Location: Rose Bay, NSW, and Ringwood, Vic

1st Street Home Loans leads the way with five of the best. The brokerage’s director and founder, Jeremy Fisher, tells us how his operation has thrived under an independent structure

What’s the secret to building a successful brokerage?

Brokers and support staff are key to a brokerage’s success. It is therefore essential that brokers and staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. 1st Street has a strong reputation for providing excellent service to clients all the time. This has resulted in a high percentage of repeat business as well as referrals.

What are the benefits to being an independent broker?

We can respond quickly and adapt to changes in the market because we are an independent brokerage. Independent brokerages usually have less rigid guidelines, so brokers can take the initiative to create a more tailored client experience that suits both the broker’s and the client’s personality. Independent brokerages are often structured in a flat hierarchy, which allows for easy and fast communication among all business areas.

How do you think independent brokerages can continue to thrive in today’s market?

Independent brokerages have the potential to appeal to many clients by leveraging the benefits of being independent such as adaptability, personalization of services, and flexibility. Being independent enables brokers to give a truly independent recommendation to clients across the whole range of products so clients have faith that the brokerage is working in the client’s best interests.

What advice would your broker clients who want to start an independent brokerage offer?

Although it is rewarding and challenging to set up an independent brokerage, brokers need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a franchise model versus an independent one. An independent brokerage has high overheads, such as compliance and marketing. It takes time and dedication to build an independent brokerage.

Do you have other business ventures than mortgages? What are your thoughts on how to incorporate this in your business?

1st Street offers financial planning as an additional service. Clients are informed about the benefits of adequate insurance coverage during the approval process, and again at settlement. We have a financial adviser who is specialized in super funds and self-managed super funds to better serve our clients.

Information about your company
Year Established 2001
Founders Jeremy Fisher
Head Office 527 Old South Head Rd Rose Bay NSW 2029
Winner of the Best Residential Broker Award, Better Business Awards NSW 2014.
Winner of the Best Marketing and Better Business Awards NSW 2014
Finalist for Best Customer Service Satisfaction, Better Business Awards NSW (2014)
Finalist Best Social & Community Service, Better Business Awards NSW 2014
Finalist, Best Newcomer, Better Business Awards NSW 2014.
Finalist, Best Independent Office, Better Business Awards NSW 2014.
Elite Business Writer, Adviser 2013, 2012 and 2011, 2010,
Top 100 Brokers MPA 2013, 2012 and 2011, 2008
AMA 2013 Winner, Best Customer Service in an Individual Office
Finalist, Best Community Engagement AMA 2013     
Independent AMA 2013 finalist broker of year     
Finalist broker- productivity AMA 2013     
Finalist broker of the year <5 staff independent AMA 2013     
Independent AMA 2013: Finalist Quality Young Gun of the Year     
Finalist Brightest & Best
Top 25 Brokerage: The Adviser 2013, 2012
Independent Top 10 Brokerage, MPA 2012
Finalist Financial Broker of the Year, ABA 2012.
Winner Finance Broker, ABA 2011     
Elite Business Writer, Mortgage Business 2009
Contact Information
Website http://www.1ststreet.com.au/
Email to Company jfisher@1ststreet.com.au
Community / Charity Involvement
1)“Rhino is on the Move”February 2014 (The exhibition forms part of a larger initiative by Taronga Zoo & The Wild Rhino Art Project 
(To stop rhino poaching and killing every 11 hours.
2) Rose Bay Public SchoolsTo help with the purchase of interactive whiteboards and computers, as well as digital cameras, iPads, and digital cameras. This boosted the school’s initiative to increase the use of technology to enhance learning. 3) As a major partner of Cooley’s Auctions, we were involved in their golf day which raised $170,000, also for Youth Off the Streets.      
4) We have donated to Sydney Children’s Hospital to improve facilities and we support a Women’s Fertility Clinic to financially assist mums-to-be.      
Also, 1st Street is supported Collaroy Plateau Primary SchoolProvides funding for sporting and educational equipment.      
The major sponsor of the event is 6) 1st Street Bondi United Football TeamSubsidizing membership costs and helping to improve facilities for youth football players.      
7) Our sponsorshipCoogee and White City Tennis ClubsIt has allowed children to learn how to play tennis with the help of skilled coaches.      
8) Rose Bay Street FairWe sponsor and actively participate in local community events.  The money goes towards advertising the event to potential vendors and the general public. It also covers event set-up costs. Over $20,000 was also raised for the Breast Cancer Association, supported by 1st Street’s contribution, for a charity night with the funds going towards venue hire and event-promotion.      
9) We held a ‘Healthy Eating June’ in which staff followed an eating plan and this was also made available to clients, and was very well received. Staff could be fined for violating the plan, and all funds raised were donated to Youth Off the Streets.     
10) Fun Runs for Neuroblastoma Awareness and Fun Day 2014 1st Street is sponsoring the fun run/day for Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCI Australia) and Cancer Council NSW. This event is designed to raise funds for Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer that can save lives and improve survival rates.     

For more information, please visit MPA Top Independent Brokerages feature on PDF, please click on the link.