Mobile mortgage specialists helping brokers?

by |

There’s one – and, perhaps, only one – reason to thank the growing number of mobile mortgage specialists, said a Mississauga broker, pointing to the increased demand to meet clients where they live, in places more conducive to generating referrals.


“In the last year alone, I’ve seen a 20 per cent rise in the number of clients asking me to come out to their homes and businesses to arrange their mortgages instead of agreeing to come to my office,” said Kelvin Seepersad, a 12-year veteran broker with Mortgage Intelligence. “I think that growing demand is because of the growing number of bank road reps who are meeting clients where the client wants to meet. Brokers are having to adapt to be competitive.”


Make no mistake: that’s a good thing, he told, suggesting client referrals have also increased as a direct result of the growing number of house calls.


“The increase in client referrals to friends in families by conducting consultations in the home have increased significantly for me,” Seepersad said, identifying two reasons. “Meeting them at home personalizes the client’s commitment to the broker, who then becomes more than just a business person, but a friend to refer other friends and family to. Also, just being in the home, allows the broker to come directly into contact with potential clients – relatives and friends of the client.”


The analysis puts a positive spin on the growing concern of brokers, watching the big banks bolster their teams of mobile mortgage specialists.


RBC, alone, took on 1,000 new sales employees in the last 14 months – a large percentage of them mortgage specialists and five times as many as it took on the previous year. And, BMO, which left the channel in 2007, added 1,000 frontline workers of its own in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. They helped drive sales, with the bank bumping up the value of its residential mortgages by $2 billion, year-over-year.


Bank want ads calling for those specialists now crowd online headhunting sites, indicating the Big Six remain focused on adding to their numbers.


The increasingly crowded field of competitors means brokers have had little choice but to match their flexibility, argue mortgage professionals, now spending less time at the office than they did even a year ago.


But brokers can’t afford to give up those work premises, despite shifting client preferences, said Seepersad.


“Mortgage brokers still need an office to lend them credibility with the client,” he told, “They don’t have a bank’s name behind them.”


  • Domenic Bartolo on 2011-11-03 6:59:25 AM

    According to the old adage:"If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain". At the end of the day it's all about giving service to our clients. Going the extra mile. Yes, mortgage specialists & mortgage brokers should & must be mobile.

  • Christine Xu on 2011-11-03 2:34:25 PM

    It's much more efficient and professional to meet clients at my office. If the clients take the trouble to come to see me, they are serious. Most likely we end up doing business. Once you go to clients' home, they always expect you to go there. How many clients you can see in one day and doing deals and answering phone calls in the same time? I told my clients that most doctors do not do house calls. If they want to see a specialist, they definitely to go to the specialist's office. Do not short sell yourself and your time!

  • George on 2011-11-04 2:56:20 AM

    I agree with you Christine - if a client wants our service, they need to put some skin in the game and make an effort. We go even further-we will not see a client face to face unless they insist on it. It is much more efficient to do things over the phone. Think about it. If I had to drive to a client's home, sit and chit chat for half an hour, then take their application and drive back to my office, I wasted 3 to 4 hours. Worse, I might still not get the deal. I don't spend more than 15 minutes with a client on the phone until I know they are committed to us. Only then will I allow them into my office. Maybe. People will waste as much of your time as you let them. If your value proposition is good, clients will follow your terms.

  • John Dearin on 2011-11-04 10:07:59 PM

    I don't like to have my agents going out into the unknown. Not just the females. Wait until one of your male agents are charged with assault. It doesn’t matter whether the assault happened or not. Proving his innocence is costly and by the time it gets into court, years later, your brokerages reputation is ruined. I always say we will go, but we can do a much better job of giving advice if the client comes into the office. Been working fine here.

  • Kathryn on 2011-11-05 6:20:45 AM

    I think it is a great idea but for BEGINNERS. The new brokers have to start somewhere, get the experience, and at that stage they do not have as much backbone and confidence yet to convey the benefits why the client(s) should come to their office.

    It is said to observe the tendency where consumers stop seeing home visits as an extra service, they take it for granted and abuse it.

    I always want to ask that question: how many of you, that go to consumers houses, have their own-private-professional-window--office (not in the basement of your house, sorry it doesn’t count)?
    Because if you do why would you go to somebody’s else place, sit squeezed on their dirty sofa, with kids and dogs running around and try to explain what is that you do?

  • Gary Tagg on 2011-11-09 5:57:02 AM

    If you have the time to go to client's home now you will likely continue the practice down the road. There is a big difference between those agents who meet at client's homes and those who run their business out of an office away from home. One, more often than not, has a decent job and income while the latter is running a business that covers much more than his or her own salary. It is more a matter of choice and lifestyle. Each to his/her own. Not that a personal touch is not warranted, but there is a fine line between being available anytime, and anywhere and providing professional customer service from your office. I prefer to have clients come to me and my agents where we are in control of the business environment and the clients feel like they are dealing with a professional. Most of our clients are more invested in our relationship when they have made a bit of a sacrifice in coming to meet us. Best practices and quality service are not really related to being at the beck and call of a client. At least not in our office.

  • Jeremy on 2011-11-17 11:34:32 AM

    When I was new to the industry, I too made house calls, that was 9 years ago. Today, that just isn't possible as there just isn't enough time in the day. You'll soon realize that doing house calls is actually what is keeping your business from growing, do the math. You can't build a relationship with a 15 minute home visit.

    I have also learned early on that for a client to be committed and loyal, they need to have some skin in the game. Meaning, they must make the time to see me during normal business hours. They understand that I have a family and a life too and most respect that. As for the others, the are just non-committal rate chasers whom I don't want to do business with anyway.

    To each there own.

  • James Hadzinikolaou on 2011-11-03 4:07:45 AM

    I have been doing house calls since i entered the channel, 3 years ago , my main stream of referals are from these type of clients. CHEERS

  • Kelly Rowe on 2011-11-03 4:36:48 AM

    One think to be VERY cautious about, especially if you a women, is make sure you know your client. There have been numerous incidents over the years in different parts of the country where women have been assaulted.
    Don't want to be negative as it is an excellent service to your clients. Just be sure you know where it is you are going.

  • Tracy Luciani Price on 2011-11-03 5:18:52 AM

    I have been meeting a majority of my clients in their homes for the past ten years and love it. Instantly, people are more comfortable with the mortgage experience because you are sitting in their home. Everything is so much more relaxed and when you need information it is readiy available. Years later when they call again, you can remember personal details about them their kids and their home. It's fun to go into a community and I did the mortgage for this house and that house. Definitely makes my job more rewarding!

Broker news forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions