A Warrnambool mortgage broker has taken out a national honour for a second consecutive year for customer service in a regional area.
Sam Arthurs said he was "taken aback" when he received the award at the Australian Broking Awards in Sydney this month.
Mr Arthurs outperformed brokers in bigger regional towns such as Geelong, Toowoomba and Alice Springs, while settling a relatively low $24 million in home loans compared to other brokers.
"But when my average home loan amount is around $220,000, that's a lot of loans and a lot of happy clients," he said.
Mr Arthurs, also a casual responder with Ambulance Victoria in Warrnambool and Hamilton, said comments at the banking royal commission that referred to brokers as "the big end of town" had annoyed him because he didn't enter the profession to make money.
Instead, he said he entered the industry after wanting to improve on the service he received at a bank, and he saw an opportunity to provide a personalised service.
"There are people who finish work at 6pm and start work at 8am. And they had to get into banks between 10am and 5pm or couldn't get a loan," Mr Arthurs said.
"So I started seeing people at night. To be able to do the right thing by someone you know or someone you're friends with is worth more than money.
"It sounds corny, but genuinely there is an ability to help people in what I do. Same with the ambulance, you're there to do a service."
He said mortgage brokers accounted for about 60 per cent of Australia's home loan market, but that number was far less in regional areas due to a lack of brokers.
"I want Warrnambool to have the option and service to not just go straight to the bank," Mr Arthurs said.
He said his workload had increased in the past few years due to Warrnambool's booming property market.
"People are buying in Warrnambool. Warrnambool has a very busy first homebuyer market," Mr Arthurs said.
"The other things with Warrnambool is it does have a very high turnover and there is more owner-occupiers than investors."
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