Anthony Alabakov – CEO of My Mortgage Freedom

Buying a home or investment property is one of the biggest decisions you will every make in your life, it shouldn’t be stressful, but it often is due to unfair interest rates, hidden fees and big corporations taking advantage of average day Australians with fancy advertising campaigns and false promises.

As the CEO of My Mortgage Freedom Anthony’s passion and mission is to create a change within the mortgage and financial services industry by providing average day Australians the opportunity to fulfil their life long dream of owning their own home through tailored and affordable options.

He started his career working in a financial planning business where he learnt from young age the fundamentals of servicing needs and wants. His business now operates Australia-wide and it is considered to be the country’s leading home loan provider focused on prompt and reliable customer service.

The attitude and methodology behind his mission has enabled Anthony to seek and find the lowest home loan rate within the country, therefore providing Australian’s the best option out there when looking to secure their home or investment loan.

This vision has already been recognized as the missing piece to the mortgage puzzle by media outlets such as: A Current Affair, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Think & Grow Rich and many more.

 

Describe yourself in 3 words: Motivated. Passionate. Driven.

What is your life motto? The harder you work the luckier you get. Also ‘Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today’. – James Dean quote. Which for me means to pursue your dreams and enjoy every day because you don’t know when it will be your last. 

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I started own business 5 years ago before that I was working in a financial planning practice and saw a niche in the market so went out on my own to try and give it a crack. In terms of success, it’s only really come in the last 6-12 months, where I’ve gone from 3 in the business to 11 and I guess the turnovers increased, and in the last 6-12months I’ve seen success that has really paid off but still got a long way to go to where I want to get the business.

How much time and effort did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? From the start I was pretty driven, so the first four or so years it was pretty much most of my time. I quit most of the sports I was playing that I was training 2-3 nights a week and really focused on building a really strong foundation with the business. That meant seeing a lot of clients at night, making some sacrifices as the most import thing with start up business is cash flow, so I had to make sure I had the cash flow to pay staff and grow the business. It was a lot of time and effort, in terms of a percentage I probably had to spend 80 per cent of the time I’ve got on the business and that’s allowed me to now (look I still work as hard now), but it frees up a little once you’ve got the right structures in place. It’s a lot of hard work at the start.

What are the challenges in your line of work? Challenges are my competitors: banks, brokers, I mean banks are a lot bigger than myself for now. Having a unique point of difference; what are you doing better than the other person and that’s what I’ve strived to create. It wasn’t in the first few years, it was getting out there seeing clients and getting that cash flow which I mentioned before. Now, it’s about bringing something different to the market for your clients.

What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? Understand your client. At the start I didn’t understand what the client’s wants were and I was going out to see clients (and I thought finance was all about interest rates and providing the client the best interest rate) and I wasn’t having success and conversion rates that my company is having now. I went out to the client’s and asked them, “What do you want out of all this? What is your main objective out of this?” A lot of it wasn’t interest rates, it was service. It wasn’t just about which bank was the best. I’ve implanted a review service with my clients every 12 months and constant contact with client’s through newsletters and the offer them to call anytime. All of that are just little things of which the client wanted, not what I think they wanted. It’s really important to do the market research and know what the clients wants are. 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? It’s probably to build a really strong foundation for your business and make sure that everything is there, so that if you’re growing (and I got to a stage where the business took a couple of years to get traction and then it went really quickly to a few staff within a few months and I had a cash flow issue) so even if you have got to go back one step and then two steps forward you can do that. 

In your mind, is formal training essential? Not necessarily. In terms of my own formal training, I went to TAFE for 6 months and it wasn’t me. Then I got into a finance course. For me it’s about getting out there and getting the experience, learning what works and what doesn’t and then formulating a strategy behind it all. I don’t think it’s necessary; it probably does help, but for me it was getting thrown in the deep end.

Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? Super important. If it weren’t for my mentors I probably wouldn’t be here. They have experience, they know from the business perspective what works, what doesn’t and what we can learn from their background and what we should be implementing. I learnt so much from my father who’s a big mentor, and other business mentors who have been quite successful that I learn a lot from them on a constant basis and bounce ideas off. I’d strongly recommend trying to find one.

In terms of finding one, it’s probably starting off with people who you already know whom are close to you and that are successful and picking their brain. If you know that person pretty well, they are there to help you. Lucky for me, my father had a financial planning practice for 30 years so he was really knowledgeable, and he’s an accountant by trade so he gave me a lot of foundations. From there I wanted to expand my networks and networks are really important. It’s just asking people.

What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career?  If you’ve got the vision and you know where you want to go, don’t stop, you’re going to hit roadblocks all the time. It happens, it’s just business and it separates the people who are going to be successful and those who aren’t. So if you have a clear vision and you know what you want to do, work hard, be motivated and you’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time.

What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? The vision to where I wanted to go. I’m pretty motivated to take my business to a certain level. I always knew there was going to be ups and downs and especially the downs, you learn a lot from them. 

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? It is about that and also about who you know, and not what you know.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s