Understanding your contract

male mortgage broker reading through a contract

Planning a new career as a self-employed broker is an exciting time.

But it’s worth taking a look at your employment contract before handing in your resignation letter.

Particularly if you’re planning to live off your trail income.

It’s easy to forget the contractual obligations you may have with your existing brokerage as you plan to move on. But knowing what you’ll be walking away with, if anything, could make or break your business plans.

Advice from FiNEXT’s Principal Broker

Perth-based broker Joshua De Buelle knows first-hand how difficult it can be cutting ties with a franchise group.

“You have to be prepared to either be stuck there a long time or walk away with nothing and start again.”

The multi-award-winning Principal of WA-based brokerage FiNEXT says most people who enter the industry via one of the large franchise models have two options.

You have to be prepared to either be stuck there a long time or walk away with nothing and start again,” he says. “With large franchise groups, you usually have to leave your trail behind, no matter how long you have been there.”

Back in 2008 when he was just starting out, Mr De Buelle didn’t pay much attention to the details of his contract. If he had, he would have seen that it included a 10-year loyalty clause that stipulated he must leave his trail book behind if he left the group within 10 years.

“That was it – no ifs, buts or maybes. If I wanted to leave and be a broker somewhere else or start my own business, I’d leave my book behind and start again with nothing,” he says.

Mr De Buelle became a father about eight years into his contract. He started thinking about what he wanted – not just for himself, but for his new family.

“There was always this threat of knowing that someone else was in control of my customer book, which is effectively my income,” he says. “I approached them and asked if I could buy out my book.”


Hear more from Joshua De Buelle

If you want to read more sound advice from Joshua, including his three top tips for a smooth transition into self-employment, download our better broker’s guide to starting your own mortgage brokerage today.

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