Steve Korner of Glass Financial Group wrote his first loan in April of 2020. Since then, he has surpassed financial goals and expectations, won an MFAA State Excellence Newcomer Award, and expanded his team to meet increasing demand.
Speaking to the MFAA for this edition of Prospa’s Groundbreaker, Steve reveals how his rookie status helped him survive the trials of 2020/21 and shares his simple ‘non-strategy’ for overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
MFAA: First off, congratulations on winning the Newcomer Award at the MFAA NSW/ACT Excellence Awards. What a tremendous achievement.
Steve Korner (SK): Thank you. When I first started as a broker I said, ‘I am going to be the MFAA Newcome of the Year’. Then when we got nominated, I thought ‘holy cow’. Then when we won, I cried for about 15 minutes and then celebrated. But it was a big milestone, so it was a good feeling.
MFAA: What a wonderful acknowledgement of all your hard work. So, how long have you been in the industry?
SK: I started getting accredited last January, and I think I settled my first deal in April of last year. So it’s about a year and a couple of months since settling a deal.
MFAA: What are you focusing on at this point?
SK: I only write residential home and investment loans. I don’t write car loans, I don’t write personal loans, I don’t write commercial, and if I get that work I will refer it out. At this early stage in my career, I think it makes sense for me to focus my work and refer that type of business out to other areas of Glass Financial.
MFAA: In the year that you’ve been broking, there’s been plenty going on. How have you found it?
SK: To be honest, challenging, but also very positive. So, literally I was starting to get the business up and running and then COVID-19 hit, and I thought this will be fun. But we fought through it. I enjoy helping people, that’s why I started doing this. And I do enjoy the fast-paced nature of the business. There has been a couple of times I’ve thought ‘wow, this is pretty hard’. But I kept going because I always wanted to run my own business and be the person who I have always wanted to be.
MFAA: What strategies if any have you utilised in your first year as a broker to help you cope with the challenges?
SK: What I’ve found is, challenge is relative. Because I haven’t experienced the past 10 or 15 years of mortgage broking, to me this just feels like what it is, so I just take it on, and work to move forward. This is normal for me, so I don’t have the challenge of the pre-conceived idea of what it used to be. In terms of strategies, I wish I had some good strategies to cope with it. Honestly, you just have to keep going. If something goes wrong, I just calm myself down, stay focused and centred. Everything can be fixed, and there’s always a solution for every issue.
MFAA: Before you came to broking you were a financial planner and briefly had your own podcast on all things finance. How did your experience help with the transition?
SK: My financial planning experience definitely helped with the transition. I started in a company while I was at university, and I was working four days a week and studying full time. I started there answering the door and getting coffee, but they gave me a chance and I became a financial adviser as I finished uni. That’s what I thought I wanted to do. But I didn’t enjoy it, so I started doing a podcast to find what inspired me. The podcast was just me in my spare room talking into a microphone, but it was a great experience, and I am glad I did it. Between me being a financial planner and a mortgage broker, my wife and I both left our jobs and travelled Europe for five months and it’s then that I decided to give mortgage broking a go. So, I committed to it, and whether I’ve been upset one day or had the best day of my life, I’ve kept committing to it every day, because not every day is a Friday. But it’s been great.
MFAA: What have been the highlights of your journey so far?
SK: Becoming my own boss gave me the independence and freedom that I always wanted. And it has paid off quite quickly, so I’m really grateful for that. I hired my first staff member in September last year, so I was six months in, and then mid-December I brought on my second staff member. Being nominated and winning the MFAA award was a massive moment for me. Doing the numbers I thought I was going to write, and then doubling them. But the most important thing, I’ve been able to help a lot of people do things they didn’t know they could. So, I feel very lucky.