NZ Adviser talks to Auckland-based mortgage adviser Blandon Leung from iRefi Mortgage Specialists about developments within the adviser industry, the challenges and rewards of the job and his most memorable client experiences.
Leung was named a Top Adviser in our second annual Top Advisers Rankings 2018.
How do you think the mortgage broking industry has changed over the last two years?
Lending policies have gotten a lot tighter, most noticeably around servicing calculations. Clients with non-resident and overseas business income are left with very minimal options. It’s getting a lot tougher for overseas investors, but I believe that this is what this market needs.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Helping homeowners see that mortgage debt can be helpful to building wealth and teaching them how to manage it. I enjoy being able to empower them to utilize their position and change the trajectory of their financial future.
What has been the secret to your professional success?
Being driven by a purpose that is beyond myself, putting the client’s best interests at heart and being consistent with these values by living them myself (by investing in property).
What is the key to overcoming the challenges you face as a mortgage broker?
An exceptional, supportive team, an amazing and loving wife, and the grace of God.
What is your best strategy for generating leads?
20 prospecting dials a day keeps your pipeline full - always.
What was your most memorable client experience this past year?
A client who I messed up a bridging loan for. I remember clearly that I told them they must go for a closed bridge and open bridge would be costly, and I remember clearly that we confirmed we would do a closed bridge. Somehow we ended up with an open bridge situation and clearly client was very upset. It was a massive lesson on communication. I learned to always over communicate and repeat myself rather than make a costly mistake and put the client under unnecessary stress.
What do you think of the impending changes in the regulatory landscape? How will this shape the future of the industry?
As the gap between the house price index and the consumer price index widens, so will the wealth gap. Policies tightening for investors is inevitable when we look at other developed countries (i.e. Hong Kong, where I am from.) How will this affect the industry? I am not sure, but I enjoy games that are more challenging!
Outside of being a broker, what are your favourite hobbies?
Other than a good sweat at the boxing class, I like experimenting/implementing new things that I learn in my business.
If you were the Prime Minister for a day, what would you do?
Hit up Obama for lunch.
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone starting a career as a mortgage broker, what would that be?
Find a mentor.
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