Coronavirus, wearing a mask and finding the right mortgage?

Not all Masks are the same, just like not all Mortgage Brokers are the same.

As I sit in the Departure Terminal of Brisbane’s International airport, I ponder what to expect in Hong Kong and also question whether I’m mentally and physically prepared?

How do we prepare for something when we don’t know what is going to happen?

Firstly, should I be travelling? Late yesterday the Australian government recommended that non-essential travel be avoided. One friend noted in a text that I was travelling to the Epicentre of the virus (personally I question where he is getting his information). As of this morning, my thoughts are that Hong Kong is probably far safer a place to be currently than the cities in Australia.

You have to admire how Hong Kong have managed the coronavirus crisis so far. They have taken cleanliness to the extreme, limited person to person contact, by cancelling school and encouraging businesses to have employees work from home. The outcome is that this morning there was 1 (one) new case yesterday in Hong Kong. Effectively, they have controlled the spread of the virus.

So, I am heading to Hong Kong, how do I prepare physically?

Yesterday I attempted to buy some face masks, hand sanitiser and wipes. All sold out! I did manage to buy a small pack of baby wipes, so that’s something. Then I thought, where can I get hold of some face masks?

One of my partner, Shona’s, best friends is a scientist, she is currently testing the vaccine that is being developed. I figured she may be able to provide a mask of two, so I asked Shona to give her a call.

Luckily for me, she was able to help. So, on her way home, she dropped in and gave me 4 top of the range “P2” masks. These masks are not just any masks, they are the masks worn by scientist when they are in contact with an infectious disease. When worn correctly it is safe to be around a virus like COVID-19. What was interesting was that she gave me a very detailed lesson on how to wear the mask (properly), how to put it on without potentially infecting it from your hands, how to store it effectively when not wearing it.

The process went like this:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before you start the process!
  2. Carefully remove mask from protective sealed plastic bag, touching only the outside of the mask
  3. Open the flat packed mask ensuring you don’t touch the inside – fold back the top flap
  4. Place mask across nose and mouth, hooking the two elastics behind the head
  5. Pinch the nose area and ensure a good seal around the nose
  6. Pull the lower flap under your chin
  7. Check the two elastic straps to ensure they are not crossed – top one around the upper back of head and the lower around your neck
  8. Final point, this is only effective if you have shaved! If you have 2 days growth then it won’t seal and will be ineffective

Who would have thought it would have thought it would be so complex to put on a mask?

This got me thinking…

In reality, it’s not hard to put on a mask, but have you installed it in a way that it is going to be completely effective?

This led me to think about my trip to Hong Kong and the meetings I had scheduled.

Any of the clients I planned to meet could obtain a loan themselves, but could they do it as effectively as I was able to?

The steps I now take to put on a mask, there is a process, a series of steps to the process, when I take them I have reduced the risk of incorrect installation or ineffective installation.

Expat mortgage lending is very similar. For a basic mortgage in Australia (eg an Australian living and working in Australia wanting to buy a property) there are a series of steps to take to ensure an appropriate loan. As an expat, I’d suggest that there are probably 2 or even 3 times as many steps to take (or questions to ask) to ensure you finish with the right loan from the right lender at the right cost.

Understanding the steps is the key, if you don’t know the steps to take then, how do you find the correct destination. Perhaps I should consider what I do as the GPS for your property journey. As long as you know the destination, I can find out where you are currently and the most efficient and effective way to get there.

Lastly, a massive thank you to Shona’s friend, hopefully she has helped to keep me safe on my trip, but she has also helped me realise the value we provide in the process we take.