Profile – Sylvia MacFarlaine

We thought it would be good for you to know more about our staff, so we’ve asked them a few questions…

Want to chat to Sylvia about a home loan?  Call her on 1300 135 456, fill in the Contact Us form or use the webchat.

How long have you been in the industry? 

Over 20 years in accounting (CPA) and finance.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?

Most recently, I was a sales and credit coach/mentor to brokers for the Mortgage Choice network.

My involvement in the finance and accounting industry has been extensive and varied and includes being self-employed across the accounting and finance industry (tax, and small business specialist); and as a coach, writer, sports management and a broker (with Connective).

I have collaborated with Murray initially as a broker with Connective 13 years ago. Both Murray and I work well together and the way we think about the industry and its direction is very much aligned. We have a lot of respect for one another and we always said we would work together some day.

Define your job in one word: 

Accountable…

What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?

Real: Compliance based and customer-centric (relationships and communication).  Two traits the I have been trained in and have well developed coming from an industry of trust and advice (accounting).

Cliche: It’s easy being a broker. Boy, was I wrong! Time, support and technology was in its infancy when I started.  I’m glad the industry is evolving with education and better support (technology and training). It’s one of the most challenging industries. I learned the hard way, however now have all the requisites to impart my skills and knowledge coupled with my small business skills to help build OHL and develop brokers.

How does the reality match up? 

I think the industry still has a way to go in the broking space and it will take time to weed out the shonky players. Brokers and banks equally. I am still flawed as to how many industry stakeholders still struggle with compliance and why they think it’s so hard to do?  It’s hard to reverse the horse and cart once it started in the wrong direction. It takes time. But technological advances will support this transition.

How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?

I’m excited by OHL. It definitely has the potential to disrupt the loan application process through the use of artificial intelligence,  but more so the approval process.  Imagine a 6-minute approval from a selection of 30 lenders. Amazing!  Even though OHL is not quite there yet I believe it will be.  Right now providing an easy digital option to obtain a home loan is what the market is looking for as tech-savvy customers do most of their shopping online.

I see my role as the link between the boards’ goals and objectives and implementing the strategies required to achieve those goals. I will be overseeing all operations of the business, building and developing the team, supporting Sophie’s development and launching the broker academy. I will liaise with all stakeholders and work collaboratively with the OHL team and executive team.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Fast changing. Change brings opportunity and I love that

What’s exciting you about the industry right now? 

All the noise. I like the disruption because it weeds out the crap. Only those adept to change survive. It means more business for us.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Information.  Knowledge is power. I love to read and research and equip myself with knowledge and provoke my thinking.  I love challenging the status quo.  I like to know the why.

The why inspires me to make a difference to people, to the evolution of business and my own self-development. It makes me a better person.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I used to be a professional dancer at nightclubs.

What’s your personal motto?

No such thing as can’t just won’t!!  Not all is as it seems!!!

I never give up unless I’ve exhausted all options and I listen to all the facts and sides before I decide. I never judge…

I got into broking because:

It was a great valued-added service for my small business clients in my accounting practice and I made some money out of it (bonus)

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I’d be:

Developing my hobby farm into a sustainable business and flipping properties.

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Leanne Brinkies

Leanne is one of the most experienced digital professionals in Australia. With over 21 years of online experience and a passion for all things interior design, she is curating all of the content on the site - bringing you interesting facts and information to help you on your buying journey. If there's anything you want us to feature, let her know!

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