Allyson Bailie brings a background in bank lending and a passion for purpose driven innovation to her role at HOPE. Here she shares some of the big questions investors ask about HOPE’s back office operations and what drives her to come to work each day.
Tell us briefly about your role.
As the third employee to join HOPE nearly three years ago, my role has always been quite broad. As well as the marketing side of the business, I’m responsible for operations and our relationship with the bank that distributes our product, Police Bank.
I also oversee our social impact proposition. HOPE has partnered with the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW to help us measure the impact we are having by helping essential workers buy homes closer to their work. For every dollar invested in HOPE, the University forecasts a 30 cents social return – through a wide range of outcomes including reduced divorce rates, less cars on the road, and improved mental health. It is exciting to see early results already coming through from our new homeowners that validate our impact forecast.
What attracted you to working at HOPE?
I worked for many years for mutual banks where I’ve had a variety of leadership roles in operations, sales and service. However, I was drawn to move into the world of start-ups for their ability to move quickly and innovate. Working for an organisation with a strong social purpose is also really important to me.
The first start-up I worked with was all about helping older Australians live their best life financially. And at HOPE, we’re about helping essential workers to buy a home, achieve housing security for themselves and their families and be closer to where they work.
I love that I get to help build a business from the ground up, and it feels fantastic that we are making a difference to the lives of people our community really needs.
Investor Queries on HOPE’s Scalability
You’ve had the chance to talk to potential investors. What are some of the questions commonly asked about HOPE’s operations?
One of the things I often get asked about is our scalability. When buying a house, there are lots of checks to do, calls to make, emails to send. Investors want to know how we’ll have the capacity to get through the volume of manual work as we grow.
I tell investors about the systems we’ve built to automate a lot of the manual processes. We’ve created an online homebuyer journey that delivers information just in time, with a focus on educating homebuyers to buy well and what to do at each stage. By putting the tech in the homebuyers’ hands, they do a lot of the data entry for us via our online system called HomeBase. Our valuer Opteon and conveyancer Smartlaw have also helped us find ways to streamline much of the heavy lifting relating to valuations, legal reviews and other checks that are important to securing a quality property.
What keeps you coming to work each day?
I get to see first-hand the absolute sheer joy and relief from the essential workers we’ve been able to help – for instance, a couple with two small kids who had to move five times in five years because of rental increases and other reasons. They always wanted to settle down but were never able to save enough to buy the size house that they needed for their family.
I know what it feels like to be in that situation. After my husband and I moved from Wollongong to Sydney, we couldn’t afford to buy a house big enough for our family of five, and we had to live in rentals. So being able to help someone to buy their house in the area where they have established their roots – through work, family, school or whatever – it is a great feeling.
Discover the Exciting Investment Proposition with HOPE
At the same time, I feel excited about the investment proposition we’re offering. When my husband and I couldn’t buy the house we needed for our family, we bought a small investment property in Sydney’s inner west just to get a foothold in the market. We have found the costs associated with direct investing are very high once you take into account agents’ fees, ongoing land tax, stamp duty, and maintenance. The great thing about investing in HOPE is you don’t have all these expenses and you still have exposure to the capital gains on a quality property in the Sydney market.
Interested in learning more about how to invest directly in HOPE? Contact our investment team.