REA Group has announced a significant integration milestone for its broker business with Mortgage Choice and Smartline to operate under one brand.
REA Group Chief Financial Officer Janelle Hopkins said after conducting extensive brand research among consumers and brokers, it was evident that moving forward with the Mortgage Choice brand would best position the business for future success.
“For almost 30 years, Mortgage Choice has been a nationally recognised and trusted brand among consumers, synonymous with financial services,” she said.
“Uniting all our brokers under the Mortgage Choice brand will support REA’s ambition to create Australia’s leading franchise broking business.
“While our approach is to retain the Mortgage Choice name, we will leverage the best of the Smartline and Mortgage Choice networks to strongly position more than 900 brokers for sustained success under the combined business.
“We see significant opportunities to link REA’s digital capabilities, property insights, and highly engaged audience with our broker network, positioning Mortgage Choice as the leading proposition in market for anyone considering joining a franchise network.”
REA also announced that the combined business would move to one broking system.
By the end of the 2022 calendar year, more than 900 brokers will use Broker Platform, the purpose-built software originally developed and used by Mortgage Choice for the past four years.
Mortgage Choice Chief Executive Officer Susan Mitchell said the software provided market-leading value when it came to delivering an excellent broker and customer experience.
“Broker Platform’s market-leading fact find and file management capabilities, along with the ability to integrate with multiple systems, means we can increase broker productivity and create better business outcomes for brokers and their clients.”
Mortgage Choice and Smartline franchises will continue to operate under their respective brands, transitioning to one brand and one platform from February 2022.
During this time, REA Group will continue to support both Mortgage Choice and Smartline with respective marketing campaigns and lead generation activities.
“We know our brokers are time poor when it comes to running their businesses and responding to the increased demand for their services,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The transition will include rebranding support across the franchise network and a comprehensive training program to ensure minimal disruption to our broking network.”
Ms Hopkins said she was pleased to give the franchise networks certainty around core elements of their businesses.
“These are the first major steps in our integration process that will support our ongoing future success,” Ms Hopkins said.