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Corporate Majority | Acquired



About Smartline

Smartline is an Australian mortgage broker.

Headquarters Location

Level 2 2 Lyonpark Road

North Ryde, New South Wales, NSW 2113,


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Latest Smartline News

REA : From the bookkeeping department to CEO – Susan Mitchell's road to REA

Dec 14, 2021

12/14/2021 | 01:18am EST Message : From the bookkeeping department to CEO - Susan Mitchell's road to REA On the 18th of October, 2021, REA Group announced a significant integration milestone for its broker business with Mortgage Choice and Smartline to operate under one brand. The combined business will retain the Mortgage Choice brand resulting in the Smartline brand phasing out following a transition period. Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services 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. Leading the business is Susan Mitchell (CEO, Broker), appointed the role in July 2021. Susan Mitchell started her financial services career in the bookkeeping department in a bank, spending her summers off university fielding customer calls and complaints. It was her job to figure out how to help customers and she immediately found it fascinating, knowing this was the industry for her. After university Susan became an accountant, working in the finance industry and loved it. 'Something about it just grabbed me.' Susan knew it was where she wanted to be. And so began a career that would take her from Dallas, Texas, to New York City, London, and eventually - Sydney, Australia. Fort Worth, Texas Fast forward to 2009, Susan joined Mortgage Choice as CFO, becoming CEO in 2018, ahead of Mortgage Choice joining the REA family in 2021 and was named CEO of the broker business in July. Asked to use a single sentence to describe what her newly combined REA team does, she said 'we help small business reach their potential and we help consumers buy their homes.' Discussing the biggest focus for her team right now and how it fits into the bigger REA picture, she explains that it has to be integration. 'We have such a large project in front of us and we can't deliver value until we're done, the sooner we get that bedded down and working, the sooner we can add value.' On leadership When asked as a leader, how does she keep people motivated to strive for innovation Susan said 'I think you have to get to know them individually (focusing on your own team) and what makes those people tick, then tap into that and learn how to keep individuals motivated, as we're all unique. It's important to get your people working well together and motivate them as a team, giving them a sense of belonging and of group achievement. It's so powerful when a group works together this way, and if you can get them humming and truly invested in a unified approach, then they want to be part of it.' Career journey Susan had a couple of 'super bosses' that greatly influenced and helped shape her career. 'They were amazing as leaders and mentors; they really showed me the importance of spending time with your people.' She reflects on some of the qualities of the influential people that showed her the way early in her career. 'What I liked about them was their patience, and their ability to stay calm and acknowledge that if something didn't work, then we'd try again.' Susan found this approach inspiring and ever since, took those learnings with her wherever she went. 'I wouldn't say you ever completely feel like you've reached that level, but I'm always aspiring to it.' Susan had a couple of pivotal moments in her career, firstly when she moved to New York leaving all her friends behind in Dallas. It was the first time she took a chance, acknowledging it would be okay if she failed. 'I knew I could always go home if things didn't work out, so I decided to really give it all I had.' Her second big career moment came when working for an investment bank in London. 'It was a very complicated start-up which made it quite challenging. I experienced my first super boss during that time. It was pretty tough, but the people were brilliant and constantly problem-solving. It opened up my eyes to a whole new world.' Susan remembers being excited by the idea of having the power to build and create from scratch, as well as being stunned by how intelligent, kind and hardworking they were. 'I had never met a group of people like that before. Start-ups are such a bonding experience having the opportunity to build so much together.' Jamie and Andrew in 1998 Later Susan stopped working for three years, staying home with her kids and wasn't necessarily planning to go back to work. 'It was a whole other world of school activities and commitments; one I'd previously known little about.' She reflects on the incredible women she met who were incredibly driven in supporting their children and communities. Susan says it taught her that there are a lot of incredible people in the world having an impact in whatever it was they were passionate about or committed to. It made her realise how wrapped up she'd been in her own career. 'You're obviously proud of what you've achieved in your career, but there are different paths to take too, and I got to see a whole other perspective of what it meant to support your family and children.' When the Mitchells moved to Australia, Susan went back to work, starting over and knowing nobody. 'I realised I had it much easier than many in my early career, working with a large global accounting firm and having flexibility to work in NYC and London if I asked to.' Mitchell family photo Proudest moments Asked what she's most proud of, Susan smiled and said 'my children, I'm extremely proud of them.' There were also times in her career where she's had to make some really hard decisions. Susan spoke about one, in particular, that was a real moral dilemma as she was challenged to stand up to a bully. While this unfortunately resulted in Susan losing her job over it, she was proud of her actions. 'Even though it was risky and knowing that my family were relying on me, a line had been crossed. I knew doing the right thing was most important in that situation, as tough as it was to do.' Susan's advice to someone starting out in her field today, 'your first and second career is different and that sentiment is important as you progress. Each stage requires a different set of skills, you need to discover what you need to equip yourself with for each next step. Also, know you can't be perfect at everything. You just need to pick what's important and deliver. Don't panic if you make a mistake. Just fix it.' Looking to the future Susan shared her thoughts on what the financial services market in Australia will look like in the next few years. 'In regard to home loans; I think digital players will become bigger and the big players will become more digital. This is one of reasons I'm so excited about REA bringing Smartline and Mortgage Choice together as one business to offer invaluable expertise.' Susan believes that brokers will take over market share, increasing from 60% to 65-70% over time. The more digital capability the business has to grab market share, the better. 'There's a bright future for brokers with digital skills.' In sharing what she's most excited about in her work right now Susan said 'we're really working hard on delivering a wiz-bang customer experience for our consumers and continuing to see the success of our brokers. I'm excited to see it all really hum and start to expand, then we'll tweak as we go. It's a truly exciting process, I'm thoroughly enjoying building something incredible with our teams.' Susan's exciting next chapter awaits. Attachments

Smartline Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Smartline's headquarters?

    Smartline's headquarters is located at Level 2, North Ryde.

  • What is Smartline's latest funding round?

    Smartline's latest funding round is Corporate Majority.

  • Who are the investors of Smartline?

    Investors of Smartline include REA Group.

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