and close-out a contract more efficiently.”

Ms Thomas attends weekly sales meetings, ensuring every module of education is framed in a real life-example such as a contract falling over or a change in circumstances for a party.

“I’ll ask the real estate agent that’s involved in the specific situation if I can share the scenario in the weekly sales meeting,” Steph said.

“The agent will then chime in and say they would have lost the contract without my advice, and that endorsement is powerful with their peers.”

Almost all the agents in the office now refer clients to Steph and all have a similar story about their experience with her.

“I consistently hear that my approach to customers is unique: I make finance feel affordable and accessible for everybody and remove the fear from it.”

While she’s kept busy through her referral partnerships - this financial year she’s settled $20.5m in deals for Ray White clients, the fifth highest result amongst Loan Market’s brokers for Ray White settlements - she’s still engaging the broader audience through the aggregator’s marketing tools.

Steph has embraced Loan Market’s comprehensive suite of industry-leading marketing  platforms and specialised expertise to find and keep more clients, including a business website, search engine optimisation (SEO), cost-effective advertising, content and social media marketing.

“Choosing to brand as Loan Market has made us so much easier to find for customers and makes the first interaction with a new client so much easier.

“The phone rings all the time.”

The business has scaled-up ahead of schedule with the Loan Market business now employing three Customer Service Managers, an Operations Manager and three Mortgage Brokers, in addition to Ms Thomas.

Tech that saves brokers time and keeps them safe, along with continual professional development and training opportunities, makes it easier to attract quality talent who want to plug in and play, she said

“I've gone down the path of attracting brokers that are well-established, experienced and writing strong volumes. Having experienced people that I don't have to train is really valuable: I can say to them, ‘Can I ask you to help this customer out’ and be confident that the client will be looked after. It’s a very collaborative environment.”