Get to Know Vision’s Founders: 6 Questions for Hamish Ferguson
Hamish Ferguson co-founded Vision Property & Finance in 2000, after working at Woolworths as a store manager and having graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing.
Hamish was born in Sydney and grew up in Nelson Bay. Hamish got married to his wonderful wife 26 years ago, and have since had five children, two of whom Hamish and his wife have fostered for 15 years. Their family own three ‘oodles’, two Cavoodles and one Spoodle.
What inspired you to start Vision?
“Vision’s other co-founders in Sydney, Dave and Matt, had started Vision a year before me whilst I was still working for another company at the time. Dave, who I had actually gone to school with, always spoke quite positively about that journey of starting a business, and I always had quite an interest in finance.
But it was really hearing about the journey of Dave and Matt of starting Vision, where I begun to wonder if there was an opportunity for Vision to expand to Newcastle.
I had just finished my degree, so I was faced with whether I wanted to stay with the company I was with, where I probably would have had to eventually move locations. So I decided that if I wanted to stay in Newcastle, I needed to get out and do something else. And that was Vision in Newcastle.
Most of my family are self-employed, so I have grown up around that environment. It was always something I had a keen interest on, I just wasn’t sure how it might happen.”
So far throughout your journey at Vision, what insights have you gained or discovered?
“How important customer service is and the importance of really listening to what our customers goals are, and reflecting on what it is that our customers are trying to achieve. I have always worked in retail and hospitality, so I have always understood how customer service works. But in this environment, especially where we aren’t face-to-face with our customers a lot, gaining an understanding of communication is really important.
Additionally, as a business owners, I have learnt that it is a lot harder than to just work for someone else. Understanding marketing and staff management, finances and bookkeeping, and all the other skill sets required to run a business, is not easy, and sometimes you have to let yourself fail at times. Making sure that I am actually spending time running the business and not just getting out and talking to people is really important.”
Since starting Vision, what is one thing you have achieved for a client that always stand for you and why?
“The clients that stand out are those that are in a fairly sticky situation, but through hard work, perseverance, problem solving and creativity, you get them out of that mess.
One transaction that I remember from a couple of years ago was where a client had difficulty financing property. From a business point of view, it was like every time we thought we’d found a solution, there was a roadblock, or something had gone wrong. However, through just talking and updating the client, and just never giving up, we managed to get to the end where the client was able to get the money to buy property. I get the feeling that probably a lot of people would have just given up. But for me it’s about perseverance and never giving up on the client.”
What are your core values and how are they reflected at Vision?
“It’s all about people. Whether it’s your staff or whether it’s the client, you’re dealing with the person.
Ultimately, my heart is to help people. If you don’t have that perspective in this business, then you just can’t make it work. If you do it because you want to make money, then it will eventually shine and people will see you for who you are, and that’s not the impression I want to give.
It’s about acceptance, it’s about grace, it’s about patience, and it’s about learning and continually striving to maintain the standards that I want to set”.
Outside of Vision, what are some of your passions?
“I play basketball and go to church. My passion comes from my foster care journey that my family and I have been on. Whilst my journey has been rewarding and I am about helping people, it has been quite challenging at times. We have helped two young girls that have had a pretty rough trot in life, and being able to help them out is where my passions lie.
I am quite passionate about the concept of family. It’s not about thinking that family is all perfect, but it’s just about persevering and realising that that ‘community’ is important.”
Lastly, what did you want to do before starting Vision?
“I left school wanting to own a 5-star resort and live that type of life. A couple of years after I left school, I had a friend that spent a couple of years on Hamilton Island, and I went up twice and stayed with him. I realised that it wasn’t that great. Being in that environment where all the staff are living with each other was hard.
Hospitality and hotel management was what I started off with. Obviously financial services are quite different to that.
I have worked for family, which gave me that enjoyment around self-employment. I worked at Woolworths, which gave me the perspective of running a store with 200 staff, turning over a million dollars a week. There’s a lot of moving parts, and I learnt a lot as I discovered that paying attention and focusing on detail and what it is that your job is, is key to being able to keep your eye on the big goal. The strategy and journey of trying to learn to be a leader is fascinating. I have really enjoyed it.”
How can Hamish Ferguson help you at Vision?
Hamish is committed to ensuring that you receive all the advice and support you need in property and finance. As a mortgage broker and financial advisor, Hamish specialises in all areas of property advice and financial planning advice, and can guide you through your property and finance journey.
Whether you’re a first-home buyer, property investor, portfolio builder or looking to refinance, or you’re looking to build your wealth, learning to budget or seeking advice for retirement and aged care, Hamish is happy to help. Contact Vision or Hamish today!
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