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Brighten appoints new BDM amid WA boom

Publication Date: Tuesday, 30 April 2024
This article originally appeared in Australian Broker.

BDM to cover WA, SA, and the Northern Territory

Brighten Home Loans, a nonbank lender, has named Scott Chandler (pictured above left) as its new senior business development manager for Perth, Western Australia.

The appointment is part of Brighten’s strategic plan to broaden its distribution network in response to the increasing property demand in the area.

Chandler will work under the guidance of Chris Meaker (pictured above right), Brighten’s director and head of distribution. Stationed in Perth, Chandler’s role will involve leading business development activities for Brighten across Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Demand for brokers in Western Australia

The property market in Western Australia has been gaining momentum, with demand reaching new heights.

CoreLogic data from the end of March 2024 revealed that Perth recorded the highest monthly, quarterly, and annual growth in home prices among all state capitals. In addition, Brighten Home Loans saw a 51% increase in application submissions from Western Australia between April 1, 2023, and April 1, 2024.

Given the thriving real estate scene in Western Australia, Meaker noted that brokers should anticipate a surge in inquiries from home buyers who are interested in non-bank lending solutions that meet their specific financial needs.

“We are witnessing a steady increase in enquiries from our broker partners, particularly from regions beyond the eastern seaboard,” Meaker said. “These are predominantly from self-employed customers in need of alternative-documentation finance solutions, and investors seeking better serviceability options.

“This increase in demand has also led to the expansion of Brighten’s broker network in Western Australia, prompting the appointment of a senior BDM to offer them the best-possible service. Scott’s appointment is timely and aligns perfectly with our strategic objective of rapid national expansion.”

17 years of local experience

Bringing 17 years of industry experience to his new role, having previously held positions at AFGWestpac, and Commonwealth Bank, all based in Perth.

The newly appointed BDM said while the state has seen strong housing market growth, brokers have told him that borrowers’ requirements have become increasingly complex.

“There is an increase in visa holders coming to WA for work and looking to buy, as the rental market is too competitive,” Chandler said. “We are also seeing a return of expat lending, with many skilled workers returning to overseas employment post-COVID.

“All of these factors mean a high demand for home loans that support alternative-documentation income verification from lenders offering excellent borrower service.”

While WA’s construction industry did present some risk after it experienced recent impacts due to skills and materials shortages, Chandler said it is “largely back on track”.

“Consumer sentiment is returning, construction time frames are reducing, and construction lending volumes are increasing,” Chandler said. “Again, many borrowers looking to build require alternative lending options, using products such as Brighten’s Alt Doc Easy Builder.”

Chandler ‘instrumental’ in the AFG-Brighten white-label partnership

 In his most recent role at AFG, Chandler managed the aggregator’s business relationships in Western Australia and was instrumental in supporting the AFG-Brighten white-label partnership.

Commenting on his appointment, Chandler said: “I’m excited to join such a respected team within the industry. I’m particularly excited by Brighten’s strong growth record and its commitment to staying ahead of market trends through technological and product development.

“I look forward to leveraging my experience to provide top-tier service to our brokers across Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.”

The move comes after Brighten appointed industry veteran Jason Azzopardi as CEO in January.