Determination and creativity generates opportunities

Ashley Hooker

With a strong background in property sales and project management, working alongside highly experienced property investors and mortgage advisers, as well as more than 12 months working as a mortgage broker with another brand, Ashley Hooker found his niche with Smartline.

He cites Smartline’s team approach, knowledgeable head office staff and sound track record in the industry as key factors in choosing Smartline as his franchise brand of choice.

“In addition to their good name and reputation, Smartline doesn’t restrict its advisers with geographic boundaries, meaning my business’ growth isn’t stifled by location – I can market anywhere I choose,” Ashley says.

“I also found NSW State Manager Michael Daniels’ regular bulk emails to clients to be extremely thoughtful, informative and engaging.”

Like many before him, Ashley has found the experience of entering into self-employment both exciting and a little scary at times.

“It’s exciting in the sense that everything I do is building something solid for mine and my family’s future, and the daunting aspect is the inevitable highs and lows of running a start-up business – but this forces you to get out and about, and make things happen,” he says.

“There’s no goose laying golden eggs – you’re the goose, so you just have to get laying.”

Ashley’s tips for getting started in your business:

Talk to a diverse range of brokers.

Speak with others for the real-life stories, which will give you a clear and realistic impression of life as a broker.

Develop a business plan.

Write a comprehensive business plan – and stick to it, making changes as required.

Make the best use of working with your mentor.

While an MFAA requirement, remember that it’s a two-way relationship. Managed well, it can be a very enjoyable and enlightening experience.

Be creative in creating pathways to clients.

Leverage the tried and true techniques, but do think beyond traditional tactics. For example, I run seminars in teaching hospitals for young doctors and nurses in the public health system – the source of new clients can be a real surprise.