Aussie franchisee own boss

Aussie franchisee pumped to be his own boss at 28

Sarah Stowe

Chris Gamble joined the Aussie home loans business in January 2022 as a broker, transferring his finely-honed retail sales skills to the mortgage arena. Within a year he was a franchisee.

“It was always my goal to be a business owner by 30, and I’m now 28. I’ve found my niche,” says Chris.

The young West Australian had bought his first house through a broker in 2020 and loved the idea of helping someone advance into the property market. He had zero mortgage broking experience but plenty of client-facing expertise, he explains.

“I was a store sales manager with JB HiFi, and loved developing staff members, helping them in their current career, and beyond. I was excited to bring these skills to a new field and develop a client-based, more personable approach.”

Aussie pathways to opportunity

Chris chose Aussie for the entry pathway choices (either home-based or retail) and the support on hand. This stretched from having an experienced mentor walk through the early processes and extensive training with Aussie, to assistance to achieve a Certificate IV qualification.

“I started work with a franchisee who put a personal touch on each application. Having someone with experience encourages you; it gave me the confidence I was providing the right solution for the client,” he says.

Within a year Chris was discussing with the franchisee, and Aussie, how to move to the next step.

This proved the perfect succession plan for the existing franchisee, who was planning to wind down his operation. Chris was the natural choice to take over the store.

He jumped at the opportunity, with the support of Aussie.

Support provides strong foundation

“The first few months were challenging, but Aussie has all the resources and there is always someone to ask.

“The tools at hand can accelerate your growth. Speed to first pay check is important – and Aussie’s tech platform helps drive productive outcomes.

“This business is ideal for people coming in as a new broker because of the support. The software is there to make sure you look like an expert immediately,” he says. “It gives customers confidence we have the solution.

“So within two months I was feeling settled and asking myself, ‘how do I make it mine, how do I grow this business?’” he says.

Easy to scale the business

Chris applied smart planning to set tangible goals so he could realistically scale his business.

Starting with a consistent approach, and a good structure, provided Chris with the groundwork from which he could scale, and upskill.

“I jumped on as many eLearning courses as I could, both with Aussie and the banks,” he explains.

In addition to the franchisor’s support, Chris enjoys learning from, and sharing tips with, other WA franchisees.

Last year he replaced the broker he had inherited with the business, and his new recruit is already an award winner. Both Chris and his new broker have separately won Aussie’s Emerging Store Broker award.

Chris has also scooped up a compliance award with Aussie, and in external mortgage industry awards has been recognised as Young Professional and Newcomer in the Western Australian categories.

In early 2024 this broking powerhouse had implemented another element of his growth strategy, adding an admin assistant to the team.

“This enables everyone to have set roles. It’s about task-handling; how do we free everyone’s time for a clear path to work on?”

A CEO of his own business

Now just 12 months as a franchisee and Chris is working towards becoming a CEO of his own business, as it scales.

“My goal is every 12 months to expand my business with another broker. I will employ a manager and focus on recruitment and training.”

He is confident his three to five-year timeline is realistic.

“That gives me enough time to become an expert in the field and provide strong support for staff.”

Chris is dedicated to building great staff relationships, helping them drive the business by understanding what’s important to them.

For now, he’s excited about the immediate future and opportunities to develop his business.

“We’ve signed on for the Aussie Associate model, where Aussie’s centralised support team assists with screening leads and booking appointments. This will be a massive advantage because our leads will come to us pre-qualified.

“It’s a brilliant way for Aussie to support us. When we get a client enquiry the head office team will book appointments so we can focus on what we do best – finding the right client solutions.”

Pictured: From left, Brad Cramb (Chief Distribution Officer) with Chris Gamble.