Karen Hall started her own Queensland-based business Action Finance in January 2018 after working as a PAYG broker for over 12 years.
“Our children had finished school and felt it was time to chase the dream of creating a new business from scratch.”
“Initially I was working solo from our home office, meeting customers at their home or at a café then progressed to opening an office. The business took off once I could afford a PA and we haven’t looked back.”
A journey motivated by helping others
Karen’s decision to move into the world of mortgage broking was not necessarily an entirely conscious one:
“I fell into the role by accident. I started in administration for a brand-new brokerage in Emerald and it just progressed from there. I do think that starting in admin was a fantastic foundation to becoming a good broker.”
“I learnt the nuts and bolts from the very start. Mortgage broking was still a very new industry back then and I spent many hours faxing hand-written applications to the banks! Helping people to achieve the dream of home ownership switched me on from the very start so it was inevitable that I would move into broking.”
Hard work pays off
2021 was a prolific year for Karen and Action Finance, not least because she acquired a valuable new staff member:
“My husband entered the business in 2021. That was my mission from the start. Yay!”
Action Finance settled a whopping 257 loans in 2021, which Karen explains was “not for the faint hearted and lots and lots of hard work.”
Improving and innovating
At the heart of Action Finance’s continued success has been Karen’s savvy decision making, with business innovations and business improvements that have kept things evolving. Karen details these for us below:
- “Signing up and using BrokerEngine which has enabled better document collection and communication with clients. This has been a game changer
- Working with Jason Back from Broker Essentials – Business coach to streamline our processes and help us to ‘tame the beast’
- Moving from being mobile into an office which is much more time efficient
- Employing staff to free up my time to generate business
- Introducing discovery calls and document collection prior to committing to appointments. This is an excellent way to control volume and manage quality of business.”
A staggering number of awards and accolades
In addition to the Karen and Action Finance have won or been nominated for an impressive number of awards:
- Better Business Awards 2022 finalist
- Finalist in The Adviser’s Better Broker Awards 2021 for best regional broker
- Finalist in The Adviser’s Better Broker Awards 2021 for best regional office
- Finalist in The Adviser’s Better Broker Awards 2021 for best residential broker
- 2022 Quality Business Awards- Winner – Best Mortgage Broker in Mackay
- AFG’s Queensland Champion Broker 2020
- AFG’s 2021 Winner of Queensland – regional broker of the year
- AFG’s 2021 finalist for regional office
- Australian Broker Magazine – Nation’s top “fast starters” brokerage list for 2021.
Taking Action Finance into the future
In our interview, Karen detailed her intentions for her business moving forward:
“Our goal now is to achieve consistent and manageable workflow. Our pipeline is very strong, and we need to do very little advertising and lead generation.”
“Our book is now 3 years old, so reviews and retention is prioritised over seeking new business. There is a massive amount of enquiries coming through, so our focus is quality rather than quantity.”
How have you found the support you’ve received from AFG?
“AFG have been our number one cheerleader from the very beginning.”
“They are invested in our success and are continually supporting our growth by offering additional training and development opportunities.”
“I love the analytics tool and the online training is excellent. Our PM Donna is a pleasure to deal with and we always feel well supported and valued.”
Thinking of joining us?
If you’re interested in becoming a broker with AFG, then why not contact us for more information about how we can support you on your journey.