Health and wealth – How Finances and Your Wellbeing are Linked
As a mortgage broker, you get a unique window into clients’ worlds. In many cases, clients may come to you from difficult financial situations, which have likely been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many Canadians, money is a major source of stress. Mental health and finance have been proven to be dynamically linked, as anxiety and depression can stem from growing financial issues, and failing to make payments or meet obligations can add to mental health challenges.
44% of Canadians say it would be difficult to meet their financial obligation if their pay is late, and they lose sleep over their financial worries. The same survey also found personal financial stress coming from dealing with high debt levels, unexpected expenses, and the struggle to save. It’s clear that financial stress affects more than just bank accounts; it can also affect your mental health, physical health, and personal relationships.
Almost three-quarters (72%) of Canadian financial advisors say they meet with clients who appear to suffer from anxiety, according to a recent survey conducted by Bridgehouse Asset Managers. To help ease some client concerns on balancing their mental health with their finances, here’s a few strategies to share with them.
Provide clear explanations
Financial products and planning strategies can be very complex and difficult to digest. Even with financially savvy clients, it’s always best to provide simple and thorough explanations. Take the time to build a step-by-step roadmap of the mortgage process with each client that helps them know what they need to do, what documentation they need to provide at every point, and why.
Be honest and upfront from the start. Setting expectations from the start about what your client can qualify for, how likely they are to get financing, and what options might be best can help prevent disappointment down the road. That should include laying out what the next steps should be to put them on track to qualify for financing in the future, and an estimated timeline. Even though it may be difficult to deliver bad news, taking the time to set expectations will instill trust and possibly save your client from even greater stress.
Ask how clients like to communicate
Help clients feel comfortable asking questions by offering different methods of communication. Clients may prefer to meet in person, virtually, or over the phone. Block certain days or hours that clients can contact you the way they would feel most comfortable.
Consider using your online presence through your site or social media to provide clients with information and tools they can use to help them feel confident in their own financial knowledge, as well as your ability and expertise. Videos, informational blogs, checklists and calculators all help prospective and current clients feel more in control of their understanding and ability to make important decisions.
Provide flexible solutions
For clients with a challenging financial history, low beacon score, or damaged credit, it can be comforting to know that you can help them access alternative financing solutions, such as a private mortgage. As mortgage restrictions continue to tighten, it may be a huge relief for borrowers that have limited options and may have been turned down by the banks in the past. A private mortgage solution could also help clients consolidate their debt, repair their credit and get on track to a healthier financial future.
If you’re able to identify when a client is struggling with high levels of financial stress and anxiety, you may be able to help provide advice or solutions that deliver some relief. Providing support to struggling clients can also take a toll on your own mental health. Don’t forget to check in with yourself as well. For expert tips on taking care of your own mental wellbeing, especially during busy times, check out our last blog post, “Taking care of you is still taking care of business”.
Use a lending partner who gets your clients the flexible financing they need. Submit your deal today and see why brokers choose CMI.