Relishing the important things

Working in the Navy from age 17 meant that Aaron Latter had spent a fair whack of time away from home. After 22 years, he decided that needed to change.

“I have a loving and caring wife and two beautiful little girls who need their dad at home,” says Aaron. “Becoming a mortgage adviser with Smartline meant I could do a job I loved but also have the opportunity to spend as much time with my girls as possible.”

Aaron was confident the move would also be satisfying from a career perspective. “I’ve always loved property investing and giving advice to friends and colleagues about how to get ahead financially through purchasing property. I thought taking it one step further – assisting people achieve finance for property – would give me a great sense of achievement and really help people through the muddy waters of lending.  It has certainly done that and a lot more.”

Coming from a non-lending background, Aaron had to make sure he had enough support to get started in the business. “I looked at a couple of other franchises but from the minute I walked in the front doors of the Smartline National Office, I felt a real sense of positivity, honesty and professionalism. Smartline are quite different from many other franchises in the industry in that they really want you to succeed. To this end, they help you as much as they can, making sure you have a base of clients, and all the business, marketing and IT support you need.”

Despite this, it was still a huge decision for Aaron. Having only ever worked in the Defence Force, and being on a very comfortable salary, meant leaving it all to start up a business in mortgage broking was a pretty big deal.

“My wife gave me a lot of reassurance that the decision we made as a family was the right one,” Aaron says. “Luckily, I think I also had the personal character traits and determination to rise to the occasion and become successful. I suddenly had control of everything in my job which is very rewarding but also requires a great deal of responsibility; there is nowhere to hide and if you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you.”

Aaron’s top tips for starting out are:

Build your database with as many friends and family as you can

I used Facebook Messenger to contact as many people as I could.  Some of these will be looking at refinancing or purchasing and will be the initial loans you write.  If you do a great job for them, they will refer you to their family and friends and that ball will start rolling for you.

Put yourself out there and network

I was very much out of my comfort zone at the start when I had to make those initial connections to solicitors, accountants, builders etc, but it really is necessary to build referral partners.

Don’t let yourself get down

It can take 3 or 4 months to put your first application in so don’t be disheartened. Keep working hard and things will fall into place.