After a 15-year career building one of Australia’s largest mortgage broking firms, Choice Aggregation Services founder Ross Begley is preparing to meet a niche in the market with his new online venture, Money Quest.The Osborne Park-based mortgage broker is being modelled on its joint venture partner, Glasgow-based Money Quest UK, which is the fourth largest firm in the UK market.Mr Begley said he established the business last year after researching the UK mortgage aggregation industry.“I liked Money Quest because I thought it was a good model and it wasn’t being done here in Australia,” he said. “They wanted someone with knowledge of the Australian market.”Money Quest provides a telephone-based mortgage broking service to customers, who have access to 35 lenders. Due to reduced overheads, the business can transfer savings of about 0.5 per cent on to customers for some products. “We can deliver some products cheaper because it’s a more streamlined approach to service,” Mr Begley said.“Being telephone based, you can also control training and monitor staff performance more closely than if you’re conducting meetings around the country, face to face.”Money Quest is in the process of building its team, having recently recruited former Choice state manager Jill McLean as general manager and director. Ms McLean will begin with the company next month, joining the existing seven Perth employees and a UK-based director. Mr Begley said it signified a new phase of growth for the business.“Over the last 12 months, we’ve really been studying the marketplace to make sure we have the processes in place, and getting the right offering,” he said. “We plan to have a book of $1 billion under management by next year. At Choice, it was $20 billion, but it’s a different model and we don’t need to make those margins.” Money Quest also aims to diversify into mortgage protection and home and contents insurance, with plans in this area likely to get under way next month. To date, the company has marketed itself primarily online, through real estate websites and search engine Google.“The reason we’re marketing online is that it caters to our target market, which is comfortable doing business over the phone, although we plan to advertise to a broader market as well,” Mr Begley said. He said that, while Money Quest customers were only required to make initial inquiries over the internet, mortgage broking was ultimately expected to move purely online.
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