Good day, Ben Kingsley here, for what has become a bit of a tradition with our annual Christmas message.
I’m getting a little bit older, I think, and now having to wear the glasses. I probably look a little bit more like Santa Claus, probably just need the gray beard. But it’s coming, everyone.
I just wanted to say, it has been a pretty incredible 2021 for so many reasons. Challenging in a lot of respects. So as part of this message, I just wanted to share with you, our valued customers, some of the milestones and some of the things that have been happening about the business over the year.
From my point of view, it’s been amazing to see our team delivering on the promises that we always have been very focused on, and our mission around financial transformation towards financial peace.
We are definitely on that journey to serve our customers in that respect.
And whilst we definitely acknowledge that 2021 had some real challenges for some people and some businesses, on the whole, in terms of, from a financial security point of view, there were many people across Australia who have fared fairly well throughout the course of 2021. And so, obviously, from our point of view, they’ve been taking action to build out their financial security towards their financial peace. And it’s very clear that, with low interest rates and the amount of money that’s flying around the economy, that at the moment, equities and certainly our domain, which is the property side of things, has been terrific for those who invested.
It made me sort of think about and reflect on those people who have been with us now for over a decade, and the investments that they’ve made, and starting to see the fruits of their labor, really start to materialize, the power of that compounding return. They will be very, very happy with where their property portfolio finishes at the end of 2021. So that’s a good news story.
In terms of this calendar year, as I mentioned at the start, a really impressive year for the business in terms of serving more people. We’ve served a record number of people this year. And I do like to talk about the data and the numbers. So we’re going to take a bit of a look in terms of what has been the story for the year.
We’re going to look at the Property Wealth Planning numbers first. So a very, very busy year for our property planning team, sort of really strong levels of demand. We did over 570 new property plans for our new clients. So welcome aboard to all those new customers. We recommended the future purchase of properties inside those plans of 930 million worth of recommendations inside those plans. Historically, our count now sits at 2,921 plans that have been delivered by our property wealth planning team.
The dollar value of future property recommendations. And we’re not saying they’ve all been bought, but they were definitely in the plans, is 4.186 billion worth of property to buy. Now, again, not all investment properties. There were big rocks in the jar in terms of personal homes and those types of things.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Property Wealth Planning team here)
Mortgage Broking Team
Remember, every plan is tailored for every customer. Now, obviously when you’re doing those types of plans, you also have some mortgage work that needs to be done as part of that. And we did some incredible numbers in terms of mortgage applications, over 1,900 mortgage applications to a submission value of $1.1 billion.
It’s the first year we’ve done over a billion dollars in submissions of mortgages.
And that’s also now resulted in obviously the thousands of settlements that have occurred as part of that. So to those people who have moved forward, and making progress, that’s an incredible number.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Mortgage Broking team here)
Buyers Agency Team
In terms of our buyers, agency team have also had unprecedented demand, and have delivered the purchase of over 512 properties to date, as I go to recording this, that may finish off with a few more by the end of the year. And that’s over $378 million worth of property transactions that our buyers agents have been involved in, in helping our customers get towards their ultimate outcomes. That’s an impressive numbers as we move throughout the year.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Buyers Agency team here)
Financial Planning Team
Our Financial Planning business, we always talk about the defensive side of what we do. We have, which is really pleasing from my point of view, 1,400 customers who have insurances to protect them in the event that anything happens.
And unfortunately, this year, we did have some events and some diagnosis where we did see the insurance companies pay out and sadly, some of our customers are no longer with us this year. And that is also something that makes me feel obviously very sad for those families’ losses, including a friend of mine who we also lost. But I’m also comforted in the knowledge that the money that was available to them has now been able to think about setting up their families and their children for the next generation.
So with that, the comfort of knowing that those funds are available is very, very comforting in the knowledge that we had such sad loss of those people. So food for thought there.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Financial Planning team here)
We have a new business that we also opened this year, which is our tax and personal accounting business. And I’m thrilled to say, in our very first year, that we’re forecasting to do over 400 individual tax returns. Hearing about those valued clients coming into the business and allowing us to be able to look after their tax affairs, and taking that holistic approach is a very, very comforting thing as well, in knowing that they’re entrusting us with their financial affairs and basically their financial transformation as their guides in terms of trying to achieve their financial futures.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Tax & Personal Accounting team here)
Wealth Building Education
So a really great wrap when it comes to the information around the services that we provide. But there is still more. In terms of our education business, the new workshops, we had over 472 new Start & Build students who joined our start and build programs. Our students are building up their education and knowledge, and that gives us obviously some great reach, and makes us forever proud of the work that we’re doing in terms of helping those people who are potentially doing it themselves.
In terms of the podcast, The Property Couch, if you’re not familiar with it, it’s one of Australia’s most enjoyed podcasts for property, finance and money management. Just looking at the numbers here, we have downloads of a total of 3.299 million. So by the time this goes to air, it’s probably 3.3 million downloads. Then we’re also looking at the total downloads throughout the history of the podcast, we’re fast approaching 13 million downloads.
We love sharing that information freely to people who can gain greater knowledge and understanding, and make sure that they’re doing the critical thinking that they need to do to take action.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Podcast, Australia’s No.1 Property Podcast here)
In terms of our book sales, The Armchair Guide to Property Investing has had over 33,000 sales. And we’ll continue to give away that book, if postage is paid for, to again, continue our passion around education and making sure people get that in their hands.
And our Make Money Simple Again book, which is our money smart system. You’ll also know that that’s available for free download. So both of those did become best selling books. And now we’re starting to obviously see them being given away and promoted to get those into as many people’s hands as possible.
Finally, on the technology and the education front, I’ve got to remind people about the, MyWealth Portal, which is a central home for where you can put all your financial information, getting control of your money, set up your money smart system.
We have over 47,000 registered users for that platform.
There’s an enormous amount of information on there. And we’ve got exciting developments that are going to be occurring throughout the course of 2022 in terms of the rebooting and the redesigning of that platform to, again, really start to think about lifestyle by design, and that financial transformation that we want people to go on.
(Note: Have you implemented Money SMARTS yet? If you’re interested you can register for free and explore all the other features on MyWealth Portal by simply going to ew.moneysmarts.com.au or filling in the form below. t’s a completely free and secure platform where you can organize your finances and start to focus in on your financial and personal goals and also then building out the wealth to achieve those as well.)
Free Resources – New Portal Money SMARTS
Please fill in the form
To get access to our Wealth Portal, simply leave your details below and we’ll email you the details.
Would you like to receive the free e-copy of Make Money Simple Again, the instruction manual for implementing Money SMARTS?
So that’s super pleasing in terms of what’s ahead for 2022. In terms of talking about our awards for this year, it’s very humbling to see that the team are being recognized for the great work that they are doing.
We did see the Australian Brokering Awards that we won Major Brokerage of the Year, Non-franchise, which is the big award for a large mortgage brokering business like ours. So we were humbled to receive that award. But probably even more important from our point of view is, at the same awards, we took our Customer Service of the Year Award for the best customer service by office in those awards.
The other Australian Mortgage Awards, we did see Brokerage of the Year, we were diversification for the winner because of all the services that we do offer here. Australian Brokerage Awards 2021, Fast Brokerage, AFG’s Excellence Awards for Best New Brokerage. Mortgage Professionals Australia Award, we saw young gun award delivered to Luke Oxenham. At the same awards, we ranked 21 in the top brokerage across Australia.
The Real Estate Business Awards, our buyers agency team were finalists for that award. And the Better Business Awards, we were also finalists for Best Customer Service and Best Independent Office.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Awards here)
It has been a busy year.
We don’t go after the awards as recognition. Our recognition is the work that we do for you, our valued customer. But it is nice to see the staff who are working so hard on behalf of that financial transformation story that you are on, that they’re also getting recognized for that as well. So it has been a tremendously busy year.
Next year promises to also be an exciting year for us. And I put out there publicly, if it’s a business that you also enjoyed being a client of, and you’re maybe looking at a new opportunity for yourself, maybe, to always keep an eye on our website and our socials for any potential new job opportunities that are coming up here. The business is definitely growing through the course of 2022.
(Additional note: Learn more about our Vacancies on our Careers Page here)
And so, as I close out my annual Christmas update, I just want to, again, thank you for your custom in allowing us to serve you. It’s incredibly humbling to know of the responsibility that we do have to try and get it right for you every time that you ask us to do the work that we do. We’re not perfect.
We continue to keep working on improving our services and our operations and our efficiencies, and dealing with the growth that we’re also experiencing.
But the bottom line for us is, we are really trying to move the dial on your financial transformation story as you move towards financial peace. And so, with that message, I want to wish you all, and your families, a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year in 2022.
We know one thing, that it won’t be the same as 2021 because every year is different. So all the very best to you and your family over this festive season.