Anyone who’s been on the journey to home ownership will tell you it isn’t just about getting the right home loan. Even for experienced buyers, the services and guidance of qualified experts is all part of the process. We spoke to a leading Aussie Broker to find out how a broker’s community connections and experience can help make your path to home ownership smooth and successful.
From legal assistance to securing a home loan, dealing with agents and making an offer on a property, there are many parts in the process of buying a home. So where’s the right place to start? Who are you going to call? We may be biased, but at Aussie we believe that your local Aussie Broker is the right place to start… and finish. Here’s why.
Making it happen
“When you work with an Aussie Broker, you’re generally not just working with an individual”, explains Bechara Boutros, Senior Aussie Broker at Aussie Prospect and West Lakes in South Australia. “You’re often dealing with someone who has a network of local contacts and service providers who can help you along the way. I believe it’s the responsibility of every broker to provide a one-stop service to customers by referring them to other reliable and experienced professionals who can help make things happen.”
Locals serving locals
Of course, building networks can take time and effort. “I think it’s all about locals serving locals.” For Bechara, that means keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the community. That’s a commitment that in a typical week could see Bechara having a coffee catch up with real estate agents to hear about local market movements, then presenting awards at sporting events or attending a barbecue or community event. “It works both ways. It helps me understand what’s going on and appreciate the challenges that customers may face. And I think people are more open to working with you if they know you, too.”
A central referral point
Bechara explains that a broker’s personal and professional relationships shouldn’t drive a transaction, but instead enable positive outcomes.
“I’m here as a central referral point for customers with the single responsibility of helping to manage the transaction and delivering an outcome for them. I’ll offer guidance in any way I can but I think it’s essential that customers also have the choice to be as hands-on or hands-off as they want.”
“It’s all about trust and understanding and that’s why having open conversations and communications with other professionals in the community and with my customers is so important.”
How Bechara has helped customers
Some specific examples of how Bechara’s network has helped customers, puts the value of local connections into context:
• Conveyancing – The most common referral that customers may require is a conveyancer. “Your property transaction may need a conveyancer to help with the legalities of the property purchase. I’m happy to refer my customers to a local conveyancer who, in my experience, has always done a good job.”
• Legal referrals – “I’ve had customers who are having a difficult time in their marriage and they need to consider the ‘what if?’ scenarios around the family home. I would never be in the position to provide an opinion on that… but I have been able to refer customers to a local family attorney who doesn’t charge for advice over an initial meeting.”
• Super savings and retirement plans – Customers sometimes have concerns or questions around their home loans and how that might affect their super savings or retirement plans. “Once again, that’s not my position to advise them on but I can point them in the direction of local advisers or financial planners who can look at their position and help them understand different scenarios.”
• Property investors – A customer building a portfolio of investment properties had seemingly run out of options with the one lender he’d been dealing with. “With a tightening on investment lending, he found himself paralysed by high debt to valuation ratios. I was able to refer him to lenders prepared to re-assess his debts and spread of lending to enable his investment plans to continue.”
Drawing on a network of home lenders
At the heart of Bechara’s interaction with customers is helping them find the home loan that will work hard for their individual circumstances. “The role of the broker is to develop professional relationships with a wide range of lenders to understand their products, lending policies and processes. With this knowledge, we’re in the position to guide customers with their options. If you only go to one bank, you could be limited to just one, off-the-shelf offering.”
Why talk to an Aussie Broker?
When asked what advice he would give to people who are still unsure about using the services of a broker, Bechara says a magnet that he hands out to customers sums it up neatly. “It says ‘Save time, effort and money with Bechara’. And that’s what we work to deliver for every customer, every day through the combination of local experience and knowledge and a supportive community network of reliable referral partners who I can recommend when they’re needed. And, of course, a great range of home loan options from the wide panel of lenders we work with at Aussie. I would just say to people, have a chat with your local broker and experience the Aussie difference for yourself.”
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