Finance- possibilities

Mortgage Finance Association of Australia

Project Duration
6 Months

Jason Cuerel has been a mortgage broker and home loan specialist for more than 15 years.

“I started as the Brisbane relationship manager for Pacific Mortgage Corporation,” says Jason, “They are a non-bank lender with non-conforming aggregators, dealing with tricky customers.”

“When I tried to get a competitive home loan for my father, I couldn’t get one because my employer didn’t work with mainstream banks. This was the motivation to go out on my own as a mortgage broker.”

So I went out on my own for a couple of years, worked for Finance Ezy as their in-house broker for five years, before I landed in Loan Market, initially working with Ray White Surfers Paradise Group, mainly servicing investors in the apartments division,” he continues.

“It was the market drop of 2010 at this stage, so it was hard at the start, but I worked at building relationships to make it work.”

“Within 12 months of joining Loan Market I was given the opportunity to work with Ray White in Robina and Broadbeach, which was easier as they were primarily local first home buyers and upgraders, who also then started referring their friends and family.”

Jason currently owns Mortgage Innovations on the Gold Coast, which includes Varsity Lakes, Robina, Reedy Creek, Mudgeeraba, Burleigh Heads and surrounding suburbs.

“Gold Coast is a hot market, so is starting to get as fast paced as the city,” says Jason, “I loose a lead within three hours if I don’t address it.”

Jason credits his fast, effective service to the support he receives from his team, who are committed to doing everything correctly and diligently.

“The office has a good energy,” he says, “It is fun, has a good vibe and we provide fast, effective solutions that are in the best interests of our clients.”

Jason’s clients have a range of lifestyles and needs, so his business offers a complete loan service covering a range of loan types.

“Most of our clients work in the public health system, trades and education, which are the stable jobs on the Gold Coast,” says Jason, “Hospitality workers will probably enter the market again as tourism ramps up.”

Jason dedicates up to two hours of listening time to new clients to get to know them and understand their needs. He aims to make the experience an enjoyable, rather than a stressful one.

“By building relationships they know they can trust me, and that I have their best interests at heart,” he says.

Jason was a finalist for the Regional Finance Broker Award in the 2021 Queensland Excellence Awards.

“Being nominated for an award is amazing as it recognises your hard work and that you are one of the best,” says Jason.

Business challenges

The biggest challenges for Jason are work life balance and long pre-approval processes.

“I have a six month old at home and there is a lot of research and paperwork in this job, plus I can’t keep up with the referrals,” explains Jason.

“If you do your job well, your trail only grows. Luckily I have a team of two brokers and four administration staff, who enable me to work nine to five and take clients in the evenings and on the weekend.”

“A while back, pre-approval for Commonwealth Bank was pushed out to five weeks, but they put on extra assessors which has now alleviated a lot of stress with files being picked up in two days.”

Networking tactics

Talking to the right people is Jason’s number one tactic.

“I speak to real estate agents to assure them that our clients are in a good financial position,” he says.

“I get loans approved quickly and efficiently because of my experience with bank policies and product knowledge, increasing my approval rates.”

“I don’t push, but can often get decisions overturned by workshopping the scenario with credit and providing extra information. The key is finding the right policy-fit in the beginning and a good relationship with the relationship manager of that lender.”

“Clients love a quick turn around and need to know what’s going on if it’s not happening fast. I help them trust in the process, educate them about delays and find the right solution for them.”

Industry trends

Jason’s hopes for the industry include less technology and more people.

“I think the industry is becoming tech savvy, which could lead to less human contact, but I hope not,” says Jason.

“I think that trust, the personal touch and a genuine interest in your clients are still important.”

“I love this industry because it’s about people and the relationships you build with staff, clients, lenders and creditors.”

Advice to young brokers

Having a referral source is key to success for young brokers.

“The Gold Coast market is saturated,” explains Jason.

“If you are a new broker starting out, you need to have a referral source and partner with an existing broker to get leads for your business.”

“Build relationships with the people who work with the policies, procedures and processes.”

“It’s difficult at the start, but you need to get your name out there,” he concludes.