Sharyn Gommers of Hamptons Advisory Pty Ltd is one of the most optimistic brokers you will ever meet.
After leaving her big bank employer of almost 30 years in 2018, Sharyn considered launching her own broker business.
Putting her ear to the ground, she heard only a cacophony of doomsayers fearful of what the Royal Commission would mean for the industry.
Dismissing the chatter, she launched Hamptons Advisory Pty Ltd. Three years on, Sharyn is running a successful brokerage, and feels like a kid in a candy store in the Adelaide Hills.
She is the subject of this edition of Prospa Long Road – Tales of Regional Brokers.
MFAA: Where are you based and what have you been working on of late?
Sharyn Gommers (SG): I am in the Adelaide Hills up near the Hahndorf area. About half an hour out of Adelaide. I do everything. Residential, commercial, agricultural, equipment, everything. I have always believed you are better off being a one-stop-shop for your clients.
MFAA: You worked for 28 years at a big bank before starting your business. What was behind the move?
SG: I was lucky enough to get a golden handshake after being a people leader in NAB. After I left, I thought what can I do? I’ll have a go at this broking gig. You know, in the middle of a Royal Commission, why not. People were nervous about the future, but I was like a kid in a candy store. I was used to working for one lender, but now I had this whole panel, so if a client had a problem, I had all these solutions. I was loving it.
MFAA: Congratulations on being nominated for the upcoming MFAA SA/NT Excellence Awards. What do you think sets you apart as a broker?
SG: Thank you. I come from a diverse background and I have got a lot of experience. I come from a farming area, so I can relate to country people well. I’ve also got quite a big network of offshoot contacts, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, and I enjoy connecting people and pre-positioning them so they’re ready with the next step. And I’m not scared to say, ‘not right now’, if a loan isn’t right for someone.
MFAA: How has business been for you particularly this past year? What have you focused on to ensure your clients have been well-looked after?
SG: Because I had such strong relationships coming into the business, all my work has come from word of mouth, and that hasn’t been impacted. But understanding how to have conversations with all levels of clients, has made a big difference. But even through COVID-19, there was a lot of change happening, so I had to be nimble, maintain good relationships with BDMs, and make sure I was reaching out to clients that I thought might be experiencing hardship. But because also my business is so diverse, when work dropped off in home loans, business picked up in the agriculture and commercial financing.
MFAA: What are you most looking forward to in the near future?
SG: I am excited that my aggregator is now owned by Loan Market. I was lucky enough to meet Sam White about a month ago, and I’m really excited about what his aspirations are for us, and his businesses. And just the fact that not being connected to a bank we will be able to be nimbler. We will have new software, a new CRM, and I’m excited to see what that will look like. So, lots to look forward to. And I just love the flexibility I’ve got here. I don’t have to show up to a sales meeting on Monday, or a debrief on Friday, I can walk down the stairs to my office and start work. Which is the dream, so I’m happy.