Fifteen years ago you paid around 2 percent each time you traded shares. Then a new breed of stock broker came into the market for a fraction of that cost. In April 2000 our CEO Nicholas Gruen launched Peach Home Loans to do the same for mortgage brokers arranging home loans!
As an economist Dr Gruen has spent the last forty years of his life as an economic reformer advising governments and corporations on how to intensify competition to improve efficiency and lower prices. He also created Lateral Economics, that consults to both governments and corporations on economic policy matters.
Peach pioneered a new way to operate a mortgage broking business making best use of technology and developing new and better processes all designed to save you time and us money. With the money we save we can share our commission from the lenders back with you our client.
How Peach works as your mortgage broker
Peach is a virtual organisation which provides us with unparalleled flexibility and efficiency. No outdated procedures, no high rise office rental and minimal carbon footprint.
This decentralised structure is part of the reason Peach is able to offer cash rebates on loans. Lower overheads translate to a better deal for customers. We’ve had to work out new ways of working as a mortgage broker and the internet has been central to this. However unlike so many other brokers we have not cut costs by outsourcing the application process. When you deal with Peach you are dealing with Peach staff through the entire process.
Our CEO, Dr. Nicholas Gruen is situated in Port Melbourne while Andrew Hunter our general manager lives near Dorrigo in northern NSW and our staff brokers are in regional areas including the ACT and like everyone else in Peach they all work from their own high tech home offices.
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja once humorously described Dr Gruen as “your classic underachiever. He has a PhD from ANU, he’s an economist, lawyer, historian, occasional media commentator and author. He has worked at the Business Council of Australia; is a former Presiding Commissioner of the Productivity Commission; and has been an influential adviser to Government Ministers, probably most well known as a central architect of the Button car plan”.
Nicholas realised that a lateral approach to the mortgage market was needed. As late as the early 1990s, consumers had little choice when it came to mortgages. The mortgage market was dominated by the Big Banks offering loans and mortgages with similar interest rates and contract provisions.
Without competition and innovation the market remained stagnant and consumers paid the price.
In the years following deregulation, a new generation of lenders, often small and independent emerged, but given the complexity of the property market, and the endless range of loans, rates and conditions, it became critical that consumers had access to well informed and more impartial information and advice and so mortgage brokers came onto the scene.
Peach Home Loans differs from many of the other mortgage brokers services in its commitment to providing the very best deal for its customers from its panel of over 20 lenders. Unchained to any one bank or lender, Peach is able to match the needs of individual clients to the loans best suited to their circumstances and capacities.
By embracing the Internet, Peach recognised the growing importance of the online interface. Most people don’t have 45 minutes to spend listening to muzak and being told “your call is important to us and has progressed in the queue”. The value of being able to access information and advice at times and in places that are convenient cannot be underestimated. Feedback on the Peach website attests to the value customers and potential customers place on this feature.
Quite simply we are at the forefront of the 21st century virtual economy. This is a textbook case of the new economy at work, with benefits flowing to all concerned.
But we are not virtual for its own sake. We go out of our way to make sure that we communicate with our clients in the way they want. Whether we’re helping a 26 year old computer geek get his first home loan or someone in their retirement who doesn’t know what e-mail is.
There is nothing wrong with a Green Peach
We set out to be different and in the process we saved more than just money.
Today everyone talking about being green or turning green. We realised that we have green credentials going back 15 years now. When Peach CEO Nicholas Gruen asked Andrew Hunter to become the Peach General Manager it was over a cup of coffee at the Kurrajong Hotel Canberra in 2002. Nicholas lives in Melbourne while Andrew lives in northern NSW and that was the one and only time that the two have met face to face.
Peach isn’t just another mortgage broker – at Peach we do things differently – we do things smartly
- all of our staff work from their home offices – not one gram of carbon is created getting to or from work
- we scan and pdf almost all documents then we submit loan applications online again saving paper and energy
- we use email,P2P and VoIP for all of our inter-office communications
- the majority of our loans are completed in a totally virtual manner ie: by phone, fax and post – so our use of motor vehicles is minimal.
- we don’t have any CBD or in fact any other office buildings to heat or light
Apart from the benefit to the planet – we also save lots of money and pass a lot of that savings back to our customers. Who says being green comes at a cost!