Joti Financial – Boutique Mortgage Broker
Falling into the finance world when also finding herself landing in Scotland with her husband over 20 years ago, Kim Bradbury knew that this was the world in which she belonged. Working for a small boutique mortgage broking firm in Scotland, she worked her way up from reception to loan processing and along the way sat her exams and became a qualified mortgage broker. Moving to a different firm when the Global Financial Crisis hit she found herself in a different area of the finance industry – Financial Planning.
Fast forward to having her and her family’s feet firmly planted back on the (Australian) ground, Kim found herself back working with a team of financial professionals taking on the task of business manager for a longstanding local multi-disciplinary firm – Canny Group! It was during the Covid-19 pandemic she had the opportunity to reflect on her life and realised that though she loved her job, she missed the interactions with clients and that she was her happiest when she was working as a mortgage broker in Edinburgh. From here, she dug deep to ensure she had all the requirements and qualifications to become a mortgage broker in Australia and spent the last two years learning about the industry with a well-known brand.
To be her own boss was always the plan! Kim had the vision to be able to help make our community better in any way that she could, and with Joti Financial – she is doing more than just helping, she is breaking the norm in a way that her industry has never seen or even considered before.
In your own words… What is Joti Financial?
Joti Financial (which stands for Just One Thing Imagine) is a small mortgage broking firm located on the Bellarine Peninsula. I describe my firm as small with pride, because to me small means personal, caring and most importantly service. It’s a dream that I have been working toward my whole life and I am thrilled to have started the journey of creating a company that I can be proud of, a company that I hope can help to make our community better.
Tell us the story – your story, of how you came to be a mortgage broker and one that is breaking the norm of giving back to the community?
In some ways, I think I have been training for this my whole life. I fell into the finance world when I landed in Scotland with my husband around 20 years ago. My first full-time job was working for a small boutique mortgage broking firm. There I worked my way up from receptionist to loan processing and along the way, I sat my exams and became a qualified mortgage broker. I worked for the small boutique mortgage broking firm for six years and loved every minute of it, I knew our clients by the sound of their voices and I knew their stories!
When the GFC hit, the firm became quiet and I started to look for other opportunities and found myself in a new area of the finance industry – Financial Planning. Again, over the years I learnt about systems, compliance and advice until I was headhunted by Standard Life, one of the UK’s largest investment companies as they were creating their own Financial Planning firm that would provide services across the UK.
My role in the Proposition Delivery Team was challenging and here I got to put everything that I had learnt into practice and learnt so much more about building processes and how they fit into an advice model.
When my husband and I decided that we wanted to come back to Australia to live, so we could provide a better life for our son, I found myself working for an amazing, family-owned multidisciplinary firm in Geelong that at the time, was home to Accounting, Financial Advisory and also, Legal services – that firm is Canny Group! When Covid-19 hit, whilst working from home, I had the opportunity like many others to reflect on my life and realised that though I loved my job, I missed talking to clients and realised that I was happiest when I was working as a mortgage broker in Edinburgh. So, it was from here that I began looking at the requirements to become a mortgage broker in Australia and spent the last two years learning about the industry with a well-known brand – Aussie.
I have always had a vision of creating a company that was my own, and I saw an opportunity to create a mortgage broking firm that could do things a little differently and one of those things is being able to give $100 from every mortgage that I’m able to help my clients with, to local charities. I have found charities at present that I am working with at the moment; Right Mate, Drysdale Food Bank, Share The Dignity and Give Where You Live. From these charities, my clients get to choose where they would like to gift to go as part of their home finance, but also, the lives of countless others in the community.
Everybody has something they love, what do you love about your job?
There are so many reasons I love my job, but if I were to pick three, they would be:
- Taking care of my clients, and getting to know them and their stories. Everyone has a “why” when they come to see me and I love understanding this so I can then understand how best to help them.
- I see one of my main jobs as problem-solving. People come to me with “I would like to…” and I do my utmost to find a solution for them. A day in the life of a mortgage broker is never boring, as there is always something new you haven’t come across before and you are constantly learning.
- I get to be involved with fantastic people who are working in the community to make the lives of others better. Currently I’m working with Right mate, Drysdale Food Bank, Share The Dignity and Give Where You Live and each day I work with these individuals, I am blown away!
What was your “lightbulb moment”? The moment you realised that Joti Financial was going to be your footprint on the world?
Many years ago, I was in my car on the way home from work and I was dreaming about creating my own company and what it would look like. And I pictured a company that held this idea of being “good” at its very centre. For me, the name Joti, which stands for Just One Thing Imagine comes from this – doing just one thing, can have such an impact on those around us.
Imagine walking down the street and simply smiling at someone. We have no idea what that person is experiencing on that day, but a smile costs nothing and that smile can impact their day in such a way, that they in turn do something kind for someone else and so on, like a ripple effect across the world. The premise of Joti Financial is just that, how we can do one thing that can help our clients.
The true lightbulb moment thought, was when I sat down and thought about how mortgage broking can help to change the world. Helping my clients – that was a no-brainer, but how could I make an even greater impact? It was then that I realised that I had to do something that had never been done before in the mortgage broking world – I could gift a portion of what I earn and pass it on to charity!
What do you find is the main reason that keeps you getting up every morning, heading out the door and off to work?
For me, it’s that I am making the lives of those around me better – for my clients and also for the nominated charities that I am working with.
Tell us your secret… What are some of the little jobs that you bring to your clients who have entrusted you with their mortgages and what can be such a big stress factor in their lives?
My secret… that is a hard one! I am just me – but, my clients seem to love that and that I listen and care about them. I often joke with them that they have me for life, but I mean it. Our service isn’t about helping you once and saying goodbye, we are here for as long as you need us.
As part of our service, we want to see you as often as you need but at the very least, annually. This is to make sure that the loan is still right for you and at this point, we will also check in with your lender to see if we can get you a more competitive rate – this service is free and just another way that we can continually do just one thing, to help our clients.
Why would someone choose to see a mortgage broker over a bank, especially if they have been with their bank for several years and are a loyal customer?
Number one is that when you go to see your own bank, they can only offer you their products and services. However, the product might not really suit your needs, or there may be a more competitive product with another lender, or you simply might not fit the lending criteria for your bank at this point in life.
Seeing a mortgage broker means that they can look at the lenders on their panel to source a product that is not only competitive but also suits your needs. They will also look at the lending policy to make sure you meet the lender’s credit policy before they submit your application.
At the end of the day, I see my job as a mortgage broker to make the lives of my clients easier. I will not only do the research for them, but I will gather all of the supporting information the lender needs for your application and liaise with them throughout the process. And once your loan is approved, I continue working with you in the background all the way to the settlement of your new loan and beyond.
If we were to spend a day in your shoes… What would that look like?
My day starts with Pilates or Yoga as I have learnt over the years that the first priority is to make sure I am healthy and strong to see the day ahead. It also helps me cope with the mental stress and pressures of daily life.
Then, like most people when I hit the office, I start by looking at emails, followed usually by a lot of phone calls either talking to clients or speaking with lenders. I am a little old-fashioned I guess, as I believe the best way I have found to solve problems is through human connections and a phone call achieves results far quicker than emails. The day flies quickly from there and more often than not, I look at my watch and can’t believe the day is over – there is possibly something in there about time and flying and having fun!
What do you consider a good day at work for you?
Any day when I am meeting with a client – but I especially love calling my clients who are buying property to let them know their loan has been approved. There is something incredible about sharing that moment with them, knowing that I have been part of helping them achieve their dream of buying a home!
Who are some of the women in business that you look up to and why?
I would say for me, Amanda Wilkens and Krys Canny-Smith – the directors of Canny Group. They are not only women that have succeeded in a male-dominated industry, but they have proved it is ok to do things differently.
Every business needs an adviser… Who do you turn to for help at Canny Group and with so many accountants Geelong has on offer, why did you choose Canny Accounting?
I turn to Amanda Wilkens– she has incredible insight into business and can guide you through the daunting process of “I think I have an idea”, to making it into a reality. There are a lot of accountants out there, but I find that in my experience, accountants can be hard to talk to. My business is my life and I need to be able to talk freely and openly with my accountant and not feel that they are judging me. That’s what makes Mandy and the whole team at Canny Group different, they are friendly, approachable, and insightful and they align with my values as they care about their clients and the community.
What kind of support have you received from Canny Group since joining forces with them as your accountant?
The support from Canny Group is boundless. My first meeting with Mandy was really about sitting down and seeing if my dream of starting my own business was even feasible! From there, they have helped me get the right business structure for my business in place, recommended accounting software and helped me to get it set up right. Knowing I have this in hand, let’s me then concentrate on what I do best, helping my clients.
With the uncertainty around the current financial climate, what would be some triggers for people reading this, to come and see you? How can you help?
If you haven’t reviewed your mortgage in the last year, or certainly two years – see a broker! There is potential that they can secure a better rate for you and in addition, there are a lot of lenders offering cash-back deals up to $4k to refinance to them, which could really help in this current climate.
Also, if your fixed rate is ending this year. Don’t wait, see a mortgage broker now so you can start to plan and understand what your new repayments might look like when the fixed rate ends.
What are your top three finance tips for saving money?
- Review bank statements and your outgoings! Focus in particular on the services that you pay for annually, or on a monthly basis – such as insurance, utility bills, subscriptions etc. Unfortunately, staying loyal to a company does not mean you are getting the best deal on the market, or that you need their service.
- If you haven’t already, try doing your grocery shopping online and choose the click and collection option. You will not only save money on delivery, but you will save money on your groceries as you won’t be tempted to pick up those extra items that tempt us as we walk around the supermarket.
- If you have a mortgage on your home, speak to a mortgage broker. Their services are free and they are there to help you look at other options on the market that could save you money.
Looking into your Joti Financial crystal ball… What do you see the future looking like for you and your business?
Being that I am literally just starting out in this journey, if I am looking into the Joti Financial crystal ball, I would love it if the Greater Geelong Community would see Joti Financial as the mortgage broking firm that is breaking the mould and leading the way in showing how the mortgage broking industry can help to make the world a better place. I am also dreaming of raising $100,000 for charity and can’t wait to reach that benchmark so I can set a new one!
How do I get in contact and find out more about what you offer?
Please feel free to visit our website www.jotifinancial.com.au, here you can learn more about us and can contact us via our contact page. We also have socials set up across Facebook, Instagram and you can find us on LinkedIn, please follow us and again you can always slide into our DM’s on any of these platforms if you have any questions.
If you would like an appointment, you can book directly via our website, alternatively, if you would like to have a chat, please call me directly on 0488 365 975.