5 Simple Tips to Becoming a Successful Mortgage Agent
A career as a mortgage broker might seem straightforward—help clients find the mortgage that works for them. But behind the scenes, you’re also growing your business, maintaining current and past client relationships, developing associations with a variety of lenders, and keeping up with changes in Canadian mortgage rules. It’s a lot to balance.
Helping people realize their dream of home ownership can be incredibly satisfying, but you need to put as much into it as you get out of it. We spoke to the Bridgewater Bank Customer Service team about how they continue to offer exceptional customer service and they gave us a couple of tips to help you step up your game and become an even more successful mortgage broker.
Know your stuff, but be open to learning
It’s a competitive industry, and if you can’t meet the clients’ needs, they’ll move on to someone who can. There is always more to learn, so talk to your co-workers, managers and mentors about their successes and the things they’ve learned over the years. If you had a client interaction that did not go well, share it with someone who can lend a different perspective, and see what you can learn from the experience.
Take advantage of professional development opportunities that will help you keep current with the mortgage industry and keep up with mortgage trends. Mortgage Professionals Canada, for example, offers continuing education and professional development for brokers. In addition, regulatory bodies in your province may also provide optional or mandatory education suggestions.
Prepare for each day
No two days will be the same. Don’t wing it. Be organized, because it’s the only way to balance marketing your business and helping people with their mortgages. Find a way to keep yourself on task, whether it’s checklists, schedules or a file system. Know what you must do that day and then do it.
- Start each day by reviewing your list of tasks to complete, review, and follow up.
- Make a schedule that allows you to complete your work around client appointments.
- Consider scheduling specific “do not disturb” time. Put your phone on silent and turn off email notifications.
- Keep your current files organized and easily accessible.
Focus on people, not numbers
Okay, so the numbers are important, but the people you are helping come to you with situations unique to them. Do you know which lenders will consider your client’s circumstances and not treat them like a statistic? This is where your mortgage broker skills really add value.
A mortgage is a significant financial obligation, and they are trusting you to steer them in the right direction, especially if they are not familiar with the process. To know what that direction needs to be, take the time to get to know your clients and establish a good relationship. Ask all the right questions to ensure you are seeking mortgage solutions that will move them towards their financial goals.
Take the time to explain all those mortgage terms and processes in a way that they can understand. Help them weigh the pros and cons of each option you present.
For example, your client may be looking for the best rate, but have a conversation about why mortgage payments matter more. Take the time to explain all those mortgage terms and processes in a way that they can understand. Help them weigh the pros and cons of each option you present. Focusing on them and what they need will show you care, which is sometimes really hard to find in customer service these days. These small things will be remembered when it comes time to write a review or offer a referral.
It’s also helpful to keep some notes about your clients, such as their goals, relevant personal details, and life circumstances. When the time comes to help them again, you’ll be reminded of the reasons you gave them the advice you did, and you can help them adjust their plan to their new circumstances.
Manage tough conversations
Not every client is going to be pleased with the options you present them. They can be unhappy with the circumstances and still be satisfied with the services you provide if you manage the relationship well.
- Use a calm, even tone, ensure you acknowledge any concerns addressed, manage expectations and follow through.
- Deal in facts, not guesses and emotions.
- If they need to vent, let them. Sometimes simply having someone listen is enough to diffuse a situation.
- Don’t take it personally. They are upset with the situation, not with you as an individual.
After that conversation, talk to a co-worker or manager about how it went. They might have some fresh ideas that you can use to help your client.
Build and maintain relationships
We’ve talked about how important it is to get to know your current clients, but don’t forget about the clients you have already worked with . If you’ve served them well, they can help you build your business, and they’ll come back to you when it’s time to renew their mortgage term.
Ultimately, you are trying to match people to the right mortgage—one that they can afford and will help them build their future. A little customer service can make that process easier for both parties involved, especially if you’re suggesting options that they are unfamiliar with, such as an alternative mortgage.
If you have questions about how an alternative mortgage could help your clients, contact us and one of our business development managers will help you find the right solution.