PLAN Australia Broker Andrew Carra owns Red Sparrow Property & Finance – providing financial planning and mortgage broking services to customers around the world. An experienced broker, with a focus on high-net worth individuals, Andrew shared his thoughts with us on being a broker and why PLAN Lending ticks the right boxes for him and his valued customers.
For those unfamiliar, PLAN Lending is a white-label loan option available through PLAN Australia. White-label loans are a similar concept to home-branded products found in supermarket aisles and offer a simple, high-value loan solution. White-label loans deliver many of the same great features as bank-branded home loans but are available exclusively through the broker channel.
Q: What do you think is the best part about being a broker?
A: The best part of mortgage broking is being part of the most fulfilling financial transactions your customer is ever going to make. In my dual roles as broker and financial planner, I oversee a lot of financial decisions. I can say with confidence that settling a home loan is a lot more rewarding than, for example, setting up salary sacrifice into your super! While both are of course important, there is something special about being part of the home ownership dream for my clients.
Q: Why do you use PLAN Lending?
A: I think PLAN Lending is a perfectly designed product with the right balance of bells and whistles, alongside a very competitive interest rate. My philosophy is everything is simple until you complicate it and PLAN Lending is simple to write, simple to manage and well-suited to my target client-base of high-net worth individuals – which is why I rely on it for 80% of the loans I write.
Q: What do you see as the main benefit of PLAN Lending for your customers?
A: Prior to using PLAN Lending, I found my clients were paying significantly higher rates through private bankers and receiving a low-quality product with no support services. My customers really appreciate that through PLAN Lending they can access both competitively priced finance and an organisation that is easy to do business with. This ultimately results in a smoother, happier transaction which delivers a great outcome to my clients.
Q: Has the way you use PLAN Lending evolved over time?
A: I’ve been using PLAN Lending l for 18 months and over this period I have enhanced the way I manage the loan process with the client. Through PLAN Australia, it is easy for me to make loan variations and provide ongoing reporting. Working with high-net worth clients and also operating a financial planning business, it’s particularly important that I give my clients timely updates on their finances at tax time. With PLAN, I can quickly and easily generate a report – meaning I can pre-empt my client’s request for an update on the numbers. This helps me ensure I deliver outstanding customer service, which is of fundamental importance to the success of my business.
Q: What is a common myth associated with white-label lending?
A: I think there are a few myths about white-label lending. For example, brokers may think that PLAN Lending can only be used for low-value loans – but this simply isn’t the case. Most of my clients who take-up a PLAN Lending loan do so for over a loan value of more than $1 million. They actually prefer a simpler option – and something they particularly appreciate is that their day-to-day banking doesn’t have to change; the loan can sit on the side. When you think about how many direct debits people have set up, you can see why this is an in-demand feature as no one wants to go through the pain of changing these around if they don’t have to.
Another myth is that white-label is inferior because you can’t have an offset account. I honestly think offset accounts are overrated. To get one, you end up paying more for the loan when via white-label you can get a redraw which still can give you access to excess funds when you need it.