Chris Wolter was originally born in Sydney NSW, but as a child followed his family throughout the region and into various farm work as they lived on and ran rural working properties. Eventually, Chris and his family settled in Tamworth.
During a tumultuous time for the economy, Chris’ family who were working a wool farm at the time ended up having to sell the property and the business. It was at this point Chris and his family explored an entirely new venture and opened up a pawn shop in their local town of Tamworth.
“I worked at the shop for over 10 years with my family when I was going through high school, it definitely opened my eyes to people from all walks of life and with all different stories”.
After high school, Chris followed a career in the media industry where he specifically worked in media sales. Securing a job at the local Tamworth radio station, after 18 months he was promoted to general manager of the station. Which is funnily enough the exact path which lead him to become a mortgage broker.
“I had built a really good relationship with one of my clients, Brian and Lorraine Coleman who owned Your Priority Home Loans. We were sitting over coffee one day just talking about their account with the station when they told me they were looking to bring on another finance broker – not specifically someone with finance experience but someone who possessed the right qualities and had a genuine care for people. They asked if I would join the team and so at the start of 2013 I became a mortgage broker and haven’t looked back”.
Chris admits that unlike most brokers who have come out of banking institutions and have a pre-existing knowledge of the industry, it was a really tough few years as he found his feet.
“I had a great mentor in Brian who took me under his wing and who really helped me gain that experience”.
Outside of work, Chris is a father of two children, a 12-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, which Chris admits to keeping him out of trouble. As well as being a self-professed die-hard South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league fan, Chris also shares a passion for basketball and travel with his kids.
“We’re definitely into our sport, we love our rugby and basketball, we’ve travelled to America a few times to watch the NBA and are definitely looking forward to heading back over to the USA again soon. On top of all that though, we’re just nerds at heart, we love our Star Wars movies and what not”.
Life as a mortgage broker
The most enjoyable part of being a mortgage broker for Chris is being able to help people and seeing/hearing the excitement in their voices when he shares the news with them about their finance being approved.
“I particularly love helping first home buyers, it’s such an overwhelming and daunting time for someone going through the finance journey and it’s not always an easy journey so being able to help first home buyers is something I really enjoy. On top of that, being able to help those clients who perhaps have heard ‘no’ from a few banks already and are coming to us with no hope left and being able to really work through their situation, put them on a good savings plan and then in the end being able to get them approved, it’s a really great feeling”.
Your Priority Home Loans
Whilst Chris and the team at Priority Home Loans are based in Tamworth, on the very street where the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival happens, their referral-based business really sees them operating nationwide.
“Our customers are built on a referral network, which means we have customers all over the country now. Just recently I settled a loan in Hobart. We truly have a broad spectrum of where we work, which means we really need to stay atop of regulation changes, new grants and schemes per state etc. We really appreciated the new ALI Group First Home Buyers Playbook too, this has been a great tool for us to provide our clients to really show them what’s available to them in their respective locations”.
At the core of Your Priority Home Loans their philosophy is truly to have a genuine care and understanding for their clients wants and needs. The team also puts an emphasis on the environment, ensuring it’s a welcoming space where clients can come and know they will be taken care of. To do this Your Priority invest in making sure the team is happy and taken care of, as this resonates through their relationships and interactions with clients.
“Having fun and creating a healthy working environment is a big part of our business philosophy for us. We have a coffee truck come to the office at 11am every morning where we all get together and talk and share information about what the big lenders might be doing or we will run scenarios past each other, but we also have a laugh and a joke. This line of work can become really stressful in terms of deadlines and other things so it’s really nice for us to take a step back and make it an enjoyable place for us to work, but we have found it really reflects on the whole business too. So, when customers come through the door, they are welcomed into a positive environment. We find that to be a really important part of how we operate the business”.
A genuine care for clients
From getting on planes and jetting around the country to see clients in other states or just to visit those in rural areas who struggle to get anywhere to sign documents, Chris and the team at Your Priority make sure they do what they can to help their clients.
“At one point or another in mine and the team’s careers, there have been moments where we have really gone above and beyond to help our clients. We will always do what we can for them. There’s been a couple of instances where funds have been short for whatever reason outside of a customers control and we’ve been able to help those customers financially through that stage of the settlement process”.
A genuine care extends to protecting clients from financial hardship
Chris has recently been announced as ALI Group’s Broker of the Year for the state of NSW. Recognised for his consistent hard work and dedication to protecting his clients from financial hardship with My Protection Plan (MPP).
Chris became authorised with ALI in 2016 and since then has protected over 120 of his clients.
“When ALI came along and presented the offering and what it would mean for our clients in a way of their protection and also how seamlessly it would integrate with our business, it was all in from that point on.
It made sense for our business but also it meant providing our clients a genuine cover which would be there for them if they needed it”.
A recent claims experience
Chris helped a British couple in their 50s purchase their first home on Australian soil. It was a big financial decision for them as they made the permanent move from the United Kingdom to Australia. So, when Chris discussed the risks with them and how MPP çould provide peace of mind that if something were to happen, they would have cover, Chris’ clients opted to take out a joint policy.
A few years later, those clients reached out to Chris with the unfortunate news that the gentleman, Derek, had been diagnosed with cancer.
After a positive claims experience with ALI, Derek let us tell his story about his experience. You can read his claim story, here.
“From my own personal experience, that was the first claim for me as a broker where I saw my clients go through the claims process with ALI and witnessed how much of a positive experience it was for them. The whole experience reaffirmed for me the importance and value of ALI’s MPP. It’s genuine cover for my clients and is there when they need it the most”.
Like most of our dedicated brokers, who make MPP an integral part of their process with clients, Chris had an unfortunate experience where a young woman didn’t have protection and was desperate for help.
“I have had a personal experience which really brought home the reason ‘why’ we offer MPP to our clients and it wasn’t with a client I had even written a loan for but someone who had booked an appointment with me after she had been to see her existing bank and was told “we can’t help you”. She was only in her early 30s and unfortunately her husband has passed away unexpectantly and she was left with two reasonably young children. She wanted to refinance the loan and bring it all into her own name and take on board the loan, I wasn’t able help her either. When you’ve got someone sitting at your desk in tears, it really reaffirms why you need to at least give them the option to take out protection. Unfortunately for this young woman, her bank at the time never gave her those options and so there was no protection in place for her. It was an incredibly upsetting experience, not being able to help her. I never want to have to witness that again. Protection is an imperative part of my process because I truly believe in it’s value to anyone taking out a large debt”.
Chris believes all brokers should be offering something to their clients in the way of protection.
“At this point, you’re crazy not to talk to your clients about protection. We are pretty good at insuring our assets but not ourselves and I get that some people just don’t want to talk about the bad stuff but we really have to. When we are sitting opposite clients who we are assisting with finance, we really need to be having the conversation with them.
I know for me, as much as it’s terrible if they don’t have some type of protection and the worst happens, if they come back in and need help, I at least know that I gave them that opportunity. It’s completely your clients’ decision whether they proceed with the cover or not but at least you know that you gave them the option and you did your part as a broker”.
You can get in touch with Chris or the team at Your Priority Home Loans today but visiting their website: https://yourpriority.com.au/meet-the-team
My Protection Plan is issued by Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd ABN 37 062 395 484. It is distributed by Australian Life Insurance Distribution Pty Ltd ABN 31 103 157 811 AFSL 226403 (ALI). ALI receives commission for each policy sold. Any advice provided is of a general nature only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement when deciding if this product is appropriate for you.