Billion-dollar Broker: How Mark Davis Settled $1B in Loans

Mark Davis is one of Australia’s most successful brokers, settling more than $1 billion in loans over his career.

He sits down with host Annie on The Advisor’s Elite Broker show to explain how he does it.

Here’s what Mark talks about in the episode:

  • 1:30 – Introduction
  • 3:25 – How ALIC works
  • 6:38 – How Mark settled $1B+ in loans
  • 9:44 – Mark’s exact broking process
  • 12:20 – Building a support team
  • 16:33 – Creating a five-star client experience
  • 18:38 – How Mark decompresses for better performance
  • 21:24 – Using software to increase efficiency
  • 26:12 – What Mark would do differently if he could do it all again
  • 28:51 – Mark’s career highlights
  • 31:37 – What Mark would change in the broking industry

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Full Transcript

[00:00:00.910] – ADVERTISEMENT

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[00:00:42.410] – ADVERTISEMENT

Welcome to Elite Broker, the podcast showcasing the leading players and stories of success from Australia’s broken industry.


[00:00:51.110] – Annie

Hello and welcome back to our special Billion Dollar Broker series here on the Advisor podcast network. In this month’s episode of The Billion Dollar Broker podcast, we’re catching up with one of the most prolific brokers in Australia, mark Davis from the Australian Lending Investment Centre. Mark has long been at the forefront of the broker industry with his huge volume and structured process and team being the envy of many in the broking industry. So in this episode of our Billion Dollar Broker series, we’re finding out how he does it. Thank you for joining me Mark. How you doing?


[00:01:21.670] – Mark Davis

Good, Annie. Thanks for the invitation and glad to be here and hopefully we can share some insights for a lot of the people out there.


[00:01:28.590] – Annie

Insights of inspiration, I think. And obviously for many people who have been in the broker industry, they have heard your name or have met you. But for anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of coming across Mark Davis, how long have you been broken for and why did you become a broker?


[00:01:42.420] – Mark Davis

I’ve been brokering for about 13 years or 13 and a half years. I came over from AMZ where I did 21 years at AMZ and the reason why I left ANZ was because I set up an investment division for A and Ed that during the GFC the bank probably struggled to manage that concept through that period where they were trying to reduce their volumes rather than increase volumes in bad markets and through bad markets and investment divisions should thrive. So it was just an opportunity to get out there and have access to multiple banks and products and different opportunities for me to look after my clients rather than be at one institution that was probably not perfectly fitted to the investment model at the time.


[00:02:22.270] – Annie

So you start off moved over to broker and I’m assuming you starting off mainly with investor clients.


[00:02:28.330] – Mark Davis

Yeah, so I was lucky enough. Bones’s Book were amazing with me, so I worked there, as I said, 21 years and they let me design a whole investment division. It was all around gearing and wealth and strategies and structures and doing the right thing by clients and I was very strong on that side because I’ve been an investor myself from 21 years of age and they allowed me to do that and I’m very thankful for that. And they’re a brilliant employer for a long, long time, and it just came to an end after 21 years. I thought I was going to be there for life and then got out of there. I wanted to continue, and I was assistant to keep rolling the strategic type, letting that ALIC does, and we rolled it out and set up ALIC from the Investment Lending Centre a INZ to the Australian Lending Investment Centre in Column Street, Melbourne.


[00:03:11.950] – Annie

Oh, there we go. That’s a little brief history there of ALIC. I’ve been calling it Alex this whole time. Is that not right? You’re not like that.


[00:03:19.390] – Mark Davis

We get killed lots of things, but it’s supposed to be the Australian Lending and Investment Centre.


[00:03:24.150] – Annie

Okay, let’s stick with that. So the Australian Lending Investment Centre obviously really focused on that sort of wealth creation strategy and lending structures to build wealth free property. It’s one of the largest, I say, if not the largest brokerages in Australia, both in terms of volume and in terms of size. Can you just give us a quick idea of how big the brokerage is now?


[00:03:44.440] – Mark Davis

We’ve got about 3.4 billion under some funds under management, and it’s hard to build when you get to that level because you have a certain amount of runoff that goes each year. So we’ve got some big plans moving forward to take up to seven to 8 billion over the next five years. So we’re basically a company that’s never really advertised or marketed before. We’ve never wanted to. We wanted specific clients for our business who were investment oriented, who had certain risk profiles, who had certain comfort levels and wanted to actually have better conversations. So we decided to do that without the standard advertising and marketing, just through word of mouth, and we were so busy for so long that we didn’t need to. But our plans moving forward are going to be very different under Damian Brandon, who has been bought into LRC to take our business to a new level and you start to see our company a little bit more. I know we’re reasonably well known inside the industry, but we want to be known well outside the industry moving forward, so there’s going to be a few changes going on and we’re pretty excited about it.


[00:04:39.720] – Annie

That is exciting. And so Damian is your new managing director, which is exciting, and I know that you also had, obviously you’ve had general manager, operational managers before as well, to help structure the business. Can you walk me through what the structure looks like then, at ALIC at the moment?


[00:04:53.770] – Mark Davis

Yeah. So Damian is the managing director. Prior to that, we had Nate Fosnaugh and then Jason back prior to that, who ran. Our business for about five years. So Kevin, I clearly don’t have the management skills to we want to be on the tools. We don’t want to be sitting there managing staff and processes and different various things like that. We’re better around the strategy piece, the investment side and the client piece. So that’s our model from a managing director perspective. We have an operations manager who actually runs I set, I set individual sets, about three, 1.4 billion. So there’s a lot of work with four and a half thousand clients we can look after. So I have a manager is running that and then we have three separate teams. Within ALIC, we have a Team D, a team A and a Team C, and each of those teams has to write 300 to 350,000,000 per year in loans, and they comprise of Laos to data input loans, service managers to run the file, to settlement analysts to run scenarios. EA’s. We have a lot of support staff, so we are a business that is built around a lot of support staff and a lot of people offshore. And we currently have about 60 staff at the moment. So that’s kind of our model. We believe our writers should be more strategic. They should be in front of the client the whole time and they should be basically spending five to eight meetings a day in front of customers and talking to them and adding value to them.


[00:06:09.460] – Annie
  1. I mean, I think a lot of people are probably shuddering at the thought of that. It’s a lot of work, but as you say, a huge amount of back office support there as well, to help ensure that the brokers are the customer service facing people that are the people that are out there getting the meetings done, getting the strategies in place. And then you can kind of have another team really handle the rest of the files. You mentioned they’re already the size of your book and congratulations. I should say first and foremost, 1.4 billion. Massive. How long did it take you to get there?


[00:06:38.890] – Mark Davis

I hit the billion mark about four or five years ago, but it’s a very slow process after that because the runoff is quite big. You have the Royal Commission where you have to take a lot of loans back out of major banks who are reducing interest on investment loans. So you have to go to second or third tier. And then basically those rates weren’t that competitive when the banks became more competitive and then you had to come back again. So there was a bit of a period where there’s a bit of churn going on. Prior to that, probably four or five years ago, in the first five, six years were in here, we hardly churned anything. We didn’t rewrite any loans. If we went to a bank, we went there specifically for their investment ability to manage to be able to look after our clients so we stayed there, but then the Royal Commission changed things. So to answer your question, there, we got there in about, was it 13 years, say, five years ago? About eight years. Okay. And then after that it’s a big slog. So now our challenge is how do we grow that from that figure now and everybody has that same challenge out there. How do you grow I was talking to someone today who used to look after Rams and he grew up from 14 million to 32 million. But then to do that, it’s just a phenomenal effort because the runoff on 14 million is enormous. And that’s our challenge as a company. Now we’ve got 3 billion, or 3.3.4. If you’ve got 20% run off, you’re losing 660,000,000 a year. If you’re only putting on 800 million to a billion, you’re only putting on 170 to 370,000,000. So the other challenges but we think we’re up for it and there’s a lot of changes going on over the next two to three years to be able to do that.


[00:08:03.370] – Annie

Yes, and that’s a really good point, I think, actually talking about the runoff, because it’s not something that we really talk about too much, because I guess when you’re building your book, it’s not something that is going to hit your back bucket in the same way as when you’ve got billions of dollars on your books. When you talk about, obviously the volume here, we’re talking about dollar value and I should mention your base in Victoria, which some of the Tassie brokers will probably be like. That explains it all. But what kind of number of loans do you write a year on average, do you reckon?


[00:08:28.750] – Mark Davis

I’m actually based in Brisbane now. I moved there about seven months ago.


[00:08:31.510] – Annie

Oh, wow. You’re one of the many people that blocked up to Queensland and one of.


[00:08:36.160] – Mark Davis

The 46,000 got out of Melbourne for various reasons that I won’t mention. But I think the lockdowns on the curfews and quite a few other things, people left so when chasing the sun and then we got caught up in the floods up there quite a bit. So not sure whether it was better at one stage, but at the moment I think it’s 24, 25 degrees sunny and they went up there at the moment. But I’m in Melbourne this week, so I come to Melbourne one week every four just to help the business and help oversee things. Number of loans? Sorry, six to 700. And we’ve got up to about 850 to nine a year. So if you’re doing 700, 700 a year, it’s about 60 a month on average. So when you’re talking about loans there, that might be 40 customers, where there are two loans per customer. Okay. But it equates to about, on average, about 700 to 800 per year that I’ll run through my set myself.


[00:09:23.940] – Annie

Well, I mean, that obviously means you have to have a good process and structure behind you in order to write that massive amount. I mean, if you sort of think on average of, what, two loans a day, pretty much, but escalating and ramping up as well, trying to get all that done must be really difficult. So can you walk me through your actual process from start to finish of what that would look like?


[00:09:44.760] – Mark Davis

Yeah. So to do that, I’m pretty rigid in what I do each and every day. So I’ll run 35 to 37 appointments every week, and I have done for ten years. We’ve got it up to about 48, 49, and that would go as low as 32, 33. Call it 37 appointments. Okay. And to do 37 appointments each week, you’re averaging about, what’s, at seven and a half a day, which is enormous. Each customer, we average about 2.2 interviews per customer to hit the balance sheet. What I mean by that is that we’re actually doing the first meeting is a lot about staff, strategy and structure. It’s not about writing the deal, it’s really getting the customer, doing your fact find, really understanding everything about the clients and then getting their commitment, and then running a second meeting once they commit. And then obviously, when they purchase, you’ve got another meeting, it comes out to about 2.2 meetings. How you do it? You have to have a lot of support staff. So I have an EA who is based here in Melbourne. But I’m in Brisbane. I’ve got two Manila EA’s overseas who are helping my current EA. And that’s just to kind of control my four and a half thousand clients and tasks and regular contacts with all those people. We also have client service managers. I have five client service managers who run my father settlement, and then I’ll have three analysts, of which I normally have two or maybe three of those, all three of those offshore, depending where we’re at with training. And they’ll do a lot of scenarios, a lot of the work that I’ll get from my initial meetings. So there’s quite a team behind it to be able to do that. But I need that many people to actually manage that book size and those number of appointments and those number of clients.


[00:11:19.000] – Annie

Yeah, a lot of admin in there. We’re going to take a quick break here, Mark. When we come back, I’d love to talk to you about how you decided who you needed on the team when you brought on staff members, and maybe what things people should be looking out for if they’re thinking that they might need to bring in some help too. We’ll get into that in just a moment.


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[00:12:04.770] – Annie

So, Mark, if you think about your actual team structure now, I mean, you mentioned there about having all of these people help you with the back end and manage your diary and manage what you’re doing each day. But what was your first person that you brought on? Or did you decide to just bring in a whole team to begin with?


[00:12:20.250] – Mark Davis

Yes, so the first person I bought on, I basically came out from the bank system, and I could write two to 50 million a year. And back there, about 14 years ago, that was probably one of the biggest riders, if not the biggest rider in the country, at a NZ for quite a few years. So we came out, we knew we could do it, so we came out and we looked at the process, and the system was quite interesting. We looked at the online, and my first look at that was, I’ll never, ever touch that system in my life, okay? I looked at and gone, oh, I better do anything. This is ridiculous. So we put on two staff immediately, and to be honest with you, I still haven’t looked at the pie online, and I refused to look at it. Okay? It’s a very, from what I hear, a very clunky system of getting information into the banks. Okay? So we looked at it and gone, the only way we can actually ride volume. And we came out in the first year, we did 160,000,000 straight off the rank and then 220 on year two. And that’s because we had a few customers that obviously knew that we left and came over. But we’re very, very strong on the strategy and what we’re trying to do and where we’re going. So to answer your question there, we started off with two staff immediately, and we’re a really, really big believer of having a lot of support staff and doing whatever you can to get you in front of clients as much as you can.


[00:13:30.900] – Annie

So, I mean, for a lot of people, maybe one man bands who are thinking about bringing on their first loan, offering support, they might be a little bit nervous about bringing on someone who’s salaried and trying to carry someone’s salary for the first time. You got to commit to that. Is that something that you kind of think, well, I need to write this many loans to make sure that we’re paying all of our staff, or do they have a commission structure? How does the actual sort of, I guess, HR, I guess, looked like at the team?


[00:13:53.170] – Mark Davis

You got to back yourself? I suppose I had the concepts and the whole background there that I thought I could back myself, but even if you’re writing 200 and 250 days, you could write 100 and 5160 as a broker straight away. So we knew we had the revenue there to do it. And also, I just knew at that stage how it was at 37 years of age that I wasn’t going to be doing the things that I hadn’t done for years and years. So I definitely wasn’t going to be coming out and opening up accounts and doing Internet banking and doing the loan sign up for those types of things. I still haven’t done those, and I don’t want to do them. So one thing is, be really clear about what your strengths are and what your model is and what your target market is. And then if you can back yourself, go and hire immediately. I tell a lot of brokers, just go out there and get staff immediately and do the things that you’re great at and do the things that you’re passionate about. Don’t do the things that I’m not passionate about paperwork, I can tell you, but I’m passionate about sitting in front of clients and changing their lives. So I’d be going out there. You’ve got offshore opportunities at the moment. We’ve been dealing with offshore for nearly six years, and that’s been amazing for us with some of our best staff are offshore. So I would recommend it’s not an expensive thing to do. Go offshore, get the offshore staff, put them on, and find a way of doing getting workload off you of all the work that you aren’t passionate about and don’t want to do.


[00:15:07.290] – Annie

Yeah. And when you talk about offshoring that, do they have any engagement with your clients?


[00:15:11.260] – Mark Davis

Yeah, they do. It’s interesting. We went over there, I was over there, well, five years ago we set up, and then five and a half years ago, nearly six years ago. And then we went over there about three and a half years ago. And I would never have thought that would be where we are now. They are our experts over there now. So I’ll go to them on scenarios about things that I have no clue about. Okay? So I’ll just sit in the meeting, understand it all, put it together, do the Darren I, and it will go to them for them to do all the work for me. So I actually rely on them to be our experts for all different banks and products out there. So most emails that go out from me are basically written by me. They’re actually written by my staff in vanilla who are finding out the various ways to get around certain policy issues or problems that might come up that we need answers on to mitigate on.


[00:15:57.550] – Annie

Yeah. And I think that’s really key, isn’t it? It’s like having a specialist. It’s really interesting to hear you say actually, you’re still learning, actually, in a way. Like, you’re constantly developing, constantly learning, constantly finding new things, which is amazing for someone who’s got so much experience behind you that you’re still actually having a guest passion and education and wanting to find out new things and learning along the way. But customer service and experience is so key here, so especially when you’re writing a huge amount of volume, I think having that touch point with your clients and making sure they’re happy is so key. How do you actually ensure a good customer experience while writing life volumes?


[00:16:33.790] – Mark Davis

Yeah, I’ve educated a lot of my customers. That one. I don’t answer my phone. I’m quite different like that, too. I don’t do appointments outside of my office. I don’t go to people’s houses three. Most of our clients have to wait two or three days or four days to get into the diary. So it’s quite a different model. And we have an advertisement market. So the way we service, a lot of our customers expect to wait to come and see us, which is I know that sounds a little left of field, but actually we’ve created an investment type niche that clients will wait for us. They’ll basically find out from their friends who’s looking after them, and they’ll say, I need to go and see him, or see them, or see that lender at ALIC. So we’ve done it in that way. But also we’re in total contact with clients every four months through email. There’s Texas going out. I’ll catch up with basically every client once or twice a year to talk strategically about where they’re at, other service, things that we do for our customers when we think through that, they’ve got access to a team in my team, not just myself, so they can’t get access to me. We have traditional brokers who actually taken through the business owners, so they got access to those people that can’t get hold of me. So basically there’s an overlap of management that sit in these meetings and learn and then roll out. And the customers do have the right to actually speak to them as well. So they’re probably the major customer service things we do. I looked at the last number going through tasks last night. I have 1300 active tasks for my customers that are ready to go. So it’s very process oriented, it’s very busy. I left work last time at 130 in the morning. So nuts. And doing that at 52 years of age, I surprised myself I can still do it, but I’ve got the energy and passion to do it. And if I’ve got that and why, you’ve got to take advantage of it.


[00:18:19.740] – Annie

Okay, so it sounds like, I mean, you said 130 finished time. That’s not even last night, that’s this morning.


[00:18:25.210] – Mark Davis



[00:18:25.780] – Annie

How do you sort of, I guess, mitigate that? Because you mentioned that obviously it’s long slog, it’s a hard work, it’s a lot of time and effort put in. But what do you do to it? I suppose help de-stress. Do you ever de-stress? Yeah.


[00:18:39.130] – Mark Davis

So just on that, it is a slot, and I’ll just cover up your first point there to get to a billion dollar book, and there’s writing a billion dollars, and there’s getting to a billion dollar book. So if you’ve got run off the whole time, you have to write. To give an example, I’ve written two 8 billion since being a broker. Two point, I’ve got the numbers here, 2.85. And that’s to hold a book of, say, one 3135 type thing. Yeah. So you’re losing half. Okay, that’s one thing. To do that, it’s taken 75 to 85 hours, weeks for 13 years, 37 appointments every week. I left 130 last night, the night before we left nine. So there’s huge hours. But to actually counter that, to stay alive per se and to continue, it golf. You do date night, you don’t touch your computer on Saturday at all. Sunday 04:00, you’re back on for four or 5 hours just to get away from Monday artists and to get started. And then you pick your two or three days that you really crank out like a 15 to 17 hours. Yes, that was 19, which is ridiculous. I’m struggling a bit today, but we just got so much on them, so we’ve got stuff away, so we just got to fill the gaps. But that’s how I do it and I will see how long I go for. But you got to be careful because you got to look after your health as well. So do a lot of training, go to the gym a lot and go four times a week and that’s probably the main ways I do manage it.


[00:20:06.370] – Annie

Wow, okay. I mean, it sounds like maybe you need to expand the team a little bit more as well, bringing yet more staff to help, maybe ease a burden a little bit.


[00:20:14.520] – Mark Davis

Oh, no, I got 13 people, so how many more do you need? Somehow I don’t even know how we do it. And we just find we can put another three in there and we’ll find ways to make them busy. So I’m not sure how we do that, but everyone just seems to be flat out all the time and people know when they come into my team, they’ll learn a lot. And if they haven’t got the passion and desire to work at a pace, they probably struggle in my team because there’s four and a half thousand customers. You’re going at a workload. We just sent out a management meeting just before here for an hour and a half. We had five people in the room and we were clearing my email for three days and there were five people at one email hitting hundreds of emails. So with staff away, it’s got to be out of control, where to get it back in control. So it’s just a boost. But anyone out there that has a billion dollars set, not a billion dollar writing, but a billion dollar set, it’s enormous and it’s a huge credit. Anywhere out there is build it, because I know how much hard work it takes to actually do that.


[00:21:08.130] – Annie

Yeah, of course. So far we’ve really been talking about brokers who have settled a billion, not necessarily have a billion dollar book still active. So, yeah, it’s a massive achievement. You talked about seeing appliance and doing it face to face. Do you ever do anything by video? Do you ever do any of that? Ever use any tech to help you with your customer engagement?


[00:21:25.810] – Mark Davis

Yeah, so when I say that with zoom, a lot of it zoom, obviously through COVID. Yeah. So not much face to face since March 2020 when COVID started. But everything is Zoom or all phone. So my background is lending. So we’re only talking about it today with one of the exhibits of ANZ in a meeting before. My skill set was talking to people on the phone and I helped set up ANZ direct out of town and Country Bank in Perth to set up in Melbourne. And I was one of the first people that I employed to actually roll that out. And you get a lot of skills through that. So probably half of my meetings are done on phone and the other half is through zoom. That’s basically what my structure is. But we’ll go back to face to face as soon as we can and we want to do as many face to face as we can, but it’s given us the opportunity to actually really broaden our client base. And for everybody out there, zoom is an amazing way to spread your wings a little bit.


[00:22:16.300] – Annie

Yes. And save on the driving time as well. It sounds like you don’t have much time fast, so good to be able to back people up straight, one to another.


[00:22:24.220] – Mark Davis

Spot on, but when you’re doing that many hours, all you do is work little bit longer, so you get out of bed at the same time and work a bit longer. So I’m not sure that’s that healthy to keep increasing those hours.


[00:22:34.000] – Annie

That’s true. You mentioned as well about having 300 notifications or things to do. Do you use your own processing system? Is that from your own team? What sort of system or software are you using?


[00:22:45.730] – Mark Davis

Yes, everything is through. We go through connections to connected to our aggregator who’s done a great job for us over the years. And we’ve obviously got their Mercury system, so we use that to control that. Everything is documented. There’s lines of defences everywhere, so everyone’s really surprised when they come into our business, how many process we have and how documented it is. And basically it’s built that way so nothing gets through the gap. So that’s all mercury. I’m not that tech oriented. Okay. I have trouble turning my computer on sometimes, so I’ll leave that for Damian Brandon to sort out for us. But yeah, it’s all done on Mercury and everything is documented. Every meeting is documented. I use a thing called Evernote where I document every meeting, so I won’t type anything. I talk to my phone, I have typed up and it’s all documented. It goes out to all my staff. That’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for distributing work flow. And then from that there might be five or six tasks per. Donut they go out to certain people? The worker back in email hits my inbox and I got to cheque the email, cheque the validity of the actual information they provided and then get that out and then book in the next meeting. So it’s very process oriented and it has been for 13 years and I haven’t deviated a lot. And it’s all about the brokers out there are trying to write big numbers. It’s about knowing what your recipe is to write big numbers. Okay, so my recipe is 37 appointments, 35 to 37 every week, it’s seven every day. It’s having those break times on date night and golf and those things to actually refresh has three holidays a year to refresh it’s to lodge, do 700 800 loans a year to have certain buyers advocates buying certain properties, certain number of purchases, a certain number of refinance, certain number of approval and principles in the system. So everything’s very documented to keep it at a certain level. And if you do that each time, you should be able to roll off 300 million drawdowns each year if you stick to it.


[00:24:35.860] – Annie

Wow. Yeah. Well. We’re going to take a quick break here. Mark. When we come back. I’d love to just talk about some more advice you might have for new brokers aiming to get their book built. Whether or not they’re looking at a billion dollar milestone or not. Just looking at building their book. And also anything that you wish you had done differently along your journey now that you’ve got this experience under your belt. So we’ll get into that in just a moment.


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[00:25:43.460] – Annie

So, Mark, before I let you go, thank you very much for letting me feel so much for your time, which sounds like a precious resource, so I feel very self conscious about it, but I will try and just eat some more quality advice, puzzles and wisdom from you before I let you go. And what I’d love to always ask our brokers that, come on, the show is obviously you’ve gone through years of running your own business, you’ve tried an error, you’ve gone through different challenges, different cycles. What, if anything, would you have done differently if you could do it all again?


[00:26:12.940] – Mark Davis

We started marketing advertising with a marketing coming over about three or four months ago. So, like I said before, we’re going to be doing a lot more of that moving forward. Sometimes you look back and go, maybe we should have done that a lot earlier, but then we wouldn’t have had the foundation and basically got of 14 and a half thousand investor type clients. Okay? So that’s our strength. But maybe it was our weakness because we haven’t grown quicker than what we thought we could. We set out there to write a billion dollars a year in loans for our business and it took us 13 years to do it. We thought we’re going to do it in year five or six. And there were lots of different issues that come up with to bid, with real commissions, with losing good stuff that you’ve trained for two, three, four years, those types of things. That’s one thing we probably would start marketing earlier, and probably the other one is we’ve gone out, we set out to actually train and educate some of the best brokers in the country or turn them into the best brokers in the country that was training for two and a half to four years. Okay? And that can be an issue because sometimes you can actually create someone that wants to go out and set up their own business and that’s not going to help our business do that. So looking back, we’d probably go back and actually only pretty much target the $150 or potential riders out there. We would actually go and train and educate people and get them to the market, keep the balance sheet earlier rather than put so much effort and work into it. So my golden fan, or our golden fan originally was to have like 20 from ALIC in the top 100 in the country at the moment. We probably got who’s either worked here and left or are still with us. We probably got seven or eight in the top 100. So the plan is there. The foundation was good. It’s just we probably would have approached it differently and not put four years worth of work into people that may not stay within your business.


[00:27:54.510] – Annie

Of course, that’s something that you’re never going to be able to know. Are you like, we’re going to leave or not? So hindsight a wonderful thing, but interesting to know.


[00:28:01.750] – Mark Davis

It’s a tough one, isn’t it? It’s a tough one. Like you want to train them to be amazed, you want them to earn great money and they can earn enormous money, enormous money, because we pay them under a commission basis. But it’s one of those things. I did the same with ANZ I went ANZ, taught me everything and then I left ANZ. So you can’t be grudged, but at the same time it’s reality and you just got to do what you can to employ the right people who are going to stay and be loyal and probably not necessarily go after the more entrepreneurial person who basically wants to go out and replicate what you do.


[00:28:34.010] – Annie

So we talked about things that you kind of wish you done differently or maybe things that you had done earlier. But is there anything that you, when you think about your career leading Alec and just generally being a broker. Is there anything that you are super proud of? The highlights, what are the key moments that you mark as your own milestone?


[00:28:52.240] – Mark Davis

There’s a couple of things, pretty one of the major things, a lot of the awards we’ve won the Australian top broker in quite a few different industries. We’re pretty proud of that because that’s so hard to win. We’re out there trying to win we’re up there on Friday again trying to win your award again. That’s just so difficult and we probably took it for granted that we could win it quite a few times so we’re very proud of that because it is so difficult. The other thing we’re really proud of is we stayed so true to who we are. We’re not a homeowner, we’re not a product provider, we don’t create wealth for people, we set up loan structures for investors who enable wealth. We enable wealth so we’re very true to who we are and what we want to be and it’s not about going and writing loans and taking advantage of the low hanging fruit, it’s about doing the long yards, getting around all the right people and writing loans for the right reasons and doing it ethically. We’re very, very strong on the Ethic side. So much so that our company is actually called Ethical Lending Concepts Proprietary Limit Trading is the Australian Lending Investment Centre because when we set up the company, Kevin Aid and I, my business partner sat down, we said want to bring the ethics back into the banking world. Like in the put your time you went into the bank. You looked the guy in the eyes and you got your loan and ill spoke honestly and it was just a really good experience and then you go to the used car salesman was a broker and a bank manager and they weren’t as respected so we wanted to bring that back on a lending perspective so the thing we’re most proud of is that we stayed so true to that around ethics. A lot of people think because of the numbers that we write that we churn and that we possibly write loans for writing loan sake. It’s never been that case always about wealth creation, changing people’s lives and actually doing it because it makes sense and it’s ethical. That would be the biggest thing we’re proud of.


[00:30:39.280] – Annie

I love that and I think that is I never knew that about the company name as well so I think that is such a key thing as well. It is such a rewarding career. I think so many people we speak to in the break industry, we’re so proud of what they do and wanting to help out and lend ethically or even in this case write loans ethically rather than lending, but really having that helping people along the way in their most important financial decisions of their lives.


[00:31:04.620] – Mark Davis

Yeah, we’re one of the greatest jobs in the world. I think I’ve fallen on my feet coming into this industry or coming to lending within the bank system to go into it originally when I was seven years of age in Tati and Hobart. And we’re very blessed. We’re very blessed that we can actually do what we do. And I think the opportunities for us all in this industry are amazing and enormous and we’re very lucky.


[00:31:27.960] – Annie

And one final question for you, Mark. If you could change anything in the broker world that would make your life easier, make the industry better, what would it be?


[00:31:37.000] – Mark Davis

Change anything. Reduce red tape. Okay. Get all the banks to operate in a reasonable manner and not be so I’ll say volatile because it is volatile. Okay. Because you’ll go through a period where you’re lodging lines, you’re getting 18 exceptions. You go through a period two years later and you’re getting two exceptions on exactly the same application and you submit it exactly the same way. So the volatility and what you’re getting, the consistency is not there. Okay? And that makes it really tough. And that’s why a lot of people left this industry because you’ve got to be tough and strong and resilient. And a lot of staff know me for my I won’t say ruthlessness, but my toughness in regard to being able to cut through some of this, to be able to work through a royal commission, to work through the COVID to work through some of the battles I have with angel when I was leading a hundred years ago, you have to be quite strong. And what I will say is that a lot of people out there should just persist and find ways to cut through and get through. But if we could change one thing, if the banks didn’t put us through such a process and artist process each time at different times when they are open or not open for business, that’s something that I’d be looking at doing if I was working within the bank system. It should be about them making it easy for us to get a deal to them. We’re dealing with certain banks which I won’t name right now. It’s probably about ten people look at the deal. It goes to six weeks before I can get a yes. Okay. Where are the days going when you can sit there and have a chat to the right person, get all the right information? If you haven’t got it on day one, get it to them on day three. Day four, be honest and upfront and actually get a response that you can actually relay to a client and the client know that you’ve got their back. Okay? So those days have got to come back and that’s something that I would definitely change and want changed moving forward.


[00:33:23.910] – Annie

Great. I love that. Yeah. Consistency is key and working hand in hand with brokers while I’m seeing them potentially as a conflicting channel, mark. Davis billion Dollar Broker multibillion Dollar Broker really, thank you so much for your time today and for sharing all your insights of how you run the Australian Lending Investment Centre and your team. We really appreciate it and some really wonderful words of wisdom there. I think there’s so many people who will be hopefully being inspired to think about their process and what they’re doing in their businesses. So thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.


[00:33:53.830] – Mark Davis

Thank you. I really appreciate your time.


[00:33:55.720] – Annie

Thanks. If you’ve got any questions for me or for Markle and do, feel free to email them in. You can reach au and obviously take a look back to previous episodes of the Billion Dollar Broker series, the Elite Broker series and our brand new Broker series as well, all on the Advisor podcast network. We’ll catch you next week for another episode. Take care and stay safe.


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