The Manic Mind of a Mortgagor

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Manic – showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy

When it comes to mortgage financing, it’s the unknown answer (Will I be approved or declined?) that leaves a lot of mortgagors on-edge the entire time. In my short career, I have seen this behavior primarily in first-time homebuyers. And rightfully so; there is a level of control that is completely out of their hands. They must trust me to get it done. They are full of endless excitement and energy. And how can you blame them? They are likely buying their first home and most expensive purchase to date.

That is where we step in. We need to harness that emotion and re-purpose it.

As professional Mortgage Brokers who have been through the process hundreds and hundreds of times (maybe even thousands – wow, what an awesome accomplishment) we know what it takes to get a file across the finish line. We know all the pitfalls for what can go wrong, lessons learned from past files. We know how to achieve the sweet, sweet words typed by a lender – FILE COMPLETE!

As Mortgage Brokers, and obvious experts, it’s our job to manage the manic mind of the borrower. As veterans, we have to practice the process step-by-step on a daily basis. We need to make it part of our DNA. We are creating muscle memory with every file we touch.

It’s easy for us to desensitize ourselves to the emotions, but we must realize what is being experienced on the other side of the fence. Every correspondence with our clients needs to be tactical and well thought out. Every action has a reaction. This is something I learned very quickly early on. If you lead with negative news, you’d better be damn sure you finish with good news or a solution. If not, consider that file gone and in the hands of another broker or bank rep.

How do I manage The Manic Mind of a Mortgagor you ask?

  • Stay calm – something I had to learn, as I have an extreme TYPE A personality.
  • Be patient – something I had to learn, as I have an extreme TYPE A personality… do you see a pattern starting to emerge?
  • Present a systematic approach to each client – create muscle memory, be methodical, analytical.
  • Tell past mortgage stories that refer to their scenario. There is comfort knowing that you have handled similar scenarios. (Mind you, these stories aren’t as thrilling as when you sat down with Uncle Bob recalling his 35-year career with the RCMP, 10 of those with SWAT.)
  • Update the client daily. This eliminates uncertainty – something suggested by the esteemed author, Dustan Woodhouse in the series Be the Better Broker.
  • Encourage the client to treat the transaction like a business (virtually impossible, however it sounds like a logical suggestion; successful entrepreneurs don’t get attached to the business or idea.)
  • Keep them involved.

Next time the Manic Mind of a Mortgagor rears its ugly head, step back for a second and ask yourself, have I given this client all the tools to suppress the stress? Have I given the client enough options? Have I answered all their questions? Have I asked enough questions? Have I provided enough updates along the way? Is there something else I can do?

If the answer is YES, then do it and add it to your systems and processes for the next time.

Michael Hallett, Mortgage Expert
Dominion Lending Centre

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