An active industry player for nearly a decade now, Jason Zuckerman operates from his Montreal office. He is a leading provider of services for Quebec clients who are struggling with bankruptcy and bad credit.
How have your years in the industry molded you?
The mortgage industry is highly competitive when you are starting out, but just like any business, one has to start somewhere. When I started out in 2007, you do your best to build your business on your personal contacts. You also do your best to get more involved in your community, and go to as many networking events as possible. In this industry, there is very little differentiating you from your competition in terms of rates, so you have to add that extra value that other brokers can’t. You often need special contacts to give you an edge.
In terms of shaping me as a person, the industry has done a lot. In this business, you need to have thick skin because you are going to go through ups and downs. Between your competition and the tightening of mortgage regulations by the government, you have to constantly be searching for new ways to grow your clientele.
When I was starting out in the business in 2007, it was difficult to find clients and it hurt to lose clients to my competition. After 10 years of building my clientele, losing a client doesn’t hurt as much. You have to develop on attitude of just moving on to the next file. I also accomplish more as I have become more efficient with my time, and I am also quicker at reading when people are wasting my time.
How would you describe your day-to-day work?
I have the flexibility at meeting my clients at their homes, business, my office, or even remotely. People today are busy, so if we can take a mortgage application over the phone, it can work out best for both of us. My morning is typically spent on going through emails from the previous evening, and returning phone calls. The afternoon is typically spent working on existing mortgage files, cultivating my existing contact list for referrals, or meeting new clients. I also attend networking events in the evening whenever I can.
What are the issues or problems that your clients typically struggle with?
The government has tightened mortgage regulation which has made financing more difficult on banks/brokers, and borrowers. Solutions that were available 5 years ago are not available now with the same lenders. In my opinion, self-employed people have been affected the most.
Most of my clients need help with debt consolidation as well. The best way to consolidate credit card debt is to refinance your mortgage. It is less expensive and much more manageable.
Another challenge are people who have poor credit. Even alternative lenders have more restrictions with regard to these types of clients. Unfortunately, some of these people now have to go to private lenders to receive money.
So far, what achievement or milestone are you most proud of?
I would say that being in the business for almost 10 years is an extraordinary achievement. I have excelled in this field without even having any critical schooling in it aside from my real estate license. I am also proud of my reputation as a qualified professional that people can rely on for advice. I have many people that ask me questions, but don’t necessarily need a mortgage from me at the present time.