Start-up brokerage Aria Financial’s niche focus on complex lending customers and its partnership with a real estate agency joint venture are spurring early growth momentum, according to co-founder Tom Morison.
Morison (pictured above), who launched the boutique broker firm in 2023 with partners Tina Howes and Mathew Hall (pictured below), said they had identified a gap in the market “for high quality, technical advice with superior client service”.
The brokerage is focusing on customers with more complex lending needs, including higher net worth and self-employed clients, who come with considerations such as multi-property portfolios.
Aria Financial offers standard residential and investment property finance, as well as SMSF, commercial, development, business acquisition, private and working capital funding.
“At Aria Financial, our advice is determined by deep diving into each client’s requirements and objectives, understanding where they are now and where they want to be,” Morison said.
“We want to ensure the debt structure, lender, timeline, and many other aspects meet those needs not just now, but also over the next three, five or 10 years and beyond.”
Aria Financial also signed a joint venture agreement with Morton, a Sydney real estate and property management firm, to help broaden its proposition to include additional services.
“It’s really about adding value for clients of Aria Financial. A client can come to either us or to Morton and we are now both able to provide them with additional value,” Morison said.
“For example, if one of our clients is purchasing an investment property, part of our value proposition is that Morton can take care of that from a property management perspective.
“If landlords come to Morton and need help with their mortgage or financing, Morton is now able to say that they have a brokerage that they work with very closely that can help.”
Business benefitting from combining broking expertise
The Aria Financial team, who all previously worked at Smartmove Professional Mortgage Advisors, decided to partner up in the new business to immediately generate economies of scale and pool their shared finance expertise.
“I was going to open a brokerage on my own, but now what we have is like a GP model, where you see doctors working out of a practice together – we can work out of the practice and build the business together, and also bring together our experience in different areas,” Morison said.
Howes, for example, has decades of banking and broking experience in the commercial and business lending space, and is able to offer this technical expertise for any of Aria’s customers.
The team spent the first few months setting up their systems, processes and back office to support a strong client service offering after making a decision to aggregate with Loan Market.
Since then, they have been meeting with accountants, financial planners and other referrers, as well as servicing a first wave of new business, coming through Morton and word-of-mouth referrals.
Morison said the launch has come with the excitement of building a new broking business brand.
“It’s different when it’s your own. You really live and breathe it, and you get to go through the trials and tribulations of the experience of building a brand from the ground up – but you only get one shot at life, so it’s great to be able to have the experience of building a business,” he said.
Aria Financial is looking first to develop and grow the business over the next six to 12 months, before looking to onboard some more finance brokers to scale the business up.
“I think the sky’s the limit. What we don’t want is to lose sight of the reason we founded the business; we always want that at the forefront of our minds when we make decisions on growth,” Morison said.