Lots of our clients and candidates can attest to the fact that becoming a mortgage broker certainly isn’t easy work, but it’s hugely fulfilling. Mortgage brokers get to help people secure their homes and build the lifestyle they want. It’s a pleasure to be able to help first home owners in particular reach their dreams of owning a house. As a mortgage broker, you hold the keys to making that happen.
While mortgage brokers can come from all walks of life with varying personalities and approaches, there are a few things to note about becoming a broker if you’re starting out or thinking of changing careers.
Common traits of mortgage brokers
Brokers really do come in all shapes and sizes.
Generally, they tend to be quite extroverted people who thrive on building relationships, but we’ve also seen some amazing brokers who are more on the introverted side. A range of approaches can result in a successful mortgage broker, but as a foundation a broker should have the following qualities.
They’re a ‘people’ person
Great mortgage brokers have a passion and desire for building relationships. They enjoy and thrive on interacting with people.
They have a passion for helping
Amazing brokers go above and beyond to educate and support their clients through the process of getting a home loan.
They have a ‘winning’ mentality
Successful mortgage brokers want to achieve wins for their customers. This drive to get a great result makes them work hard and tackle challenges head-on.
Getting licenced as a mortgage broker
Mortgage brokers need to operate under a license in order to deal with lenders and write home loans. This licence is accessed in partnership with an aggregator, who will hold an Australian Credit Licence. There are currently around 47 different aggregators in Australia to choose from.
Mortgage brokers run their businesses themselves. They set up operational systems, market their business and build a pipeline of clients – although some franchise models provide support in these areas. It’s the aggregator, however, that allows a broker to conduct business legally. The aggregator offers compliance support, access to lender accreditations, assistance with setting up the business, access to software and technology, and ongoing accreditation requirements.
Getting qualified as a mortgage broker
As a minimum, you need to have a Certificate IV in Mortgage Broking in order to operate as a Mortgage Broker in Australia. You also need to be a member of one of the two governing associations: the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). Depending on which association you become a member of, your qualification requirements may differ slightly.
At present, the FBAA requires you to have a Cert IV only. If you have a membership with the MFAA, you’ll need to upgrade to the full Diploma of Mortgage Broking before you’ve been a broker for 12 months. The industry is moving towards encouraging the full diploma qualification, and some lenders (such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) only allow new brokers to become accredited with their products if they have the full diploma.
Banking knowledge you need as a mortgage broker
It’s vital to have an understanding of banking and credit as a mortgage broker. People coming from a banking background can get ahead in their broking careers because they already know how this works.
If you have experience writing loans, you can get a Recognition of Prior Learning (known as RPL) to go towards your Cert IV qualification, or in some cases even the full diploma. This means you’ll only need to sit a test (which can be over the phone) by a registered training organisation (known as an RTO), and you may not have to go through the full study program.
Mortgage broker mentorship
The industry now requires new mortgage brokers who haven’t experienced lending before to participate in mandatory mentorship, to ensure their success. Both the FBAA and the MFAA can connect new brokers with an accredited mentor who coaches them on how to set up a business, write loans, manage their time and market their business. This mentoring takes place for the first two years as a broker and can cost anywhere from $5,000 to over $20,000, often at the expense of the new broker.
Common careers that transition into mortgage broking
Anyone from any industry can choose to become a mortgage broker. It’s most common for bankers and professionals in the financial services space to make the transition (we see this a lot), but we also see people in the property sector and other sales-related careers complete the necessary study to get accredited. Some of the industry’s top brokers, and many of the ones we’ve interviewed, have come from background as broad as retail and hospitality. So really, mortgage broking is open to anyone who has the people skills to be successful at it, and the drive to complete all necessary training and mentoring.
How to get started as a mortgage broker
- Enrol in a Mortgage Broking course – either a Cert IV or a Diploma – via a provider such as AAMC or Integrity Education
- Research the different aggregator options and explore the top five that may best suit your needs – then assess and decide on one
- Connect with a mentor (if required) – either through an FBAA or MFAA mentor, or by sourcing your own eligible mentor
- Become a member with the FBAA or MFAA
- Secure a PAYG broker role or set up your own business (we can help advise you with either of those paths!).
Hopefully this information helps you if you’re considering becoming a mortgage broker. For more tips on building a successful career as a mortgage broker, visit our Advice Centre, or get in touch with our team for a free career or business consultation.
- AAMC – a registered training organisation for mortgage broking certificates and diplomas
- Integrity Education – another popular registered training organisation for the mortgage broking industry
- FBAA – association for finance and mortgage brokers
- MFAA – national peak body for finance brokers
- Broker Essentials – a business coaching service run by industry-leading coach and thought leader Jason Back
- Corvus Group – a recommended legal firm that excels at employment law (for when brokers are looking to bring on their own staff)
- Factor1 – a recommended accounting practice that can help mortgage brokers manage payroll and bookkeeping as required.