Who Do You Represent?

Who do you represent?

In Alberta, at least we have very clear guidelines about who we represent in the mortgage transaction, so clear in fact that we have three different forms that can be presented. The core duties are the same for all three, be honest, exercise care and skill, gather the required information, disclose and explain options to them, complete and submit information to the lender and keep all parties informed of progress.

The first is where we act as an intermediary, this means that we do not represent the borrower or the lender. In fact, it also means that we are merely the paper shuffler between the client and the lender, we do not verify any of the documents and we are technically not allowed to advise the client either. We can discuss and explain the options but we must leave the final decision to the borrower and for that matter to the lender.

The second is very different and that is when we are acting for the borrower, here things change and we are agreeing to represent the borrowers best interest, recommend a particular mortgage solution, advocate on their behalf, provide accurate and clear information so that our clients can make an informed decision. Our core responsibility is to the borrower but does not reduce the responsibility to lenders, as we still have the core responsibility to them to be honest and efficient.

The third is where we as brokers represent the lender, this is more relevant in the private lending world. If you represent individuals who lend their own money through you then you must represent the lender. Clients need to be advised to seek independent advice from either a lawyer or another broker who is skilled enough to advise them on the offering. This doesn’t necessarily apply when dealing with MIC’s or Syndicated lenders, at least in Alberta, as most of them are already brokerages and under the same guidelines.  This scenario also comes into play, in my personal opinion, when you send all of your business to one lender and do not shop around or at least research for the best rates and features for your client.

In my brokerage, we have chosen to represent the borrowers as we feel the team is skilled enough to take on that responsibility.

Who do you represent or do you know?

Len Lane, Mortgage Broker
Dominion Lending Centres

Check out more great blog content from Len – http://www.brokersforlife.ca/blog

Transfer of Trust

TRANSFER OF TRUST. I was introduced to this term about a year-and-a-half into my mortgage broker career by a very well-known and respected broker. Needless to say, it has shaped how I run my business. It’s the very foundation and basis for all the decisions I’ve made and will make going forward.

Up until that time, I was scrambling to get business. There was no rhythm or reason for how I was getting leads. I had no plan.

After I heard the term it was like a light switch was turned on. I had moved from first to second gear and I could feel everything start to accelerate. After I cemented the term in my head, it became extremely obvious what I had to do next. I needed to go meet like-minded professionals that over time I could learn to KNOW, and eventually LIKE, so that we could TRUST one another to share business.

That was my TSN Turning Point.

TRANSFER OF TRUST requires basic fundaments of KNOW, LIKE and TRUST. If these three boxes are checked it’s impossible for business to not happen eventually… and naturally. Nowadays there isn’t a single name in my book-of-business that doesn’t come from a pre-existing relationship, either past client or professional referral source. Every year from 2012 to 2016, 76.21% to 94.12% have all originated from someone that I had a pre-existing relationship with. The exception is this year: to date 100% of my files have come from someone that knows me, likes me and/or trusts me.

What is the best form of business/potential client in our line of work? Is it one where the call or email originates from an ad placed at a public bus stop and invariably starts something like, “What is your best rate…?” Or would you prefer to conduct business with potential clients who say something like, “My friends Jane and John Smith we so impressed with how you assisted them with their recent financing request that they highly recommended I call you to discuss my financing options.”

This is an absolute no-brainer.

If I had to choose between two files, only knowing the potential volume and source of the business, without hesitation I would choose the business from a past client or personal referral source, even if the volume was significantly higher from the bus stop ad. In my eight-year career, only 1.77% of my completed files have originated from Google or another outside source.

Never say no to a mortgage, regardless of the amount. I just recently completed the smallest mortgage amount of my career, $50,000. The amount didn’t even faze me because I knew if I gave that file the same love and attention as an $800,000 file, there would eventually be an opportunity for that client to pass along my contact details to a friend, family member or colleague in need of mortgage financing. Lo and behold, it took all of 4 days and my client had referred me to a colleague of hers. The couple were buying their first home; the mortgage amount went up tenfold. The client LIKED and TRUSTED me, therefore she referred me.

Think about how you generate business and how your time can be used more efficiently. I don’t lose my clients to rate very often; it’s generally because they have decided not to proceed with the transaction. And because we’ve worked together once, I still consider these almost-clients in my pipeline. Every working relationship can result in a referral.

Michael Hallett, Mortgage Expert
Dominion Lending Centre

If you enjoyed this post you will love his Blog – hallettmortgage.ca/blog


Seeking Peak Performance

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”

Charles R. Swindoll

Seeking Peak Performance.

Pushing for peak performance has always interested me. Not world-record level peak performance per se, more simply just pushing ourselves to new personal and professional bests.

A world in which each of us is constantly striving for all encompassing improvement is a truly remarkable world to be a part of. Create a world like this around yourself.

truth: we are all capable of so much more than we believe ourselves to be.

During 2014 I was lucky enough to give a dozen presentations across Canada, eight of them to a collective audience of 1,402 Mortgage Brokers in particular

The main focus of each presentation was the ‘nuts and bolts’ of file processing. Each presentation began with a real-life illustration of personal peak performance, striving to do better, and remaining optimistic. It was the story of one Meredith Fitzmaurice.

I paraphrase below from various accounts.

On Sunday, Sept 22, 2013, Meredith Fitzmaurice entered a half-marathon in Belle River, Ontario. Nearly 90 minutes into the run she asked an official riding his bike along the course how close she was to the finish line. She learned that she had in fact missed the turnoff to the finish of the half-marathon course and was now on the full marathon course.

With the realisation of this error, Meredith did not simply stop and call it a day, or worse a mistake, or worst of all a failure. Instead, Meredith’s first thought was to run an even 20 miles, her previous furthest distance, calling the day’s run ‘training’. Never having run 26.2 miles previously nor entered a full-marathon this seemed a reasonable compromise. At first.

Key Point: Mindset is vital. In the face of missing out on a potential win of the half-marathon Meredith seamlessly embraced the positive view: this would be a great training run.

Meredith then noticed only nine men ahead, and no women. At this point she asked the official on the bike if she could switch categories mid-run, and her plans shifted once again. This might now count as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, a goal Meredith was striving for. This ‘mistake’ was proving fruitful.

The race director approved the request to transfer Meredith to the full marathon category mid-race. Without breaking stride, Meredith went from having made a wrong turn, to being on track to win her very first full marathon and to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Although she had concerns about leaving her friend waiting and wondering at the half-marathon finish line, Meredith pressed on. She asked the race official on the bike if he would mind keeping her company.

Key Point: One who asks, receives. One who asks nothing, receives nothing.

Having only ever run 20 miles previously, she was concerned about pushing the extra 6.2 miles, yet Meredith finished with a time of 3:11:48: the fastest woman of the day, and in 10th place overall.

And she qualified for Boston.

Meredith’s first action upon crossing the finish line? A teary eyed hug for the guy on the bike, and making it known that without him she would not have made it.

Key Point: Few of us cross the finish line in anything alone, fewer winners still. An attitude of gratitude established long before stepping up to the start line is crucial when it comes to being first at the finish line.

I feel that this story perfectly embodies elements of life in general. We all take wrong turns, but how we adapt is everything. Learning to adapt quickly and positively to change is a vital skill. And perhaps most crucial of all is having that ‘guy on the bike’ along with us. In whatever form that takes, a support system is vital.

This sentiment will ring true on a daily basis with any Broker as well.

Conclusion: we are all capable of so much more than we believe ourselves to be

Thank you

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

If you enjoyed this post you will love his Blog – dustanwoodhouse.ca/blog