Interview with Zac Peteh, Director - Mint Equity by The Adviser - July 2018 Edition
What do you love about being a regional broker?
Having established my banking and finance career and contacts in Sydney, it was a big decision for my wife Leigh & I to start Mint Equity on the Central Coast, but we wanted to strike a balance between work, family and the coastal lifestyle. The Central Coast is a great region because property prices range from $350,000 to $5,000,000 and more, so the business opportunities are great, and our operating costs are much lower than establishing an office in Sydney.
Moving to a regional area meant we were able to bring a metro approach to a regional market, which helped us stand out from the crowd. We move with pace, high-quality, and a strong customer service approach, which regional markets now demand as much as the metro areas. Regional markets are generally more loyal to local businesses, which meant we had to work hard to get in, but once we were in, the support was amazing. Three years in and almost 90% of new opportunities come from our existing clients and client referrals, which reinforces that we’re hitting the mark for our clients.
What's the Central Coast market looking like?
The Central Coast region is much more buoyant than Sydney where there has been an oversupply of housing and a drop in property values over the last six months. The Central Coast has a lot to offer and investors, owner occupiers and first home buyers all have great buying options with strong returns and further capital growth. Broker competition is high in Sydney and those relying on property marketers and real estate agents for leads will see a drop off in opportunities. We’ve found the best way to grow business opportunities is to focus on client relationships as they are our best advocates.
We chose Somersby as our head office location as it’s positioned next to the M1 giving us quick access to Central Coast, Newcastle and the Sydney markets. In our industry, our skills and services are transferrable across the whole of Australia and internationally, so we don’t restrict our client portfolio to just the Central Coast. This means when one property market changes dramatically, we are impacted less.
What does the rest of 2018 look like for Mint Equity?
2018 is our growth year - we’ve established an award-winning business, expertise, strong systems and processes and a loyal client base, so now it’s time for more industry professionals to take a share in our success. This year we want to bring on more high quality, experienced, mortgage brokers who can continue the same relationship standards that we’ve worked hard to achieve.
Our industry has some hurdles ahead of it, so it’s even more important that we go above and beyond for our clients, build long lasting relationships and deliver high quality services. Mortgage broking is an intimate and personal service based on trust, so rather than developing Apps or online comparison software, we’re focused on developing relationships to meet our clients’ needs and give our mortgage brokers longevity in their careers, not just a transactional based role.
What positive changes would you like to see in the broking industry?
We would like to see brokerages change the way they hire and remunerate their staff/brokers from transactional to a relationship remuneration structure. Commission-only payment structures can create poor behaviours that are reliant of a transaction rather than a relationship. The real estate industry has similar behaviour problems because of a commission-only debit/credit system. The reality is when someone is reliant on a settlement to put food on the table, behaviours can change. When a mortgage broker is also financially rewarded on other key elements such as customer satisfaction, client referrals, helping and training colleagues, business growth and brand reputation, the outcomes are much better for the client, the business and the broker.
The way some companies, particularly the franchise and online models, recruit mortgage brokers with “no experience necessary” should be a concern for our industry. We aren’t selling flowers or coffees, we’re assisting clients with the biggest financial commitment of their lives – why should someone with little or no lending experience be able to assist with the process? I can tell you, I draw on every one of the 23 years of banking, credit and finance experience I have, to help my clients. We need tougher entry requirements, qualification standards and minimum experience levels to ensure consumers are given the levels of expertise they deserve from mortgage brokers.
About Mint Equity
Established in 2014, Mint Equity is a multi-award winning, family-owned and operated business based on the Central Coast which offers a fresh perspective when it comes to dealing with finance. At the company’s helm is Finance Broker and Director Zac Peteh, and Leigh Peteh, Director, Marketing & Communications.
- Finalist 2018 Regional Finance Broker Award (Individual) Zac Peteh - MFAA Excellence Awards (NSW)
- Winner 2018 Best Regional Broker (Individual) Zac Peteh – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Customer Service/Satisfaction (Individual) Zac Peteh – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Customer Service/Satisfaction (Office) – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Independent Office (less than 5 brokers) – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Regional Broker (Individual) Zac Peteh – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Regional Office – Better Business Awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2018 Best Residential Broker (Individual) Zac Peteh – Better Business Awards (NSW
- Finalist 2017 Best Regional Office – Better Business Awards (Australia)
- Winner 2017 Best Regional Office – Better Business awards (NSW)
- Finalist 2017 Best New Office – Better Business Awards (Australia)
- Finalist 2017 Best Marketing – Connective Excellence Awards (NSW)
- Winner 2016 Best Marketing – Connective Excellence Awards (NSW)