Not too long ago, savvy homeowners would’ve included their bank manager on their annual Christmas card lists.
The name probably would’ve sat quite near the top.
In fact, they might’ve even sent a present.
Maintaining a relationship with the person who ran your local branch was seen as being just as important as knowing an above board and reliable mechanic, having a good accountant, knowing which hairdresser was the best, and being on a first-name basis with your kid’s doctor.
You’d dress up in a suit and tie or smart dress and head down to the branch for a catch up once in a while.
You know, to put in a bit of face time.
And when you wanted to buy a new home or refinance, you’d prepare yourself in the same manner you might for a job interview.
It made sense.
A good relationship with your bank manager often meant a smoother application process, lower rates and cheaper fees.
Like many charming parts of life in time gone by, those days are well and truly over, my friends.
If you’re after mate’s rates on your mortgage, don’t bother going to your bank.
Your bank manager isn’t your friend
Look, your bank manager isn’t a bad person.
They’re probably quite nice.
But their ability to do you any favours is either seriously limited or mostly non-existent.
Their job is not to maintain relationships.
It’s to maintain sales targets.
It’s to package in credit cards and transaction account products with mortgages.
It’s about locking in your business – not for as long as possible, but for as much money as they can.
This means you’re likely to get a bad deal if you go straight to the financial institution you’re currently banking with, without shopping around first.
I don’t mean to sound cynical… but your bank manager isn’t your bestie.
They don’t care about you and your situation.
They care about their business.
Going to your bank and expecting a great deal on your home loan is like going to McDonald’s and expecting to lose weight.
Where to get mate’s rates
If you want mate’s rates on your mortgage, you absolutely must go to a broker.
They’re experts whose entire days are spent pouring over every home loan product on the market in excruciating detail.
They don’t just know the ins-and-outs, but the ins-and-outs of the ins-and-outs.
It’s a specific level of detail that you’d never be able to achieve on your own, partly because it’s so complex but mostly because you’ve got a life!
Brokers are experts who are best placed to advise you on which product is right for you, by virtue of the fact that they know every product available.
More than this, they have enormous bargaining power with the big banks themselves.
Think about it – brokers are walking around with stacks of quality customers that the banks are desperate to nab… they’d love to get a slice of that business pie.
Brokers are in the unique position to negotiate a better deal.
They can ditch or significantly reduce annoying annual fees, get inclusions for free, get rid of the banking products you don’t want or need, and in many cases, secure a lower ongoing interest rate.
And if your first choice of bank isn’t playing ball, they can quickly and easily help you pivot to another one who will.
The way brokers are compensated is standardised, heavily regulated and carefully scrutinised.
There are no kick-backs from the big players for funnelling business their way.
It’s the same whether you go with a Big Four or a smaller player.
This means you get impartial advice and independent guidance, but an expert who’s inside the room and is willing to battle on your behalf.
That’s a very attractive prospect – much more so than going it alone at your local bank branch.
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