Kirsty McKinnon says she fell into finance by accident.
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"I had a boss when I worked in admin at an accounting firm and I went to him and I said 'look, the job I'm doing is not really fulfilling me enough'. He said 'I'm going to pop you into a mortgage broker role'."
Ms McKinnon said she had "never ever" considered a role in finance. Before the admin role she had been a hairdresser for six years.
But she's loved being a broker for the past decade.
Two years ago she took a leap and started Flair Finance.
In those two years the business has been nominated for 10 awards. The most recent is Ms McKinnon being named a finalist for the 2023 Regional Broker of the Year at the Australian Mortgage Awards.
"I think it's our customer service. We have a really strong focus on customer service. We really want to do the best for our clients in the easiest, quickest way possible so we can take the stress away from them," she said.
"I think that definitely helps us win awards. And we do a fair volume of loans which helps us in getting recognition as well."
From just herself, Flair Finance has now grown to a staff of four.
Ms McKinnon said taking the leap to start her own business, and giving up a steady paycheck, had been a risk.
"I rented a shop on Cobbora Road and then about two months later we went into lockdown so I didn't even spend any time in my shop for probably the first six months, so that was pretty scary," she said.
"But it's all worked out in the end."
The broker said her days were booked out "fairly well in advance" with clients, meetings and making sure she's on top of the latest policies.
It's those clients that have kept Ms McKinnon in the role.
"I really do love it and I love the clients and helping people buy their first home, or their second home, or their car. Giving people the joy of being able to get something that's theirs is really what drives me every day," she said.
"I've got some really beautiful clients and it's a pleasure to work with them every day so that's what keeps me interested."
Ms McKinnon said it was an honour to be nominated for the Australian Mortgage Awards and at the end of the day it was her clients she had to thank.
The Australian Mortgage Awards 2023 Gala will be held on October 13.
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