5 steps to an awesome crowdfunding campaign for Australian entrepreneurs

5 steps to an awesome crowdfunding campaign for Australian entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding for business in Australia is starting to gain momentum and being added into the mix of options available for founders as a source of funding.

In January 2018, crowd-sourced equity funding became available for public unlisted companies and it is expected that it will be opened up to proprietary companies later in the year.

Reward-based crowdfunding has been used for a while to help to all types of projects in music and the arts but it now starting to be used to help start-ups get their operations up and running and to help existing businesses expand a product or service line.

It is recognised that reward based crowdfunding is about more than raising funds. It can be helpful to generate your first customers and brand advocates, to generate feedback for your new offering, to test your minimum viable project and establish minimum orders for production.

Indeed, for crowdfunding campaign creators can expect with no exception that by the end of their campaign they will have had a great learning experience, uncovering real market needs and moving forward with the funds raised, or getting back to the drawing board and trying again with a different approach if they find there is not the level of interest they expected in their new product.

Frankly, there is no magic formula to make crowdfunding campaigns successful every time. Projects, ideas, and target audiences are so unique that there is always something to be unexpected and to be a success at most things in life it takes hard work.

Having said that, after working with many Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs preparing reward-based crowdfunding campaigns, we have singled out five ingredients which contribute significantly to crowdfunding success. These ingredients should also be highly applicable to equity crowdfunding campaigns too.

Plan your campaign for success

Since the early days of crowdfunding, there is this unfounded hope that awesome ideas or prototypes are enough to raise funds. It’s time to dispel the myth once for all. There’s a lot of work involved in creating and running a successful crowdfunding campaign. It starts with good preparation and planning –  reaching out to the media and influencers, generating signups on a landing page, through to building a tribe of followers and raving fans. Bottom line: funds do not arrive by magic.

Fine-tune a compelling message in your video

Did you know that people and goldfishes now have a similar attention span? You don’t have much time to convince potential backers to support your project. Because of that, videos are an ideal channel to communicate a lot of information quickly — with 55% of consumers paying close attention to them.

Whilst videos are not essential, crowdfunding campaigns with videos are significantly more successful. You do not need a Hollywood blockbuster, so start planning what will go into your project’s video as soon as possible. Try keeping it short – 60 seconds should be enough – and tell your main message within the first 15 seconds.

Get backers to pledge from day one

Some crowdfunding campaign creators do not always distinguish between Facebook “likes” and people who actually want to back your project. It is important to recognise that social media engagements and followers do not automatically convert into pledges and backers.

I am often told by campaign creators eager to launch:

Oh it will not be a problem for us to hit our campaign target, we have 4,000 Facebook likes” or “no worries, I have sent a message to my contacts, so they know that we will be live soon.

It is essential that you get your campaign off to a good start by proactively encouraging a crowd of serious backers to pledge from day one otherwise it is likely to be very tough to get steam up to hit your goal.

Seeing initial commitment is a critical decision-making factor for potential crowd members to fund a project, and you have got only one chance to make a first good impression.

Think carefully about your funding goal

You might be tempted to raise as much money as possible, and set an ambitious target but this is often counter-productive. It is often best to seek less and exceed expectations to generate more buzz and make things more manageable.

There is nothing to stop you exceeding your target. A target that looks possible is likely to encourage backers whereas one that looks impossible is likely to be off putting.

Have the right team members in place

Planning for crowdfunding success takes time and effort, and it might just be too much to do it on your own. If it makes sense for your project, try assembling a team with a mix of skills so you can develop a better product or service as well as manage your campaign more effectively.

To create a crowdfunding campaign several skills are required and it is unusual for all those skills to rest in one person. By creating a team not only will you be able to better cover off the skills required but everyone will come to the party with different contacts leading to an immediate expansion of your network.

We hope that these 5 tips will get you thinking about whether a crowdfunding campaign is right for your business.

At ReadyFundGo, Australia’s crowdfunding platform for business, we think it is a privilege to hear about so many amazing ideas. We truly enjoy supporting innovators to launch their campaign and raise the funds to get their idea off the ground or expand their existing business.


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Jill Storey is the CEO of ReadyFundGo, Australia’s crowdfunding platform for businesses and a board member of the Crowd Funding Institute of Australia (CFIA). She has extensive experience in helping campaigners achieve their crowdfunding goals. Visit www.readyfundgo.com today to get your campaign started or get in touch at info@readyfundgo.com if you have a question about starting a crowdfunding campaign for your business.

 

 

From an Industry Outsider to an (award-winning) Industry Leader

From an Industry Outsider to an (award-winning) Industry Leader

Real estate entrepreneur Bernadette Hayes switched gears from the hospitality sector to establish a leading agency focused on strong customer relationships.

Just over seven years ago, Bernadette Hayes moved to the ever-dynamic real estate industry – by accident. Today, as Principal at Harbourline Real Estate which specialises in residential sales and property management, she and her team are committed to building lasting relationships through a high standard of personal service at an affordable price.

Their focus on achieving the right outcome for every client has earned them prestigious nods, including ‘Best Outstanding Real Estate Agency’ on the North Shore, in 2016 and 2017.

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You’ve moved from a career in hotel management and your own catering business to start a venture in real estate. What attracted you to the industry?

I was never attracted to the industry, but found myself trip and land in it! I had a property manager looking after my investment property, but over time I felt that I could do a better job – so I started managing it myself. Not long after, one of my friends also found herself in a similar position and handed me the management of her property. My accountant noticed the extra income from managing the two properties and suggested I get a real estate licence. That was when I took the plunge.

I’ve always been in charge of what I do. Having found success in my previous ventures, I wasn’t prepared to compromise and join an agency. This meant starting from scratch and never having worked in real estate before it was a steep learning curve. The main challenges were not to be swayed by making quick turnarounds, but to look at the long-term goals and establish a reputation in the market.

What would you advise those venturing real estate?

It’s a fast-moving industry, and one can never be complacent. You have to be in the vanguard of the business. The service side of the industry will continue to be a growth area and an agile business approach offered by a small business will meet the market. With a boutique rent roll, you will never compromise on the quality of service. Keep up to date with the latest laws and legislation.

The market is in an adjustment phase, and the biggest challenge is to know when to adjust and what needs adjusting. You need to be in touch with your customer base and listen to buyers and sellers. Pick up on the market sentiment.

How do you balance between “making the sale” and nurturing long-term relationships with your clients?

My business has been built on building long-term relationships. Most of my business comes from recommendations so I will never put this before a quick turnover mentality.

I get great satisfaction securing the desired result for clients. I love building a strong business. I love the opportunity I can give to my staff to grow their careers and be part of the journey with me and to be a mentor.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made and how did you handle it?

The toughest decision was to bring my partner and husband on board into the business. We have a great marriage but working together was going to be a huge risk as we are both different thinkers. We received some valuable independent advice on how to manage working together and we have been able to do this successfully. So far, it has worked!

Harbourline-Real-Estate-Bernadette-Hayes-Profile-Nifnex

Bernadette and her team at Harbourline Real Estate have received prestigious nods, including ‘Best Outstanding Real Estate Agency’ on the North Shore, in 2016 and 2017.

BERNADETTE’S TIPS FOR REAL ESTATE SUCCESS

  • Always have excellence in mind: From day one, do things professionally. Seek advice from people and organisations who know what they are doing, such as the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW).
  • Live your brand: Have a clear direction, know what your brand stands for and live that in everything you do from the very beginning.
  • Build long-lasting relationships: Building and maintaining strong relationships is important to business success. Word of mouth is vital.
  • See the big picture: If you want to be successful in the long run, see the big picture and build your success organically. There will be ups and downs as nothing worthwhile comes easily, so you need to be very motivated and be prepared to work hard.
  • Teamwork: Surround yourself with a great team. Find people with talents you don’t have, and once you find good people, look after them.
  • Get a mentor: Find a good mentor and be prepared to work hard. Be realistic about what you want to achieve and be 100% committed.
  • Introduce the best systems: Be efficient and profitable by introducing the best systems in Customer Resource Management, property management, and of course, your website.

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For more information, visit www.harbourline.com.au.

French and Hamptons style that doesn’t break your wallet

French and Hamptons style that doesn’t break your wallet

High-end furniture and homeware doesn’t have to be beyond one’s reach, believes Lavender Hill Interiors’ Co-Director Mary McManus.

Bringing a piece of classic-contemporary elegance to your home can come at a price. However, online retailers Mary McManus and Gina Courtenay – also twin sisters – are changing that.

Lavender Hill Interiors (LHI), an online boutique store that went live in 2012, is reshaping the way customers buy French and Hamptons style furniture by cutting prices considerably without compromising on design and quality. They work with designers and makers to bring the furniture directly from the factory to their customers’ homes.

With quality and price being crucial to their customers, LHI offers professionally curated packages – featuring classic French and Hamptons furniture and homewares – as cost and time effective solutions.

Mary McManus shares the challenges and opportunities of operating in the digital space as a small business while consistently delivering high quality at low prices.

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What are some of the challenges LHI faces in the online retail space and how is it overcoming them?

The online furniture space was only coming of age when we began in 2012. However, now every furniture retailer has an online presence. Our point of difference is a combination of our beautiful range, quality and price and the fact that we offer completely styled furniture packages. We also hold most of our furniture in our warehouse in Alexandria, so our customers rarely need to wait more than a week for their order to arrive.

We are a small business without any investors, so we don’t have the funds behind us to undertake traditional or print media marketing.  We rely heavily on digital marketing including online shopping, paid campaigns using Google AdWords, social media marketing, re-marketing, content marketing and automated emails, such as cart abandonment reminders and order follow-ups.

LHI has built an immense community of followers on social media. How has this contributed to the overall business growth?

 We do have a strong social media presence with a combined followership of over 120K users across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Houzz. We invest a lot of time and energy in daily posts on all these social platforms, interacting with our followers, in addition to consistent advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Social media conversions constitute about 10% of our total annual conversions.

You’ve moved from a career in public relations to starting your own venture. What inspired you to take the leap?

I had my own public relations company for 12 years, but I wanted to raise my two young sons (a 1-year old and other only a few months old) at the time I left.  Besides a two-year stint in a public relations company when I left university, I have always worked for myself. When my boys were a little older, I was ready to enter the workforce again. My sister – who comes from a Law background – and I discussed the idea of opening our own business based on our shared passion for French and Hamptons interiors. I wanted to work for myself again which allowed me flexibility with my sons. While this means that I am working very long hours including weekends and nights, I absolutely love what I do!

Having started the business with your twin sister, how does it impact the professional and personal synergy you share?

We have always had a good friendship and now have a great working relationship. We complement each other, and our roles have developed organically over the years.  As my background is in public relations, I look after marketing as well as IT while my sister deals with our factories in China, stock orders and managing our staff. We both love the creative side too and develop new product lines together.

What is the toughest decision you have made and how did you handle it?

One of the toughest decision we made was to move to larger premises, i.e. office, showroom and warehouse. Our rent more than doubled, but we really believed in our business and took the leap and have not looked back since!

What are the three things you’re most excited about for the business in 2018?

  1. Our new collection of navy linen furniture
  2. Introducing an e-decorating service for our customers
  3. Releasing new dining tables and Malawi chairs

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Check out their latest collection at www.lavenderhillinteriors.com.au.

Using LinkedIn Effectively

Using LinkedIn Effectively

These days, LinkedIn is overflowing with content. There are more users and more choices than ever before, but also more noise and sales pitches. These factors, along with algorithm changes, make it harder to stand out on merit alone or gain wide exposure simply by having a large network.

Yet LinkedIn remains one of the best places to get noticed, build your reputation and grow your business. It’s often the first place people look when they want to know more about you. Whether you’re in business, planning a career move or want to be seen as an industry expert, knowing the rules of the game can help you take advantage of all the benefits this powerful business network has to offer.

Here are our top 3 tips for using LinkedIn effectively:

Content

Whether you’re a prolific publisher or only write an occasional post or article, remember to leave your ego at the door and write for your audience. It’s ok to share a win every now and then, but always focusing on yourself is a big turnoff to your network – ultimately damaging your reputation and encouraging people to unfollow.

Whilst LinkedIn is a business network, it’s also a social platform – so use it as it was designed to be used:

  1. Participate in discussions
  2. Share your knowledge
  3. Share others’ content
  4. Acknowledge others’ successes
  5. Offer help

Language

Often the impact of your posts and articles is as much about the language as the subject. Your audience will quickly form an opinion of you based on the words you use – so make sure the ones you choose feel natural and express your message clearly. Industry terms and jargon have their place, but use them selectively: it’s great to demonstrate your knowledge but if your audience doesn’t understand or it doesn’t enhance your message you’ll look like you’re showing off.

Be precise and concise: your audience’s time valuable, and their attention span is short. Numerous messages are competing for their attention, so make every point count – is it relatable? Useful? Does it provide a solution or benefit?

Get familiar with the most common keywords and hash tags in your industry, and use them every time you post. If your audience is looking for an expert, they’ll be more likely to find you.

Images

I’m often asked, ‘should I have a profile photo?’ The short answer is yes, always!

First impressions still matter and we all want to connect with a person, not a generic placeholder graphic or company logo. But make sure it’s good quality – blurry or dark shots, or an image cropped from your last wedding or Christmas party snap are worse than no photo at all.

Quality images also play an important role in your posts. Generally speaking, posts with an image attract more engagement, but don’t let that stop you publishing a well worded text only post – sometimes this can be just as powerful, especially when the newsfeed is crowded with image posts.

With over 500 million members, LinkedIn remains one of the biggest and most influential social media networks for business worldwide. The high volume of content may have made it more challenging to be seen by your target audience, but it is possible to cut through the clutter by being more strategic in your approach and staying true to the platform’s purpose as a social platform. Being a contributor rather than a broadcaster is the most effective way to get noticed, be recognised as an expert and grow your business or career.

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Megan Edwards is the owner of mWords Communications, a boutique content marketing, social media and training company. She has over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications, and currently specialises in consulting, copywriting and leading LinkedIn Strategy workshops for small business owners and corporates.

How this 95-year old fashion brand has beaten all odds to stay relevant

How this 95-year old fashion brand has beaten all odds to stay relevant

Melissa Gibson and Warren Sanders, Directors at Buckle | 1922, share the challenges and opportunities in reviving a nonagenarian Australian label to style today’s modern man.

Buckle | 1922 opened its doors over nine decades ago to provide locally manufactured, authentic Australian-made men’s fashion accessories. It goes without saying that this Australian business has had its fair share of ups and downs, surviving everything from World War II to the Great Financial Crisis, and now the rise of ‘fast fashion’. Based in Stanmore (NSW), Buckle | 1922 continues to manufacture men’s leather belts and braces from its 1000sqm operation in Sydney’s Inner West.

While catering to both the ultra-conservative and the fashion aware, their customers have a commonality; valuing quality and locally manufactured products. We speak with Melissa Gibson and Warren Sanders, who purchased the family business from its fourth-generation owners in 2013, to learn how they are spearheading this heritage brand into the new fashion era.

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Buckle | 1922 survived some of the century’s major global and domestic challenges. What are some present-day challenges it faces?

Technology. The growth of online channels is phenomenal. If you are not on it, you will move backwards. When we first started with an online fashion retailer ‘The Iconic’ in 2013, orders were small and sporadic. Fast forward to now, and we send weekly stock orders into their warehouse to keep up with demand. But in saying that, it’s not the death of brick and mortar retailers. Our independent category is as strong as ever. Consumers will continue to enjoy ‘the art’ of going shopping, provided that their brick and mortar retailer offers a unique experience or product mix.

Globalisation. The world is moving at such a rapid rate, and the speed (from the runway) to market is in fifth gear. No longer do Australians lag a season behind in fashion. We are at the same pace with Europe and America. It’s so important to plan and get the right styles, colours and products in place before you miss the boat – time is of the essence.

How do you balance the product range between adapting to new fashion trends and maintaining the heritage appeal of the brand?

It’s exactly that – a balancing act. We are constantly looking at what is happening locally and abroad. We regularly introduce new products, product categories and colours to keep fresh and relevant. Consumers are savvy and look for something deeper in the accessories (and other items) they purchase. Knowing that their accessory was handcrafted in Australia yet in line with fashion trends provides a product with personality and character.

Unlike fast fashion, it’s not just ‘another thing’. When an accessory is purchased from Buckle | 1922, it is marked with the name of one of our craftspeople to emphasise where and who made their product. Our website also features details of the production process and introduces our craftspeople to the world.

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What inspired you to purchase the business from its fourth-generation owners?

It’s not often that you come across a business with such a heritage-rich history behind it. We were also blessed to have a team (or work-family) that are extremely passionate about what they do. We got wind that the business was for sale in early 2013. The previous owners were in retirement phase, and their children were not interested in taking over the business.

Both Warren and I worked within Buckle | 1922 (as National Sales Manager and General Manager, respectively) prior to taking the leap of faith. Even though the business at the time was 91 years old, we believed that it still hadn’t reached its full potential.

Three things you’re most excited for the business in 2018

Our launch into the UK. Melissa is off to Solihull (near Birmingham) in January 2018 to launch our brand in their market. We have two active agents introducing and familiarising their market with the brand. Launching into a new market requires lots of attention, and we know to make this successful in the UK, it requires time.

Growth in the online space. The Iconic has become a very important trading partner. It provides us with more opportunities to present our brand to a broader market.

More new styles. It’s always very exciting to launch new styles and products. We have new shades of tan leathers and really ‘out-there’ brace elastics arriving in March 2018 which we hope will offer the same excitement to both our retailers and end users.

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Visit www.buckle1922.com.au to see the latest from the house of Buckle | 1922.

Photographs by Oscar Colman.

Empowering small charities and businesses to maximise social impact

Empowering small charities and businesses to maximise social impact

The Growth Project brings charity and business leaders together in a unique personal development program to foster effective collaboration.

Contribution to charitable causes has gained momentum among businesses and individuals over the years. The organisational mindset towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) has also seen change, primarily moving from a once-a-year contribution or ‘annual report formality’ to a mechanism for actively engaging and working with the community.

The Growth Project (TGP), a social purpose organisation established in 2015, takes this a step further by establishing a collaborative relationship between businesses and charities to create a positive impact on society at large. TGP facilitates an innovative 12-month personal development program for a cohort of 10 charity leaders, matched with 10 business leaders, and touches upon a range of topics including Building Networks, Governance and Creating Shared Value.

TGP’s Chairman Martin Mulcare shares how this program – offered at no cost to charity leaders – is enabling small, successful charities to maximise their social impact while providing leadership development opportunities to business leaders who are willing to make a difference.

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How are ongoing collaborations benefitting the businesses and charities involved with The Growth Project?

The most obvious benefits are the sharing of skills and experiences for mutual gain of the leaders involved. This manifests itself into remarkable improvements within both the businesses and the charities. For example, one of our sessions is focused on building better strategic plans. Being able to share ideas and past examples are obviously helpful. However, the value-add comes when these leaders apply their insights in practice, whereby it begins to shape the thinking of their respective teams, as well as to improve their planning skills.

At another level, we have seen several business leaders join the board of their partner charity to continue their contribution after their program completed. We now have evidence of valuable co-operation between members of different cohorts. We have also seen the growing involvement of other elements of businesses such as input from the CBA Innovation Lab. More significantly, the collaboration at an organisational level is fundamentally changing the way that charities and businesses engage.

What is the key to establishing these partnerships so that they are effective?

Effective engagement means working together as equals, with a common purpose and common values, to solve social problems for the benefit of the community – and the business. This means being very selective about choosing charities. The criteria need to be based on the charity’s alignment with the business, not the emotion in their story nor the personal interests of the business owner. It’s not easy and it requires a lot more thought than that needed to write a cheque. It also requires a different mindset.

Graduation night of TGP's first Sydney's cohort, the Albatross Group

Graduation night of TGP’s first Sydney’s cohort, the Albatross Group

In your view, how can businesses, especially SMEs, work together with social purpose organisations to make charitable initiatives a part of their strategic plan?

Let me give you a simple real-life example that Phil Preston uses to explain the concept of “shared value”. A real estate business may choose to support its community by giving a $200 cheque to the local fete. It could, at a higher level, encourage its employees to participate in the local fun run to raise money and promote teamwork.

However, their strategic solution would be to partner with relevant local charities to help its customers who are experiencing trouble with rent payments (e.g. through sickness or unemployment). This could be by way of an intervention plan, supported by the real estate agency, to help the family remain in their home (and sustain their rent).

After an established career in the financial services industry, what inspired you to pursue this initiative?

I was inspired by the vision of TPG’s founders, Peter Baines OAM and Larry Fingleson. I had been involved with a single charity and was looking for a more suitable means of impacting the charity sector, in a more profound and enduring manner. TGP offered me a means of directly influencing 100 charity leaders over a five-year period, to build sustainable organisations. The format of the program also appealed to me – I couldn’t find anyone else in Australia with a similar proposition.

What are you most looking forward to for The Growth Project in 2018?

  • Selecting two new cohorts, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, each comprising another ten charity leaders and business leaders
  • Gaining further evidence of the power of collaboration and implementation
  • Clarifying an ambitious vision for TGP beyond 2020

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Learn more about the program at www.thegrowthproject.com.au

Home Loans for Self-Employed & How to Get One

Home Loans for Self-Employed & How to Get One

Being self employed means you are your own boss and many of us struggle to access finance either because of the paperwork needed, it takes long for approvals or we can only see a lender at times that suit us to accommodate our busy erratic work lives.

RAMS  has been awarded Best Self Employed Lender 2017 & 2018 and aim to offer flexible credit terms along with a smaller set of paperwork, quick assessment and response times, and franchises that are open to accommodate the hours small business owners work.

We interviewed Rams to find out various Do’s & Don’ts, pitfalls, challenges and solutions available for self employed borrowed looking for home loans.

Interview:  Facebook SE Award FB Post V02

Being self-employed and getting a home loan is definitely a daunting task. As the best self-employed lender for 2017 & 2018, how do you help small businesses and entrepreneurs?

  • Being self-employed can mean fluctuations in your income. RAMS understands this. After all, our RAMS Franchise Principals are small business owners themselves.
  • With a simple application process and minimal paperwork, your RAMS lender can meet to discuss your needs 7 days a week, even before or after hours. This means you can spend more time looking after your customers.
  • If you’re self-employed and in the market for a home loan, RAMS has several home loans that don’t require the usual financial statements or tax returns.

Please tell us what benefits RAMS can offer small businesses and entrepreneurs.

  • RAMS offers three types of lending to self-employed customers – a Self Employed Home Loan, a Self-Employed Fixed Rate Loan and a Self-Employed Line of Credit.
  • Depending on the type of loan and your circumstances, benefits can include redraw with no minimums and no redraw fee; for fixed loans a wide range of fixed rate periods – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 year period; for variable loans you could save on fees and receive a discounted variable interest rate with our Value Advantage Package – conditions apply.

How long has RAMS been helping small businesses and entrepreneurs get home loans?

  • Since 1995, RAMS has been helping Australians realise the ‘great Australian dream’ of home ownership by providing affordable, simple yet flexible home loans.
  • RAMS also offers industry leading savings and deposit accounts along with a range of insurance products to meet your needs.

What challenges do you mostly come across for self-employed borrowers and how do we increase our chances of approval?

  • Some self-employed customers may unfortunately struggle to access finance because they don’t have their financial statements or tax return ready at the time of application. RAMS is a specialist self-employed lender that aims to offer flexible credit terms along with a smaller set of paperwork, quick assessment and response times, and franchises that are open early, late and on weekends to accommodate the hours small business owners work.

What documentation would borrowers need in order to get a home loan?

  • Whether RAMS customers work for an employer or are self-employed, depending on their circumstances and the home loan they have applied for, they will generally need to supply the following:
    • Completed and signed RAMS Standard Application Form
    • 100 Point Check AML Customer Identification Checklist (with accompanying identification) per applicant
    • First Home Owner Grant application (if you’re a first home buyer)
    • Signed copy of Contract of Sale (required for purchase only)
    • 6 Months Home Loan Statements (required for refinance only)
    • Rates Notice for existing property used as security (required for refinance/equity releases only)
    • Copy of last 3 months’ loan statements for any loan to be paid out (required for loan consolidation only)
    • Evidence of income – most recent payslip or letter from employer detailing conditions and most recent group certificate.

What about business owners who have an existing home loan. Is there anything that RAMS can help them with additional loans using their equity perhaps?

  • Each business owners’ needs are unique and their individual circumstances must be taken into account. Customers can arrange to see a home lending specialist at their local RAMS Home Loans Centre or call 13 RAMs, that’s 13 7267 to arrange for a RAMS Home Loans Specialist to call.

What are the pitfalls that self-employed borrowers need to look out for when looking for loans?

  • Paperwork – can be a hassle particularly when you have a business to run. However, a self-employed home loan allows for the provision of documentation to suit a small business’ unique needs such as your business activity statement, income declaration and registration for GST.
  • Upfront costs – Most lenders will require you to have a significant deposit and may even ask you to pay lenders mortgage insurance if you’re borrowing more than 60% of the property value. Generally, you will need to have saved a minimum of 20% of the property value. There are also plenty of other costs that should be factored in, such as stamp duty, home loan application fees, ongoing fees and repayments and council rates etc.
  • It’s also important to remember that interest rates are at record lows at the moment, but you should plan ahead in the case of a rate hike in the future.

What are the do’s and don’ts of self-employed home loans?

  • DO try and keep all your documentation and paperwork in order to make the application process much easier.
  • DO consider your current financial situation and think about what you can realistically afford with your home loan.
  • DO seek professional financial advice if you think you need some help with your financial planning.
  • DON’T forget to factor in other added costs such as Stamp Duty and Conveyancing Fees along with the purchase price of your home, so you’re not left with a nasty surprise once the home loan settles.
  • DON’T assume that it will be hard to apply for a home loan just because you’re self-employed – your RAMS local home lender is more than happy to help where they can.

Who can we contact in Perth / Western Australia for an initial confidential conversation?

Customers can arrange to see a home lending specialist at their local RAMS Home Loans Centre or call 13 RAMs, that’s 13 7267, to arrange for a RAMS Home Loans Specialist to call.

For further information and to contact a specialist in Perth, please visit: Rams Can Help You!