Michelle Bridges on why her broker was a ‘godsend’


- Wednesday, 18 January 20174 comments

The founder of one of Australia’s leading health and fitness brands, Michelle Bridges, has highlighted the value of using a broker, after revealing that her first broker was “like a godsend”.

Speaking to The Adviser ahead of her talk at the Better Business Summit, starting next month, Ms Bridges said that she first understood the value of brokers after using one 11 years ago, when she purchased her first house, near Sydney.

Ms Bridges said: “I knew a lot about business and so on, but I didn't really know a lot about loans and mortgages and what were the best rates and how to navigate my way through. I was completely lost.

“I had no clue where to get started, as I had never bought a house.”
According to the fitness guru, salvation came in the form of a friend’s relative, who was a mortgage broker.
“[Our broker] was a cousin of a really, really good friend of ours and we had met him at a barbecue. When it was time to get down and get to the nitty gritty of it, we contacted him.
“We went into his office and sat down and went through all the different machinations that it required to get a loan and structure to buy a house… He assisted us and showed us about offset accounts and just how to structure it and put it together.
“I honestly couldn't have done it without him. He was just like a godsend. He helped us to get our first house.”
According to Ms Bridges, the key to success for any business person is about understanding what the client wants and delivering it for them.
She said: “You need to understand what it is that the client wants, even when, sometimes, they don't know what they want… Neither of you - whether it's the client or you the trainer, the person that’s applying for a service or a mortgage broker - can get from A to B if you don't know what they [the clients] want B to look like.
“You've got to have a bit of a road map. You need to understand the map, the lay of the land, what it is that the client is looking for, and if they don't know what it is they're looking for, you've really got to tap into your skillset to be able to distil that information and figure it out with them along the way…
“Sometimes, it's a lot of hand holding, sometimes it's a lot of anxiety, and sometimes, it's a lot of tears to get them through. I guess when I've been in that situation, I really have to stand on solid ground that I know what it is that I'm doing, I've got myself well and truly clued up in my skillset and that I believe I can be this person's rock and get them through.”
Ms Bridges says that, like many mortgage brokers, one of her key motivators is the reward of a happy client.
“The greatest achievement of my professional life has, without a doubt, been the amount of people that I've helped change in many ways, shapes, and forms. It might be that they've got better health or they can now run a five-kilometre charity event, or they can feel good about the fact that they can fit back into a dress that they haven't worn for the last twenty years…
“They feel confident about themselves and that they've got their confidence back to the point where they're now making other changes in their lives… and they're starting to believe in themselves again.
“That has definitely been my most rewarding moment, particularly when I meet these people in person. That's the coolest thing ever. I love it. I can't get enough of it.
“I imagine it’s the same for a mortgage broker; just being able to sit back and go: ‘Wow. I helped do that. I'm proud of that.’”