Fighting rate by paying it forward

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One Winnipeg mortgage broker is fighting the rate wars not by cutting into commissions, but by ‘paying it forward’ in $5 and $10 increments.
“We always give the best rate we can get the client upfront,” says Lyle Johnson, a mortgage agent with Dominion Lending Centres Red River Lending. “Nine times out of 10 that honesty goes a long way as I find prospects simply want someone they can trust.”
And what is helping this strategy is a “pay-it-forward” program, recently introduced, says Johnson.
“We are starting to utilize it for Realtors, financial advisors, lawyers and clients,” he told “We try to reward leads with a simple $5 or $10 thank-you gift card at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks. We find this helps in keeping us top of mind when it comes to mortgages.”
Like one of the central characters in the movie Pay It Forward, Johnson does what many other mortgage brokers do as a part of the business – find lending for struggling clients when most banks have already said “no.”
“Many of my clients come from refinances. About 40 per cent of those refinances are ‘C’ clients – private financing, foreclosure help, paying out of proposals, et cetera,” he says. “We have found a niche in helping people get out of foreclosure. 
Sometimes, it's job loss, illness or someone getting behind on property taxes, and people don't really think they will lose their home until it's almost too late, says Johnson. “After their bank has said no to their refinance request to get them back on their feet, we are trying to get the word out that we, in most cases, can help.”
The banks have become more competitive with their rates and increased their mortgage specialist numbers,” says Johnson. “With that being said, I think the biggest surprise recently (over the last year) has been the rate offerings coming from the credit unions. I am getting more calls from prospects quoting me a much lower rate they are being offered at a credit union than their bank. We have modelled our business so not to get in the game of rate shopping.”

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