The founder of a start-up Queensland brokerage says her business has grown faster than expected since launching in 2022, with the team already growing to four in 2023.
Kate Sadler (pictured above), of The Broker Society, received the MFAA’s Newcomer Award and Young Professional Award at last week’s MFAA Queensland State Excellence Awards. Sadler said she had expected her business to have a “slow start”.
“I would have been fine with that,” Sadler said. “My son was only three months old. But it turned out a lot of people wanted to work with me, and it was pretty much full time from two months later.”
Sadler said a combination of clients she had worked with in her banking career – as well as referrals to an extended network of their friends, families and staff – had propelled her unexpected growth.
As well as some additional leads from giving advice on Facebook community pages, Sadler is now getting referrals from existing clients recommending her to their customers, friends and families.
“I also have great referral partners. We don’t pay one another, they are just a beautiful group of people who are excellent at what they do, including an accountant and a financial planner,” said Sadler.
The fast start resulted in Sadler teaming up with another new broker under The Broker Society brand and bringing on both a loan writer and independent contractor to support the business’ growth.
“The first year I was by myself, with no loan writer,” Sadler said. “I think I was at the stage in January of getting to the point of burnout; I didn’t have people in the business and didn’t want to let clients down.”
“With two brokers we look after our own clients but we are in the same team, so we’re able to maintain our individuality, and ensure our clients are looked after if either of us needs a break.”
A key challenge during the first two years in business have been initial doubts about quitting a job in banking to start a mortgage broking business, due to the fear that the business “might not work”.
Another challenge has been The Broker Society’s initial experiences with commission clawbacks.
“None of my clients have left because of refinancing, but we have had a few instances this year where clients have sold their home or their relationship has broken down,” Sadler said.
This meant the fledgling business needed to change what it was doing, such as reducing marketing spend, and Sadler needed to work more, impacting her work life balance as a mother of two young children.
“Clawbacks are awful – it is a major issue. We work so hard and sometimes things are out of our control, and we end up being financially impacted by that no matter how hard we work,” Sadler said.
However Sadler said the reason she decided to strike out on her own in a broking business was that she wanted “to help as many people as she can” achieve financial literacy and get a home loan.
“I want to create a great experience for people, be part of their journey and really celebrate their wins, as well as shielding them from the frustrations of the home loan process,” she said.
The next year for The Broker Society will have a strong focus on mentoring the business’ two new brokers, as well as reaching new customers in Queensland and around Australia through content.
“We want to get more financial literacy out to people who need it, and hopefully off the back of that educational content more people will learn from it and more business will come,” Sadler said.