Get to know your Broker: Five minutes with Brian Willis
This month marks five years since Brian Willis joined the Blackburne Mortgage Broking team. A banking and finance veteran, there’s not much he doesn’t know when it comes to home loans. We lured him away from his mortgage applications for a moment to find out a little more about what makes him tick.
From the outside mortgage and finance seems boring. What makes it so rewarding that its kept you hooked for all these years?
Being in finance has enabled me to work with some great people as well as being close to my clients as they are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. The excitement that you see when people are getting into their first home and upgrading to the bigger family home makes it all more than just numbers for me.
What is the biggest money management mistake you see clients make too often?
I might not use the word mistake (because everyone is different) but borrowing money to buy an asset that decreases in value over time doesn’t make sense to me. More often than not, this is the expensive motor vehicle. From the Mortgage Broker point of view this can have a massive impact on how much you can borrow for your home and you need to decide what is more important, your ideal home or the car.
After many years working for a Big 4 bank, what do you see are the biggest advantages for using a mortgage broker over a bank?
When I worked for a Bank I could sell their loans. It certainly made the options easy to present to my clients but there is a certain sense of achievement of finding your clients the right loan over the thousands that I now have access to. It might be that I am saving them tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. There are also clients that I can assist now that couldn’t before because all the Banks have different policies. Not all Banks will suit all clients.
What is the easiest thing anyone can do to pay off their home loan quicker?
There is no easy way to pay off the biggest debt you will ever have. The key to getting ahead is pay as much off your loan as you can each month and to minimise your interest rate. So don’t reduce your repayment when the Bank interest rate goes down and talk to your Mortgage Broker every year or two. It might be that your Mortgage Broker can negotiate a discount off your interest rate with your current bank or know of a special deal available that you can get with a cheaper rate.
If you were not a Mortgage Broker, what career do you think you would have pursued?
I understand numbers (they don’t get emotional) so it would have to be something in a job where numbers are involved.
What is one thing about you, your clients would be surprised to know?
I have recently taking up cycling ( I am that middle aged man in lycra) to try and get fit and lose a few kilo’s.
What in 2020 are you most excited about?
It seems like the WA economy might finally be on the improve. Discussing property values with clients over the past few years has not been a lot of fun.
When are the Fremantle Dockers going to win their first premiership?
2020, got to stay positive and hopeful.