Terri Unwin

Being in the right place at the right time

Being in the right place at the right time can change your direction in life, and that’s what happened to Terri Unwin.

Terri and her husband were purchasing a house in Brisbane, when the agent began telling them about the trouble he was having with his Sydney broker. Terri’s youngest son had just started school, and she had been looking for more challenging work that would still be flexible.

“It truly was a light bulb moment,” says Terri. “My husband and I looked at each other and knew this was something I could do well.”

With very little experience in lending, she didn’t have a long list of contacts to start with or a vast knowledge of lending policies or procedures. Apart from some contacts from the Brisbane agent, Terri has had to build her business from the ground up.

Terri doesn’t see herself as selling home loans. “I see my role as educating clients about their options and financial potential, and giving them the tools to make informed decisions. It helps that I have gone through many of the situations that my clients are considering – that is, buying an investment property, using a SMSF to buy property, finding business finance and making a commercial property purchase.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to be able to help others who are going through hardship,” says Terri. “For example, with first home buyers and those going through a property payout after divorce, I have an opportunity to make a difficult situation easier for them.”

Aside from the huge flexibility of being a personal adviser, Terri loves the direct correlation between effort and reward. “Knowing that you will benefit directly from the hard work and commitment you make is a great motivator,” she says.

Terri’s top tips are:

  • Building contacts

    Things that worked for me include: - Attending open houses and establishing good relationships with real estate agents - Getting heavily involved in local clubs and sponsoring sports equipment/events - Finding good referral partners (conveyancers/financial planners/accountants) Things that haven’t worked for me include: - Shop-a-dockets - Branded fridge magnets through the local pizza shop - Branded beer coasters at local clubs - Paying to be "included" in real estate agent folders (unless you have a relationship with them).
  • Find a Smartline Buddy

    Every now and then you will need a break. If you can find another broker you trust implicitly, you can go on holiday and relax completely.
  • Make sure you schedule in “me-time” regularly

    You are no good to your clients if you are stressed out or otherwise not at your best.

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