Wizard Home Loans
Ian Burns performed his own brand of wizardry for 25 years from Toyota Australia’s base at Taren Point in Sydney.
Ian worked his way through the ranks from a junior clerk to eventually hold the positions of Toyota Australia National Fleet Administration Manager, National Sales Operations Manager, National Government Sales Manager, and finally National Vehicle Ordering Manager.
His inventory covered the full range of Australian manufactured Toyota’s (Camry, Corolla and Avalon) as well as fleets of commercial and passenger vehicles imported from Japan.
Then, in January 2002, he took a well-earned retrenchment.
Ian now lives in the Shoalhaven and owns the Wizard Home Loans offices in Nowra and Wollongong, covering the territory from Helensburgh to the Victorian border – employing a total of four local staff, including his partner Lorraine Bishop.
Ian’s move to the Shoalhaven was well researched and planned.
He decided to change industries after his time with Toyota and, after 25 years in the corporate world, wanted to be his own boss. He set three main parameters for himself – he wanted something he was good at doing, something that would make him a reasonable living, but most of all, something he really enjoyed doing!
Within a month he’d decided on the mortgage loans industry. Three months of research later he’d chosen Wizard over all the others, basically because they were a young vibrant company, with great customer service and brilliant loan products. However, being a little careful he decided to start with a Sydney branch as their mobile lender, to test his three parameters, before fully committing to opening his own branch.
After nine months, satisfied he’d found his niche, Ian and partner Lorraine, a wholesale travel specialist, set about deciding where they wanted to be in 10-15 years time when they’d be approaching retirement age.
Lorraine, working for a wholesale travel company, had been travelling from Engadine to Balmain, spending some three to four hours driving each day, so she too, was ready for a change.
They studied options in Sydney, the NSW North and South Coasts and Queensland.
“The Shoalhaven came out on top,” Ian said. “We’d always holidayed down here…..and always loved it….it was close to the kids, who stayed in Sydney, plus there was opportunity to open the Wizard Home Loans office in Nowra.”
Ian and Lorraine moved to the Shoalhaven and opened in Junction Street, Nowra, in January 2003.
Then in October 2007 they bought Wizard’s Wollongong office which is now run by two staff. Ian and his team now represent the biggest, non-bank lender and national home loans organization in the territory from Helensburgh to the Victorian border.
Ian was on Engadine railway station when interviewed by phone. He was on one of his routine visits to Sydney. He left home at 7.30am - not much earlier than a great proportion of Sydney workers - drove to Engadine then used the train shuttle from there.
“We’re close enough to Sydney…it’s easy enough to get there,” Ian said.
Describing himself as “not a hobbyist”, Ian said he enjoys being on the water, the beaches, sunshine, good food and entertainment with friends.
The Shoalhaven provided “the total package…everything’s there…close handy…what the whole area has to offer is brilliant….and we’re close enough to the big smoke when we need it, without the day-to-day trials and tribulations of living with crowds, traffic and the general hum-drum of city life,” he said.
And Ian and Lorraine are also close enough for their career-oriented and student offspring still in Sydney to migrate south for a break at every possible opportunity.
As Lorraine explains, she and Ian had sought somewhere beautiful to live and work.
“We’re here for the long-term” she said from her Nowra office.
Copyright © 2002 Shoalhaven City Council - Last updated: Monday, 18 August 2008