15 minute read

On your way to becoming a mortgage broker and wondering where to start? Or are you an industry veteran looking to make a switch for better business support? Whatever your situation, finding the best mortgage aggregator for your practice is the key to success. Learn how you can pick the right broker aggregator for your business by following these simple guidelines and consulting our mortgage aggregator list available below.

What is a mortgage broking aggregator?

A mortgage broking aggregator or broker aggregator for short, is a company that has obtained accreditation with many lenders and thus can act as an intermediary between brokers and lenders. As compliance requirements are significant and vary from institution to institution, many mortgage brokers bypass the tedious work of getting accredited by each lender, and instead opt to join an aggregator to access their pre-existing panel.

Services that mortgage broking aggregators provide

Mortgage broking aggregators generate revenue through charging fees and/or taking a cut of the commission paid when brokers write a loan. In return, broker aggregators provide access to lenders and process commissions to ensure their brokers are paid on time and in full; but great aggregators do so much more.

By partnering with the right mortgage aggregator, your broker business may benefit in more ways than you can expect:

  • Leads—aggregators can generate and qualify leads for brokers that are then sent directly to you. Smart broker aggregators maintain strategic partnerships with adjacent businesses that can consistently pass on new leads, like real estate companies or digital listing services. Altogether these can become a valuable source by which you can grow your business over time.
  • Mortgage broker marketing – some of the larger mortgage broking aggregators have internal marketing teams that you can leverage off to produce your marketing materials. While MBW provides mortgage broker marketing services direct to brokers, by joining an aggregator, you may be able to tap into that expertise as part of the aggregator support package. This can be a valuable resource for new brokers that are budget conscious to be sure to consider it when deciding which mortgage aggregator to go with.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software—aggregators possess their own proprietary software that you can access when you join them. CRM software enables you to deliver an outstanding client experience by centralising client data, communication channels, and task execution onto one digital platform. A good CRM is able to facilitate communication with clients, track the progress of loans, generate and update client profiles, automate tasks, and organise workflows. CRM systems are also built to track sales so you know where your prospect or lead is located in the sales funnel.
  • Compliance—this is one of the extremely tricky areas of the broking industry, namely because compliance is a moving target in Australia. There are significant consequences for not being compliant, and penalties are the same even if you weren’t aware of the rules. An aggregator should work hard to keep you compliant by communicating changes in the regulatory environment and advising on complex situations. Broker aggregators also provide software and support to streamline the reporting process.
  • Website design and digital tools —Beyond marketing and a CRM, website design is one of the most important investments for a small business to make, but it’s also an area that’s very difficult to get right. Some of the best broker aggregators are starting to develop their own in-house teams of designers and developers to channel prospects to the aggregator’s brokers through smart and targeted digital advertising, however most still use a trusted intermediary such as MBW to create mortgage broker websites or other digital tools on their behalf.

Why working with the best mortgage broker aggregators is important

It’s important to understand, the total value that an aggregator can bring to your business may be dependant on your unique situation, or the kinds of support services you are looking for to compliment your mortgage broker business. Therefore, the best mortgage broker aggregator for another firm, may not be the best one for you.

Keep in mind, the main reason mortgage brokers opt to join aggregators is primarily to access their panel of members. Of course, this begs the question: why don’t mortgage brokers access lenders on their own?

Every lender has different accreditation requirements. That means that brokers must either approach banks and non-bank lenders one-by-one and submit similar (but not identical) stacks of paperwork for the privilege of offering the lender’s loans, or work with a reputable mortgage broking aggregator who already has the relationships and deals in place. 

Furthermore, some lenders also have volume requirements and other prerequisites as well; CBA needs brokers to be members of the MFAA or FBAA; NAB requires brokers to be a part of an aggregator; and Bankwest wants to see a resume with 10 years of experience on it. These requirements are in addition to the standard demand for evidence of a Cert IV Finance & Mortgage Broking, visa/passport, photo ID, and police certificate. Even if a mortgage broker managed to get accredited by a few lenders, they will then have to hire teams to manage these relationship and compliance requirements with each of their lenders. Suffice to say it’s a big job, and that’s why many brokers see value in offloading this work to aggregators and getting back to the work that really matters: growing their book and serving their clients.

Brokers may also wish to become credit representatives of mortgage broker aggregators who hold a valid Australian Credit License (ACL), instead of getting an ACL themselves. This saves mortgage brokers from the ongoing administrative costs and compliance requirements of an ACL. Non-compliance carries hefty penalties and will impact a business’ reputation, so joining an established aggregator is a way to mitigate risk and gain a partner who has a vested interest in your business.

The best mortgage broker aggregators consider all these things and help you as both a mortgage broker and a business to get up and running as soon as possible. Picking the right one will save you both time and money so make sure you choose carefully and consider not only the fees an aggregator may charge, but also the services and support they are willing to provide.

How do I choose the best mortgage aggregator?

If you’re on your way to becoming a mortgage broker some form of training is a requirement. ASIC requires mortgage brokers who are seeking an Australian Credit License to have “at least two years of relevant problem-free experience”. Similarly, the MFAA requires members to have two years of experience in mortgage or finance broking, or else prospective members must undertake training under a MFAA mentor. As a result, new mortgage brokers have to work as credit representatives of credit license holders in the first two years of their career before joining the MFAA or getting a credit license of their own.

This is where broker aggregators come in handy. Recognising that new mortgage brokers need mentorship when they join the industry, the best aggregators provide training and mentorship, along with business development must-haves including leads, lenders, industry software, marketing, and compliance support. Some aggregators go even further, investing heavily in the professional development of their brokers through platforms, seminars, webinars, and networking events across Australia. MBW for example, work with many of the leading aggregators and mortgage broker tools in Australia to compliment their systems by integrating them directly with our websites. For more information on the mortgage broker software we offer visit our services page or get in touch to speak to an expert.

Before you decide on your mortgage broking aggregator, consider these attributes to find the best mortgage aggregator for your business:

  • Evaluate their lenders—Is bigger always better? That may be a simplistic way of thinking. Consider your niche as a broker; to whom do you want to bring value? Depending on the answer, you should be looking out for the banks and non-bank lenders whose products serve your clients the best.
  • Fees—Every aggregator has a different fee structure, so research is imperative. There are three categories of fees to look out for: one-off fees, like joining fees; ongoing fees, like monthly fees; and commission splits, wherein you share your commission with the aggregator. Just like lender panels, different models are suitable for different brokers. For example, if you’re earning lots of commission every month, it’s worth researching aggregators who only charge monthly fees. If you’re starting out and are unsure if the commissions will cover the fees, it’s worth considering an aggregator with a split commission model. Some aggregators offer both models, as two separate plans.
  • Membership—Many aggregators are a part of the MFAA, and you’ll want to choose these aggregators as membership is often a prerequisite to getting accredited with lenders. Our list of mortgage aggregators consist entirely of members of the MFAA.
  • Marketing—Some aggregators have an in-house team of marketers to provide assistance when it comes to communication, others have designers and a small few would have developers. Ask yourself where you plan to promote your mortgage broker business and what help you can expect when it comes to making your mortgage broker marketing plan.
  • To franchise, or not to franchise?—Franchise groups are some of the most powerful aggregators in the mortgage broking scene, and for good reason. By uniting hundreds of brokers under one flag, franchise groups have amassed significant brand power that you can tap into as a franchisee. Their resources are considerable, owing to the fact that the biggest franchise groups are owned by some of the biggest companies in Australia. On the other hand, you may want more freedom to build and scale your business in your image. Perhaps you have always dreamed of a storefront with signs that bear your name and logo. Non-franchise aggregators facilitate this dream by putting less restrictions on their brokers – and in most cases, less fees. Some aggregators offer an option to franchise or to not franchise (or ‘Build Your Own Brand’, as Loan Market puts it), so do your research into future-proofing your  mortgage broking business and figure out what works for you. 

Differences between a mortgage aggregator, franchise group, and dealer group

You may come across other terms such as franchise group or dealer group when looking for a mortgage aggregator. Fundamentally, these broker groups do the same thing. They are collectively referred to as ‘aggregators’, because they aggregate loan volume through a network of brokers. Franchise groups are also aggregators, but their brokers operate under the franchise’s brand. Mortgage Choice, Aussie, Smartline, and Loan Market are some of Australia’s biggest franchise groups.

Australian mortgage aggregator list

While there are a number of broker aggregators in the industry, you can check out our recommended mortgage aggregator list of MFAA recognised aggregators to help you get started on your journey.

  • Aussie Home Loans — The CBA-owned Aussie is one of Australia’s most prominent aggregators, settling 17 billion dollars of loans in FY2020.
  • Loan Market — Another big dog of the credit world, Loan Market has over 500 brokers and is part of the White Family Group (the owners of Ray White).
  • Finsure — A newer aggregator that appeared in 2011,  Finsure prides itself on its industry leading CRM platform.
  • Buyers Choice Mortgage and Finance—Established in 1996, Buyers Choice has successfully climbed the leaderboard and can be found amongst the most recognisable aggregators in Australia.
  • AFG — Otherwise known as Australian Financial Group, this publicly-listed aggregator is a bona fide giant with 34 billion dollars of residential loans settled in FY2020.
  • Vow Financial — Vow is an aggregator made up of 1000+ brokers, operating as a part of wealth management company Yellow Brick Road.
  • Connective — Established in 2003, Connective prides themselves on the freedom and support they give to their brokers.