Winning Efficiently – Australian Broker Magazine Cover
“Broker John Manciameli’s new company, Slipstream, is Australia’s first independent aggregator dedicated to helping brokers diversify into the investment property market and tap into a lucrative revenue stream by assisting clients in achieving their property aspirations.”
IN the Tour de France, the best cyclists hang back and draft behind the other competitors, conserving their energy until the last push to the finish. Sitting in the competitor’s draft, or slipstream, is the most efficient way to win a race. This is not just a strategy that’s useful for cyclists. Brokers can also apply this concept to their business practice through Slipstream, a new company that’s pioneering a unique aggregation service, one that replaces the panel of lenders with a panel of heavily vetted buyers’ agents and research houses.
Through Slipstream, brokers are given the resources to diversify into the investment property space and provide clients with access to experts who can help them get on the property ladder and build their wealth. Being empowered with knowledge, clients can decide where and how to invest intelligently. And as a result, the broker can turn a pre-approval into a home loan, receive a referral fee from the research house or buyer’s agent, and make more money in less time.
“It’s a diversification model that’s wanted by your clients, and through proper training that complements your existing credit skills, you can turn your business into a much more profitable one,” explains Slipstream founder John Manciameli, an experienced investor himself with nine properties.“It’s not like financial planning
“It’s not like financial planning where you’re trying to sell income protection insurance or life insurance – clients know they need it, but they don’t want it – whereas every Australian wants a house or wants to know what to do with their equity.”
Manciameli, a broker of 15 years and director of Hunterwood Solutions, exudes passion for the craft. He conceived and developed the idea to create a panel of investment property solutions as a franchisee at Mortgage Choice. Clients were constantly asking him for advice about property investing and he realised he had a responsibility and an opportunity to ensure clients were making well informed investment decisions by partnering and pairing them with the right property experts.
“Brokers are in this amazing, influential position to be able to have such a big impact. Our philosophy at Slipstream is that, when you really think about it, clients don’t come to you for a mortgage, they’re coming to you for the help to achieve their dream,” he says. Manciameli says he was instrumental in setting up a very small panel of research houses for the franchisees to refer their investor clients to. He learned a lot through that pilot project and it helped him finesse the concept, which he commercialised 12 months ago as Slipstream and is now rolling out to the broader broking community. He already has 40 brokers signed up as members.
One of the issues in the property research industry is that it’s fragmented and there’s a vast variation in research quality, Manciameli says, which is why Slipstream goes to great lengths to sift through the clutter to ensure its panel, which is currently four research houses and four buyers’ agents, are reputable, professional and have a track record of capital growth and integrity.The agencies are assessed on
The agencies are assessed on strict criteria and performance data on a regular basis to confirm that the quality of their research and knowledge of the industry is exceptional, Manciameli says.“
“Our industry is evolving, and what’s happening is we’re becoming trusted sources of information and we can be very influential in pointing our clients to people who can empower them with knowledge rather than being sold to,” he says.
Get in the slipstream
How it works is the broker refers their client to a research house for the purchase of new property, or a buyer’s agent for the purchase of an established property to renovate, and if the client takes that advice and purchases a property in the market or area that’s recommended, the broker gets paid a referral fee, which can range from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the price of the property. Slipstream takes a 30% cut of that.
“Slipstream only makes money when the broker has money in their bank account,” Manciameli says.
While membership of Slipstream is free, brokers must go through a two-day in-person accreditation course to deepen their understanding of investing. The next accreditation course will be held in September. They’ll also receive software training and business skills, including how to structure an investment acquisition to cost a client $50 per week. Manciameli says that if a broker can find one new client a month for 12 months, they can generate six figures’ worth of revenue from the referral and loan commissions.
Once they become Slipstream members, they unlock an exclusive online education platform that provides business coaching and training, including face-to-face, online and group training (approved for CPD points), marketing support and tactics to make the most of their databases, genuine lead generation tools and access to technology, such as screencast and bulk voicemail. A recent campaign for a Slipstream member generated more than 100 leads, he says.
“Us mortgage brokers have a responsibility to help our clients be empowered with knowledge, so why wouldn’t you refer them to someone who represents them in the buying process so they can make an educated decision around investing? And in the process, really mitigate the risks involved,” he says.
Manciameli says that unlike real estate agents who have a vested interest in selling in their area, the research houses are impartial and will provide clients with 50–80-page in-depth reports examining the four key drivers of capital growth in different property markets, covering supply and demand, infrastructure spending, economics and unemployment, and demographics. They’ll identify which property market is most likely to increase in value, giving clients the information they need to make informed decisions.
Some brokers have already benefited from referring their client to the Slipstream panel and then getting to write their loan. With information from a buyer’s agent, one broker’s client decided to buy and renovate an old house in Brisbane. In six weeks, the net result was an additional value of $143,000, he says.
A client living in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was gifted $40,000 from his father. With that money and his salary, he couldn’t even buy a garage in that area, so with the help of a research house that Slipstream connected him to, he was able to buy a brand-new
two-bedroom unit in Perth for $255,000, down from the advertised price of $389,000. It’s now rented out for $300 per week.
“We were able to give him an opportunity to get on the property ladder, and he is beside himself. He cannot believe that he’s got a positively geared property that’s brand new. I love this job. … We’re changing people’s lives,” Manciameli says.
Property investing is not slowing down
Despite APRA’s tightening of lending criteria, Manciameli doesn’t think property investing is going to hit a lull any time soon because Australians are culturally predisposed to investing.
“Because we’re a land of migrants. And it’s always been that dream that when you leave your family and friends and everything to make a success of your life, it falls into having this piece of Australian land,” Manciameli says. “Every Australian has super,
“Every Australian has super, every Australian wants to buy their first property and every Australian wants to use their equity to buy another property.”
Based on APRA’s June banking statistics, Manciameli is right. The statistics show that 35% of total residential lending ($552bn) that month was made up of investment loans – an increase of $2.4bn (or 0.4%) from the previous month.
And according to a new survey by Galaxy Research on behalf of State Custodians Home Loans that polled 1,005 people nationwide, 64% of Australians are interested in property investment; however, many express anxiety about how feasible it actually is.
Over the years, Australia’s housing market has proved to be a stable and resilient asset class, enduring many forms of speedbumps, whether regulatory or market-related. It survived the oil crisis of the ’70s, stock market crashes, and just about every major geopolitical issue, Manciameli says, and with brokers committed to helping clients steer through the challenges ahead, business will only get better. AB