The job of a mortgage broker is constantly evolving, and success in the field is highly dependent on a few key factors, including the regulatory environment, competition and the strength and scope of your relationships. More than any other, client experience is a critical differentiator – and the one that truly separates top brokers from the rest. Here are the top 10 tips for success from top brokers.
1. Diversify your offering
As a trusted mortgage expert, you always want to be prepared with financing options for any borrower that comes your way. With a growing pool of borrowers who don’t meet the requirements for traditional financing, it’s important to build a relationship with a trusted private lending partner. Knowledge of private lending fundamentals is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a must.
2. Foster your relationships
Nurturing your relationships with both lenders and clients is of utmost importance. Successful brokers understand the importance of building strong, personalized bonds. Lenders and clients alike want to work with a proactive, transparent and knowledgeable mortgage broker, and focusing on these qualities will help grow trust and allow you to elevate your client experience. An exceptional client experience is the single greatest driver of client loyalty, which in turn drives referrals.
3. Never stop learning
Knowledge is power, especially in the constantly-evolving mortgage industry. The more you know, the more you can empower your clients and better meet their needs. Stay up to date with market conditions, lending policies, technical skills, and products and solutions from your lending partners. Take advantage of resources available to you and always be open to continuous development. For example, you can sign up for CMI’s monthly broker newsletter for industry news and market updates.
4. Make honesty your policy
Even the most experienced mortgage brokers don’t have the answer to every question. Be honest and upfront with clients about what you know, as well as what you think about their situation. The best brokers don’t fake it – be honest about what they can qualify for, what their best options are, and why.
5. Get the whole story
Every borrower is different. There are so many different considerations when advising a client on their financial journey and their financing options. Inexperienced or less informed brokers may turn away clients based on their credit score, employment situation or their property location., Instead, if you take the time to get the big picture, you can help put the borrower on a path to obtaining the financing they need in the future, or help them obtain a flexible, customized private mortgage solution in the short term.
6. Sharpen your digital strategy
Connecting with existing and prospective clients online is more important than ever, especially post-pandemic. Social media is a great medium to display your expertise as well as engage, network, and create personal bonds with other colleagues, partners, and prospective clients. We’ve all gotten used to accessing information and services immediately online. Having the right digital capabilities yourself and partnering with tech-driven lenders to back up your brand is key.
7. Set expectations early
The best mortgage brokers know to under promise and over deliver. Set expectations early about what your clients can expect in terms of timelines, required documentation, as well as a straightforward, plain-language explanation of underwriting considerations and the overall decision process. Communicate the adjudication decision as soon as possible, and in the event of a decline, carefully explain the gaps in the application and the steps the borrower can take to address each one.
8. Keep your network engaged
Past clients are a great referral source, so it’s important to keep that line of communication open, even after closing. The sooner you start building a referral network, the more lucrative it could be for you and your business in the long term. Add everyone that you talk to and meet to your database of contacts, and reach out frequently with useful information. Note that if you’re using email to communicate with your clients, you need to get their express written permission when sending mass emails in order to abide by Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). You can also set automated birthday or holiday cards just to stay top of mind. Make yourself available and be an active part of ongoing relationship management. The key is to keep your communication on par – be proactive, accessible and responsive. Effective communication is the single biggest driver of an exceptional client experience.
9. Add value
There are many ways that you can add value to your clients’ mortgage experience. Aside from comparing lenders, rates, and financing solutions, you can also help clients build a better financial profile. Especially with clients who have a more challenging financial history, you can add value by helping them to consolidate their debt or use their existing home equity through a private mortgage. Every client can benefit from learning how to access and review their own credit report. With the right advice, you can help them get on the right path.
10. Take some time to unwind
Mortgage brokering requires hustle, drive and a passion for the job, but don’t forget to take time to recharge your batteries. It’s important to try and strike a balance, or else the demands of the job can take a toll. While seasoned brokers stress the importance of never missing a phone call, don’t be afraid to set personal boundaries and take some time to unplug.
Whether you are a new broker or a seasoned veteran, it’s always a good idea to take stock of your business and look for ways to improve, continue to drive success, and best serve your clients.
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