Proposed debt-to-income restrictions “counterproductive and unfair,” says broker

by Ksenia Stepanova02 Aug 2018

NZ Adviser talks to Queenstown-based mortgage adviser Mark Pullar from Roost Mortgage Brokers about developments within the adviser industry, the challenges and rewards of the job and his most memorable client experiences.

Pullar 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?
There has been a significant tightening of bank debt servicing requirements. It is now very difficult for a client to obtain a loan they cannot afford. We firmly believe that the current UMI assessments that lenders use are more than adequate, and that RBNZ’s proposed debt-to-income ratio restrictions are not required, would be completely counterproductive and actually be unfair.

The ability to build a trail book has also significantly improved the capacity of mortgage specialist SMEs like ours to build a sustainable business by investing in staff and resources to manage our client base without having to obsess over building an insurance capability.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Every day you get the opportunity to take on a challenge and use your skills, contacts and expertise to deliver a result that changes someone’s life for the better, forever.

What has been the secret to your professional success? 

Treating each of my clients as if they were family, working as hard for them as I would if they were a family member so that each and every one of them has a great experience and becomes a lifelong advocate. Latterly, building a skilled team to maintain and improve on our staff and client experience.

What is the key to overcoming the challenges you face as a mortgage broker? 

What is your best strategy for generating leads? 
Doing an amazing job, so that each client is so grateful for what we’ve done for them that they not only refer their friends and family but become lifelong client.

What was your most memorable client experience this past year? 
The best ones are always the ones that come to you after their bank has said no, where they are disheartened and despondent, and they leave Roost with the result they always should have had in the first place. There have been a heap of those.

What do you think of the impending changes in the regulatory landscape? How will this shape the future of the industry? 
We think the proposed changes are positive. Anything that serves to improve the professionalism of our industry is a good thing in my mind. As an AFA leading a team of advisers, we operate to high standards already, so any changes won’t be too daunting for us. Nonetheless, it is very important that the regulators ensure that the process and costs to become an FAP for a small business of up to 5 advisers is not prohibitive. It is positive for the industry to have lots of SME’s who are able to chart their own course without having to operate under a large company or aggregator.

Outside of being a broker, what are your favourite hobbies? 
Overseas adventures with family and friends. I’ve recently discovered photo editing which is fun, and helpful if you are not that flash at taking good photos in the first place.

If you were the Prime Minister for a day, what would you do? 
It would be a busy day! If I was a dictator for a day and could actually make these changes myself, I would initiate an immediate reform of the RMA, provide immediate funding for a new public hospital to service the Queenstown Lakes District, and give the green light for the Queenstown Lakes District Council to be able to collect a visitor levy to fund required tourism infrastructure to ensure NZ doesn’t kill its golden tourism goose, and start the process of banning plastic.

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone starting a career as a mortgage broker, what would that be? 
If you are looking for a career that imposes daily unpredictable challenges, but also provides daily satisfaction from overcoming those challenges and getting results than this is for you. If you are looking for a 9-5 job where you can leave work at the door – look elsewhere!


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