Women in Broking: Bridget Headland, Vision Money in Queensland
What inspired you to pursue a career as a mortgage advisor?
I worked within the finance industry, a different role to start with and then I was offered a position within the broker world – I leapt at it. The thought of being able to run my own show, be responsible for my own sales and work with clients that were looking to ‘beat the banks’ put a smile on my face.
What challenges did you face when starting out or along the way?
The start is always the hardest, finding my networking feet, telling people what I was doing and also focusing on the long-term approach that you have to have in this industry is hard. Creating trust with clients and referrals is something that takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Being a young, blonde (at the time), female starting out in the broker industry had its challenges… Starting out had its challenges. I had to ask people to put their trust in me and my knowledge of the trade, which takes time. But now, after eight years, I have no need to advertise. I receive all my business via word of mouth, repeat business and some great business connections.
Which aspect of your role do you love the most?
I’ve managed to surround myself with some very successful people within the broker and property worlds. Working with these people doesn’t feel like a job! I also have some great staff and clients – people who truly value my time and who I enjoy being around.
Describe your career highlight to date and what it meant to you.
Before starting my own brokerage Vision Money, I worked with one of the largest mortgage broking companies within Australia. I managed to secure some great accolades and used the skill sets learned to help me open the door to my own business – we now have 3 offices located across Australia. Since bringing AFG on board as an aggregator I was able to join them on the Chairman’s Club Trip, this was an absolute highlight. This topped off a big year for Vision by where both myself and Vision were recognised as a Telstra Business Finalist within Australia.
Why should other women consider a career in the mortgage industry?
The industry is rewarding and engaging and, as a new mum, allows me to have great flexibility. I’ve been fortunate enough to take my daughter into the office from three weeks old, the port-a-cot was set up out the back and some clients were none the wiser about the sleeping baby!
What makes a good mortgage broker?
A good mortgage broker is personable, honest and willing to go that extra mile. Communication is key – if a client needs to follow you up then I believe you have failed at your job!
These days clients don’t want someone who is flashy and showy. They want someone they can relate to and to get honest feedback and information.
When I chat with my clients and I’m discussing a certain product or service, I like them to know I have tried it first. If it’s good enough for me, my family and my friends, they can be rest assured I’m talking from experience.
In your view, why is it important to have a mix of male and female mortgage brokers?
It’s the same within any industry: you need diversification – different genres, backgrounds and belief systems. Not everyone will be able to relate to a male broker, just like not everyone will want to work with or can relate to a female broker.
I do believe that as a female broker you tend to be able to empathise with the female client who wants to protect her home, her nest, and ensure it’s the best thing for her family.
It’s my opinion that having both genders in the broker world creates innovation and enhances the services we provide back to the client.