Subtle Steps re Conversation Control

Early in my working life I found myself in a mail order sales role, working telephones as if my life depended upon it. Which in a way it did. Money is oxygen for a small business, and the ringing phones were the sounds of sales.

One skill learned early on was to repeat back exactly the information requested, but to do so in the format desired.

For instance, you can ask somebody for their credit card, let them rattle off all 16 digits in a stream and maybe say a few uh-huhs and gotchas, but if you really want to take control of the call and eliminate error you will read back the first four digits and pause. And nearly every single time the caller will then read you the next four, which you read back and pause, and so on.

Repeating credit card numbers was a key skill in my learning-how-to-listen experience.

When a client spells their name, reads you their SIN, address, or email — the key stuff — do not say ‘yep’ or ‘got-it’, because you almost certainly do-not-got-it. Instead, read back the exact information they just gave you, and read it back in bite-size pieces that you can work with.

Often, as the client reads their first three SIN digits I interject and repeat them before they utter the fourth digit, and the client will pause after the sixth digit waiting for me to recite the second three back.

This is you taking control of the process and setting expectations in a very small way in the early minutes of the very first call.

Taking control and setting expectations is what this business is all about.

Dustan Woodhouse, Mortgage Broker, AMP
Dominion Lending Centre
Author of ‘Be The Better Broker’

If you enjoyed this post you will love his Blog –

Title Insurance

As mortgage brokers, we know many of our clients first consider interest rate and the corresponding mortgage payment as their number one priority. I am sure we can agree when they understand the features, advantages and benefits of the mortgage including terms and even the conditions to secure their financing, things move smoothly without last minute issues or questions.

One lender condition that raises questions is the need for title insurance. Clients wonder why the lender needs it and more important, why they should cover the cost. I know this can be a sticking point for some clients so I deal with it up front. Once I explain how it works they are more accepting of the cost as part of their financing and most see the value of title insurance.

When I cover the mortgage approval process I touch on their closing costs including title insurance. Second, I confirm it on their net cost sheet and finally on their fixed disclosure statement in the closing package. When they visit the lawyer to sign final documents the topic of title insurance is familiar to them and I don’t get those last minute calls. Even though as a mortgage broker I am not providing the title insurance policy I believe it is important to ensure the client is clear on the reason for title insurance.

Title insurance also includes a lender portion and the homeowner has the option to add to the policy. I advise the clients their lawyer will review the policy so they can make an informed decision to add the homeowner option if they choose. Some benefits of title insurance are listed below.

1. The policy transfers risks related to title of the property from the home buyer to the title insurance provider. So if any delays or issues occur on title during the purchase the insurance provider will resolve it and the associated costs.

2. The homeowner policy also covers losses associated with survey issues and title defects that existed prior to the home purchase as well as title fraud occurring after the policy is issued. Coverage continues after the purchase for as long as the owners own the home. Title insurance covers losses resulting from many risks not directly related to title, such as: structures or renovations previously completed without required permits, unknown work orders, encroachments, liens, zoning and by-law violations

3. The policy protects the homeowner against any future title fraud on the property. For properties that are clear title with no mortgage there is a risk that a criminal can assign a mortgage against that property without the owner knowledge and run.

Who is at risk?

The easiest target is the homeowner with no existing mortgage. However, even a property owner with a mortgage can become a victim. In both cases, mortgage funds are usually sent to a third party and are often unrecoverable. For this reason lenders want homeowners to acquire title insurance. This transfers the cost to fight the case to the title insurance provider.

What can the homeowner expect if they are a victim of title fraud?

The immediate issue for homeowners in a title fraud situation is their responsibility to prove the crime occurred. During that time they could be responsible for a mortgage and the payments.

An example in the news… read on…

If you have clients who may not have taken title insurance in the past taking a minute to discuss the topic could help you differentiate yourself from their bank representative or even another broker who may not share this valuable information.

Fees range depending on the value of the property.

I have provided some links below for your reference. The first link below outlines costs. The second is to First Canadian Title.

Pauline Tonkin, Mortgage Broker
Dominion Lending Centres

Read more amazing blog posts from Pauline –


‘Efficiency’ is the new keyword for 2017

In late November I had the good fortune to attend the MPC conference in Vancouver. The conversations that I had with our lender partners all came back to the same topic.…. efficiency. You may have noticed that many of the lenders have moved their numbers up to where they are expecting 75% efficiency before offering any bonuses to the brokerage. Here are some of the best practices that you can follow as a broker?

  • KYC, know your client. We teach that collecting paperwork in advance of submitting a deal will always allow you to have exact information in the file. The list is quite long sometimes but the basics will always be, letter of employment and a pay stub, 3 months’ bank statements for down payment. If there is over time or they are self-employed or if they own rentals then plan on collecting T1 generals, Notice of assessments, property taxes and leases. The more information you have up front the better and the more accurate your submission will be to the lender.
  • KYL, know your lender. While CMHC guidelines are fairly straight forward, knowing what the lender will accept as income or property or what their rental offsets are will highly increase the possibility of the deal being accepted by them. When I first started in the industry I had minimal support but I knew one thing from my sales background and that was that we have a product to sell. I spent most of my time researching the lenders guidelines. Good thing because in my first full year in the industry I did 42 million dollars by myself.
  • KYR, know your rates. The industry has become so complex in the last three months that we stopped publishing our own rate sheets. We now use head offices rate sheet and I suggest that the team research the lenders before submitting. This way they will have the right rates if it is insured, insurable or conventional, I’m still sorting those ones out personally.
  • Last but definitely not least, stop shotgunning files out to multiple lenders, I know we have a lot to choose from but this just creates confusion and can destroy what should be good funding ratios and efficiencies among the lenders. If you do the required work as above, you should only need to send it to one lender.

Len Lane, Mortgage Broker
Dominion Lending Centres

Check out more great blog content from Len –