Ken Wilson and Ben Spry are proud Franchise Principals with RAMS Home Loans, albeit on opposite sides of the country.
While Ken owns and operates his RAMS Home Loan Centre in Sydney South East NSW, Ben is located in the City of Stirling in Perth WA.
Not only are they separated by vast geography, they are also at polar ends of their RAMS tenure; Ken opened his franchise in 2009 and Ben is one of the newest RAMS recruits having commenced in June 2021.
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Ken has seen a lot. He’s not only worked with various lending organisations, he’s even operated under his own label – Mortgages Galore – both as a Mortgage Manager and as a Mortgage Broker. Then in 2008 the GFC hit. After battling through the challenges and associated impacts, Ken was looking to attach his business to a well-known brand. As fate would have it, while attending a trade show,
he chatted with an industry colleague (who wasn’t with RAMS at the time but since followed Ken) who asked if he’d considered RAMS.
“I was seeking a brand with its own branded products rather than selling those of other financial institutions,” Ken says. “There’s that old saying ‘being the jack of all trades and master of none’. There is so much truth to that, and RAMS is unique in this space. Backed by Westpac, we are a proprietary business providing our own
branded home loan products. Hence our latest brand message – Home loans are what we do. To my knowledge no other home loan brand offers this market position.
“This was a key clincher for me because I wasn’t keen on going back down the ‘broking’ path from a franchise point of view,” Ken says.
While Ben is really only just starting his RAMS journey, his sentiments are the same.
“Working in financial services for many years, I’ve been very aware of the strength of the RAMS brand and their franchise business model. Having only recently moved to WA with a limited network here, RAMS was the right choice for me, enabling me to leverage a national brand with strong awareness and consideration amongst key segments in my local area.”
Ken says he ultimately chose RAMS knowing it was already a well-known and established brand and also because it had the backing of a major bank in Westpac. He may reflect on his days before RAMS, but he has never looked back.
“With the same resources, my best month as a broker (when I had no brand and was still trying to establish myself) is equal to my worst month at RAMS when talking averages,” Ken says.
“This has been an enjoyable experience from day one, with my marketing efforts more leveraged as a result of the RAMS brand. I mean, who doesn’t recognise Raymond in our ads?”
Ben agrees and adds that he also appreciates the benefit of learning best practice from other like-minded Franchisees.
“The franchise model enables me to effectively leverage a network of fellow Franchise Principals to continually identify and implement best practice strategies and tactics to optimise business performance,” says Ben.
“From our Managing Director through to support staff, and within our franchise network, we speak of the RAMS Family. It really does have that feel.”
Ken explains that what really sets RAMS apart from other franchises is their level of support. He says the direct access he’s had as a franchisee to head office has been fantastic and it’s great to be able to develop close relationships with the Product and Credit teams and the Lending Managers.
“I found the whole approval process was so much faster as a franchisee than as a broker. In my experience, phone calls and emails are answered immediately rather than a broker chasing up various Business Development Managers, joining the queue, and then crossing your fingers for a response,” says Ken.
“RAMS has demonstrated to me that they really do have a vision for my business. I have the support, guidance and tools to help me achieve my business goals. They have also provided plenty of opportunities within the RAMS franchise network to share information with other Franchisees and to provide input into head office.”
Ken says that in addition to building his normal networks, his RAMS business card showing ‘Principal’ adds weight with customers and referrers.
“It’s good to know that a very experienced team of RAMS marketing professionals is busy generating leads through their many activities, all for our benefit. Whether this be with their ‘always-on’ digital approach, TV, radio or print advertising, their lead generation efforts provide access to new fresh clients.”
While Ken acknowledges that everybody in the mortgage business wants to provide the best possible customer service, he’s actually found that the efforts he has applied have been multiplied by the RAMS brand recognition, as opposed to a ‘one man’ brand.
“It opens doors that may not have been open before, and provides instant credibility for my own marketing efforts. It allows me to undertake Local Area Marketing without trying to get people to remember my business
name. Imagine having a generic brand name – the name doesn’t stick. But with a brand like RAMS, much of that sticky recognition is already done for you.”
Come and have a chat
As a RAMS Principal focusing day-to-day on his business, Ken isn’t formally involved in RAMS franchisee recruitment activities, but he’s very open to chatting with any prospects who, like him back in 2009, are doing their own research. He does however want to share some final wisdom.
“When you combine a recognised brand with a determined bunch of people all pitching in together to provide the best home loan service possible both for the client and the Franchisee, and then add the bonus of quality lead
generation, the penny finally dropped for me, and I am very happy as a RAMS Franchisee. To borrow someone else’s line – Come and meet our team.”
Ben seconds that sentiment and says the RAMS proposition allows him to operate his own small business while benefiting from a national brand and network that provides critical support with operations, compliance and customer marketing programs.
“I’m afforded more time to deliver a superior service experience for our clients. It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone keen to start their own home lending business with infrastructure (ie systems and processes) set
up from day one so you can focus on what you enjoy most – helping clients with their home loan needs.”
If you’re inspired by Ken and Ben’s stories, and you’re ready to enquire about joining the RAMS family, get in touch for a chat and we’ll be happy to take you through the steps.
Are you ready to become Greater Together as a RAMS Franchisee?
If you’re ready to apply to join the RAMS family, get in touch and we’ll take you through the steps.
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