Nest Home Loans Shifts to Franchise Model

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Mortgage brokerage firm Nest Home Loans aims to go national with a series of franchise operations in 40 regions.

Monday, October 18, 2021, 6:00 a.m.

by Eric Frykberg

Nest Home Loans is a 20-person brokerage firm based in Hamilton.

His scheme has the potential to provide new competition in an area so far dominated by Mike Pero.

He launches his franchise sales offering on the need for mortgage advisors to achieve a work-life balance, which is difficult now, with 60-70 hour workweeks common in the industry.

Nest Home Loans chief Jeff Kerwin not only adds his business, the entire industry needs to move forward and capture more business, and he believes it will.

“In New Zealand, around 35% of mortgages come from mortgage brokers. In UK and US it’s around 80%, so we’re less than half of international levels.

“But I think over time more and more consumers will turn to mortgage advisors instead of going straight to the bank.”

Kerwin believes this trend will be reinforced by the fact that prospective homeowners who come to a bank to apply for a loan can sometimes feel helpless compared to the bank manager sitting across the desk.

Additionally, many banks are closing branches anyway, leaving customers with nowhere to go for help, so turning to a broker can be helpful.

Right now, most mortgage brokers are grouped into groups, so banks can deal with streamlined organizations rather than having too many individual brokers that could clutter their operating systems.

Kerwin says its franchising operation will go beyond what aggregate groups can offer.

“The aggregators in New Zealand mostly only deal with commissions and provide a steering system, that’s pretty much what they do.

“With us, there is lead generation, which is taken care of. The next thing is the centralized administration office…. a lot of business owners don’t like (the burden of) administration, so we’re removing that.

“We have a national marketing team, so there is a national branding and we also support business owners on how to do local marketing. “

But Kerwin points out that the main benefit of franchising will be to help the work-life balance of people in the industry.

“When I was a broker, I worked 60 to 70 hours a week. My phone rang 100 times a day, including on weekends. I couldn’t enjoy a weekend with my family because I was taking calls. I couldn’t go on vacation, and if I did, I’d be more focused on my laptop taking care of emails than on vacation.

“I have always dreamed of creating a company with a team of advisors, in a fun, supportive and innovative environment, which would remove all the bad sides of the role.

“I have now created it and want to give it to others.”

Tags: Nest Home Loans

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