Category: Blog

The Various Roles of Mortgage Brokers in New Zealand

The casual observer may believe that one mortgage broker performs the same role as another in the New Zealand context, but this is not so. Mortgage brokers in Hawke’s Bay have divided themselves into different categories, and they serve different markets and they most certainly carry out their service in different ways.

This article looks at the residential market and the different treatment that is given by different categories of mortgage brokers.

In many respects there are basically two groups of mortgage brokers Bay of Plenty. One group comprising a small number of very large mortgage broking companies that are processing a large number of mortgages and are getting most of their leads from the Internet. This group has invested a very significant sum of money in their digital marketing capability, fundamentally to make certain that they are ranking very highly for common Google search terms relating to mortgage brokers. They have also invested heavily in their website to make certain that there is a high rate of conversion, meaning a high percentage of visitors to their website and up by contacting them..

While this initial upfront investment can be very substantial indeed, the Executives making the decision for this investment are obviously very well aware of the almost unbelievable business case. The truth is that Internet search is growing almost exponentially across all markets for all products, and the customers doing the same thing almost always choose those websites that rank in the first two or three on page one. What this means in effect is that a company who has their website ranking number one will be attracting at least 100x more Internet based business then companies that are stranded on page 2 or beyond. While the investment required in SEO can be massive, the financial Rewards can be almost unbelievable if the company gets ranked #1 or #2.

Typically these large companies get so much incoming business that they use low level admin staff to screen the callers, so that only the customer’s absolutely certain to get a mortgage are passed through to a broker for service.

The second group of brokers or everyone else who was not on page 1, and these will generally be small brokerages or individuals operating independently. The main financial benefit for these brokers is that they do not have to pay any franchise fees or commissions, but the disadvantages that they will have to work very hard for new business in most cases. There are a lot of successful brokers out there who have built up a very good network of real estate agents and property developers etc, and they should be getting a lot of referral business and repeat business. In fact referrals and repeat business is generally the main way that all the second group of brokers find their new business.

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Safety On A Building Work Site

It is the responsibility of the team leader on any building site to make sure that the site and all the workers are safe. The obvious impact of this to the casual observer is the erection of barrier fencing around the perimeter of the worksite, and the erection of scaffolding around the perimeter of the new building.

Less obvious is the safety steps that are taken all the time by the team leader. These will include a team meeting at the start of each working day at which there will be an honest discussion about all potential safety hazards, and how the workers should deal with these hazards. This is a complete change from the previous culture where workers were encouraged to just get on and do it, and to not appear to be weak or fearful on the job.

Old style builders Dunedin who are now retired are often highly critical of the nanny state and it’s impact on building sites, but these builders are now often nursing lifelong injuries from falls, and many of them are missing digits or even limbs from serious accidents during their career. It is quite common amongst a social group of retired builders for there to be at least one or two of the Party with missing digits or limbs, or with injuries that cause them to limp badly.

The safety practices on a modern building site are wrapped around keeping unsafe individuals off the site, and making sure those on the site are safe from the obvious accidents like falls  or collisions with unsafe materials and structures. The barrier fencing and scaffolding is the most obvious example of safety practices, but the modern equipment used on site is also very heavily focused on worker safety. The best example is the modern drop saw, which makes it very difficult for the worker to injure themselves plus makes it very easy to produce very accurate work.

The modern nail gun can also be very unsafe if used incorrectly, and the builder needs to be very clear in their instructions to the workers on the safety steps that are needed. Everybody on the site needs to understand that a nail gun is fully capable of firing a nail right through the timber and hitting any object on the other side, and hence all workers need to know the steps to take to make sure they are safe while a nail  gun is being used. The Builder using the nail gun also needs to make certain they are using the right nail and the right strength of charge for  driving in the nail.

Categories: Blog

Transition to Renewable Power

In New Zealand around 85% power electricity this generated renewable, mostly through hydroelectric but also including geothermal and wind power. New Zealand is a lucky country in this respect, but it could do even better by installing mass of storage batteries that will pick up the slack it is otherwise filled by call and natural gas generation.

Other countries are not nearly so lucky, and in Australia for example only 17% of all the electric power is generated renewably. The remaining 83% is generated mostly by coal and buy some natural gas.

Australia is naturally a very sunny and hot country, and in some parts of Australia up to a third of households have installed solar panels on their roofs, and they have done this purely for economic reasons because it’s save them a lot of money over the long term by cutting down their peak electricity usage which is the major cost component and there Power bill. The solar market across Australia is growing massively, and although a number of politicians have a vested interest in making certain that fossil fuels stay in the mix for a very long time, they cannot stop the development of solar because it is so popular amongst the population at large.

Renewable Energy Wind Energy Pinwheel Wind Power

The cost of solar power has been decreasing exponentially for decades, and ominously for the coal industry is now priced lower over its lifetime for a utility scale power plant then the equivalent coal fired power plant. In South Australia the state government has signed a contract with Tesla for the supply of a massive storage battery that will store the solar and wind power generated during the day and make this available for overnight yes. This storage battery will replace a gas fired peaking plant, and will consist of a large number of white cabinets installed innocuously in a convenient Outdoors location, and Tesla has contracted to have the battery up and running within 100 days or the State government gets their money back.

This one project is having a seismic impact on the utility power generation market around the world, as politicians and utility companies waking up to the fact that solar and wind power plus battery storage it’s cheaper then it’s coal and gas fired equivalent, is much quicker to install, and has zero negative impact on the environment including no carbon emissions. Australia has vast areas of land available for solar power, and has a very reliable source of sunny days, and solar coupled with battery storage will grow explosively over the next decade or so.

The South Australia battery project will see and a very ominous signal to the coal and Gas Industry, and investors in these Industries we’ll see very clearly that the future is bleak, and as a result investment for expansion will dry up.

Categories: Blog