Businesses of Banyule’ presents Aussie Home Loans, Greensborough
One of the advantages of being a franchisee, according to Lachie Pitman, the Franchise Principal of Aussie Home Loans in Greensborough, is that you can leverage the power of a trusted brand. You can also take advantage of good governance, great staff training, and weekly updates on property prices and trends.
“These are some of the add-ons you don’t get with a small business and the franchise fee is a small trade-off for all the advantages you receive in return, particularly if you have limited business experience,” Lachie says.
Lachie certainly doesn’t have limited business experience and, at 67, he has community spirit, passion and business acumen by the bucket load. At the age of 16, he started work with the National Bank in the Wimmera town of Nhill. After 23 years with the bank, he decided to try something different: building and renovating houses with three mates. Unfortunately their venture coincided with increasing interest rates and declining house prices, and they could not sustain the venture.
However, it was this experience (equally valuable as those in the good times) that gave Lachie insight into how he could help others to think before acting, not to rush and to save money. In terms of running a small business, Lachie also believes that while you start optimistically, you should also have worked out an exit strategy if worse comes to worst.
Lachie spent 10 years at Barclays Bank (St George) until he was retrenched at 50. In 2000, his mate and former cricketer Ian Healy suggested he start a Wizard Home Loan franchise, which he did, driven by his desire to be customer-centric and help people save money.
After 10 years, Aussie Home Loans took over Wizard and to this day he and Kathy Kerr, who started with him at Wizard, still work together. It’s a strong family business, with Kathy’s son Callum joining as a mortgage broker. In 2013, Callum was recognised as one of the 2013 Young Guns (Top 12 Brokers under 35 in Australia), with the Greensborough franchise one of only a few stores accredited to write commercial loans.
While Lachie believes bank experience is central to their success, he also believes their attitude to customer service plays a big part. They have even visited a customer at 3am to suit their needs! He is also happy to share his franchisee experiences with others exploring this business option.
Something else Lachie holds dear is giving back to the community, a character trait developed growing up in a country town. Over the last 14 years, he has organised and participated in community programs and charities such as the Variety Club Bash, Peter Mac, and The Ride to Conquer Cancer. “It is charities like these that bring the spirit of our communities together and stronger – doing something to help people less fortunate than yourself.”
For more information visit the website at Aussie.com.au/greensborough or contact the office on 9435 4355