Having worked in the mortgage industry for around 11 years now, Bryan Jaskolka is a Toronto broker who currently serves as the COO and the vice president of Canadian Mortgages Inc. (Verico
). CMI has also been lending to consumers for the past 4 years.
What is it like being a mortgage broker?
Before the financial crisis, there was a relatively even split between the number of mortgage-seekers who would go directly to the bank and those who visited a broker first. Over the past 7 years, it seems like many more people prefer to consult with a broker before deciding on a mortgage product.
The business is growing significantly, but is also becoming more challenging with new and evolving lending rules. It’s a fast-paced environment that demands constant learning and adaptability.
What drove you to the mortgage sector?
My primary motivation for entering the mortgage industry was to serve demographics that have a harder time obtaining home financing. I knew that many more Canadians needed access to credit than what the major banks were willing to give. People with bad credit, no credit, and entrepreneurs with “non-traditional” income all need a place to live. I wanted to be the person to help them.
What do you enjoy most about this job?
Ever-evolving lending rules and changing personal and economic circumstances make the mortgage industry an interesting, albeit challenging, industry. Helping borrowers, homeowners and investors navigate the landscape to achieve their dreams is one of the greatest joys of being in this business.
How can the industry attract new and talented professionals?
Help young brokers build a successful brand for themselves. This includes teaching them about business, marketing, and customer service in addition to the core technical skills. Also, highlighting the flexible nature of this work environment and its potential lucrative opportunities are a great way to get people interested.
Are there any new ventures or programs that CMI Loans is engaged in?
During this period, we’ve also expanded our investment arms, the CMI Mortgage Investment Corporation (MIC) and Canadian Lending Inc. (CLI) program. These investment vehicles allow investors to tap into Canada’s strongest residential real estate centres. And with each new venture comes new opportunity. This keeps me motivated and excited to get to work each day.
What advice can you give to those who are looking to have a career in mortgage?
For the past decade, I’ve lived and breathed the mortgage industry. To be successful in such a competitive market, you need to be passionate about it. If your plan is to come in when real estate is booming and exit when the market is tough, you won’t be successful.
Rather than try to “beat” the market, ask yourself if this is the sort of industry you can see yourself being a part of on a long term basis. While it can be highly lucrative, it is also very demanding. If you don’t carve out a priority market or serve a key demographic, and work very hard to get their attention, it’s unlikely you’ll develop staying power.