Introduction

A mortgage broker is your link to the bank and your best shot at getting your lending application approved for that property.

Why? Because they will plug any holes and pick up any issues with your application before it gets sent off to the bank. They also might be able to offer a few insider secrets about which bank may be more likely to offer you the money.

Because mortgage brokers are free and offer similar services, it can be hard to discern which mortgage broker you should use.

Since we work with property investors and first home buyers every day here at Opes Partners, we’ve got a good sense of who the best mortgage brokers are.

We also have our own mortgage brokers in-house at Catalyst Financial, so we definitely have an industry-insider perspective. Now, so you don’t think we’re biased, we’ve chosen not to include them on our list.

Even though we think they’re pretty awesome.

So, here is our honest review of the top 5 mortgage brokers in Auckland – in no particular order.

Broker #1 Ash Robinson from Squirrel

Broker #1 Ash Robinson from Squirrel

Squirrel mortgages are predominantly based in Auckland, and are one of the largest mortgage brokers in the country.

The team of 28 are some of the only mortgage brokers that get paid a salary, rather than on commission.

This means the Squirrel mortgages team don’t have a financial incentive to keep writing more mortgages if it’s not the right financial decision for the purchaser.

It’s worth mentioning that Squirrel has 5 Chinese speaking brokers and 4 Indian speaking brokers. This makes Squirrel an attractive choice for the diverse communities of Auckland who may be more comfortable conversing in their first language.

One Squirrel broker we know well is senior advisor Ash Robinson. He’s a certified financial advisor and has been with the company for about 6 years. He made the NZ Adviser’s annual Young Guns list in 2019, which ranked him as a strong name in the industry.

Broker #2 Blandon Leung from Mortgage HQ

Broker #2 Blandon Leung from Mortgage HQ

Mortgage HQ is owned by senior mortgage advisor Blandon Leung and has been around since 2015. He and his team of 9 have an excellent reputation and customers rave about them in reviews.

Mortgage HQ offers a lot of educational tools and advice on all aspects of property investing.

On the website, Blandon says he believes mortgages should not be a burden to families. Rather, they should be harnessed as a tool to create financial freedom.

They offer three education options, which are all reasonably priced.

  • 3-stage masterclass (of 60-minute videos), which is available online. Stage 1 of the masterclass is $7.
  • 7-day, property accelerator course for $399
  • 8-week property formula workshop based online at $1479

But should you want to save your $7 for a coffee instead, there is a considerable amount of information available on Mortgage HQ’s YouTube channel for free.

At the time of writing, Mortgage HQ - Andrew and Blandon have 6.13K subscribers.

The short videos have thousands of views and offer short nuggets of mortgage tips, hacks and a smattering of other topics like how to save tax and how revolving credit works.

Broker #3 Johnny Ang from Mortgage Lab

Broker #3 Johnny Ang from Mortgage Lab

Mortgage Lab is a nationwide company, with a team of 8 based in Auckland.

What Opes likes most about Mortgage Lab is how much information the website gives on its advisors.

Each has their own page, filled to the brim with information about themselves. Some have a question and answer format, and the questions are as personal as: “What inspired you to become a Mortgage Broker?” And “If you could have dinner with any three people (alive or dead), who would it be?”

So, as a potential customer you can pick and choose who you feel most comfortable to work with, judged by their personalities. It’s a very human-friendly approach, and the answers are really fun to read.

Financial advisor Johnny Ang is based on Auckland’s North Shore. Johnny is fluent in Indonesian, English and speaks Mandarin. He’s a really good fit for Indonesian and Mandarin speakers who prefer to converse in their native language.

Before helping people buy houses and investment properties he worked for 20 years in the bank credit department.

That means Johnny really knows what the banks are looking for when assessing your mortgage – he’s been on the other side for over two decades.

Broker #4 Cameron Marcroft from Loan Market

Broker #4 Cameron Marcroft from Loan Market

Another nationwide company, Loan Market, has 130-something advisers based all around New Zealand.

Cameron Marcroft runs the Auckland Central branch for Loan Market. His team of 7 work out of his Remuera offices.

He is a very well-decorated broker, ranked amongst the top mortgage brokers in the country.

His name is well respected on the Property Investors’ Chat Group on Facebook, with users praising Cameron and his team for their service. All his Google reviews mention he is a punctual and good communicator.

Loan Market is a sponsor of MoneyTime, which is a finance learning course for 10 to 14-year-olds.

Broker #5 Kris Pedersen from Kris Pedersen Mortgages

Broker #5 Kris Pedersen from Kris Pedersen Mortgages

Last on the list is Kris Pedersen from Kris Pedersen Mortgages.

Kris is an active member of the property investment community. His brokerage is the principal sponsor of the Auckland Property Investors’ Association and his company writes for the NZ Property Investor magazine.

The company specialises in property investment and is associated with other businesses that focus on an active renovations strategy.

Kris is an active property investor himself and also owns Pedersens Property Management.

This gives us here at Opes the confidence that he really understands property investment so can give well-rounded advice for investors who are just starting out, or who are looking to expand.

Conclusion

What Do I Do Next?

With all the information we have just laid out for you, the best way to find the mortgage broker for you is to ring them up and have a chat.

Yes, recommendations are a great way to start, but you might like to interview a couple before you actually make up your mind who you want to go with.

Here are some ideas of questions you might want to ask to get a feel for who’s the right fit:

  • Do you work with all banks, or just a few?
  • What’s the best type of mortgage for me?
  • What are some of the ways I can get my lending up?
  • How should I structure my lending to reach my goals e.g. pay off debt more quickly, or expand a property portfolio?

There are very few “no-brainers” in buying property … but for us, using a mortgage broker is one of them for most people.

Not only is your lending more likely to be approved, since you’ve prepped the mortgage application properly, but the service is often offered at no cost.

And the broker will take on the donkey work of getting your mortgage application pushed through, freeing up your time to do other things.

LM b W

Laine Moger

Laine Moger has been a journalist and reporter for the last 6 years. She previously worked for Stuff, The North Shore Times and Radio NZ. She has a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism.