How did you come to call the Coffs Coast home?
I was lucky enough that my parents decided to relocate to the beautiful village of Sawtell from Sydney in 1973, when I was a small lad just five years old. With very few means, my mum and dad provided my siblings and I with a loving, respectful and adventurous childhood that I will never forget. Both of my parents have been inspiring me since the day I was born and continue to instil in me invaluable life lessons that I hope to pass on to my own children.
My dad has been very instrumental in bringing to account the British Government for all the abuses inflicted on child migrants across the world during the past 60 years. I couldn’t be prouder of my dad for standing up and fighting for so long for an often ignored but important cause for so many suffering children across the world. My mum … Well, I am so proud of her for putting up with my dad (and us kids) for so long; our family revolves around her!
Your business, Simply Conveyancing has been running for a long time now. Tell us about what you do.
Well, on the surface I suppose we are in the business of legally securing the sale and purchase of properties for all of our clients, normally an exciting and proud achievement for most people. But, I believe we do much more than that. My amazing team and I are very lucky to guide and support all of our clients along this potentially stressful journey, to ensure they enjoy the experience as much as possible. Understanding our clients’ needs is really what we do, so it is important that when one of our clients telephones our office, they will always speak to a real person who will be able to assist. We have never had an answering machine at our office.
All of my staff understand how important it is for our clients to feel important and respected in any transaction. I have witnessed first-hand many selfless actions taken by my staff to ensure our clients feel contented with the outcome of their transaction.
It can be challenging for first home owners when looking to navigate the buying process. Have you got any advice for these buyers?
Be patient and never assume anything! It is so important to firstly obtain a loan assessment or pre-approval from a local lender to establish your borrowing capacity, then the fun and exciting stage begins by looking for your first home. Also, when you are choosing your conveyancer, ensure that the quoted amount includes all professional fees and disbursements (normally called a “flat fee”). Don’t get caught out with a quote that just states the professional fee amount, but the conveyancer is reluctant to quote a firm amount on the eventual disbursements; it may become a very expensive mistake for you!
Flat fee quotes for your conveyancing should include such expenses as professional fees, GST, the Verification of Identity process, electronic settlement fee (currently known as PEXA), Statutory Enquiries and Searches, arranging pre-purchase inspection reports, processing your Stamp Duty exemption application and general disbursements such as photocopying, printing, faxing, postage etc.
What changes are you seeing in your industry?
I have been in the industry for over 30 years now, and I have seen more delegation of legislation from Federal and State Governments in the past three years than ever before. Conveyancing has become more complex now, with lots of what I term as “big brother” legislation being passed recently. So, it’s important that you engage a conveyancing professional who can guide you through the many new legislative requirements to complete your transaction.
The other major change is how long and frustrating it can become to obtain unconditional loan approval for funds sufficient to purchase a property and avoid being gazumped!
The recent long overdue Financial Services Royal Commission has just made the process more complex and protracted; however, buyers just have to be better prepared when entering the market. Get your loan assessment or pre-approval now! It is normally a free service and can last for up to three months … and by the way – “tell the truth” to your financier. You are wasting your time otherwise. I can’t stress enough how important it is to shop local for your finance; it is amazing how accountable lenders will become when you meet them face-to-face, so when the heat is on, you know where to find them!
How has technology impacted your business?
Electronic conveyancing has been the major innovation over the past two years, although I wished they had actually named it electronic settlements, because it only takes care of the last transaction of the whole process, but it does process registration of Title and payment of monies immediately.
My team continue to embrace modern technology, to ensure our clients receive the most efficient, professional service available; however, we have never lost sight of the fact that our clients are still human beings and still require our personal attention whenever required.
Over the past 30 years, what have been your biggest challenges in business and how did you overcome them?
I have been very lucky that I am surrounded by a very professional and experienced team, all amazing individuals in their own right, but who come together seamlessly as a team; I couldn’t be prouder. They’ve adapted to all challenges that we have along the way and are always looking for reasonable solutions or options for our clients to any transaction that becomes bogged down.
What marketing activities do you find most successful?
My team and their professional, respectful, caring attitude to all of our clients. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words, so we always look forward to engaging not only with our new clients, but our past clients, who have not hesitated to come back to us after their past experience with our team.
Why do you love living on the Coffs Coast?
Our amazing beaches, relaxed lifestyle, the Sawtell village where I grew up and still live and knowing that my three beautiful children are growing up here amongst such wonderful family, friendly local people and a healthy environment. My kids are the reason I believe I exist. I love hanging out with them; they let me try out my hilarious “Dad joke” routines often and just watching them grow into wonderful human beings – life is good. I am looking forward to hanging around for many more years to celebrate, support and provide a gentle hand to guide them through life’s many experiences. My partner, Marina, has recently come into my life over the past few years; thankfully, my kids love her, and she has been an inspiration for me to keep striving for that “work/life” balance.
Do you have a life motto?
When you learn, teach. When you get, give.