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The Big Story: Do you have what it takes?

The best agents may be born and not made, but what traits should increasingly selective brokers be looking for in this confusing and challenging market. MBN finds out.

Video transcript below:

Reporter: Good agents are easy to get. Great ones are hard to find. What makes a great agent? Are they born to sell? Can they really be taught the skills? Born or made, what makes a great agent on this week’s Big Story.

Math, communication, administration, agents need to have it all. Or do they? Are personality and sales more important than doing the paperwork?

Erin Hamilton, Sherwood Mortgage Group

Erin Hamilton: Halfway through my career I moved location completely moving out to find out and there no one knew who I was anymore. I literally went door to door. People don’t like that. If I get your name out quickly and whether they like you or not, at least your name’s there. I certainly didn’t go to school, primarily I have a degree in psychology, it may be that could help a little bit. I don’t really think it does, but just because my background isn’t math, doesn’t mean I can’t put up my own mortgage together, because half of it is communicating properly with the underwriter, so they understand why weaknesses of an application can actually become twisted around and smoothed out. Even having a good relationship with your underwriter can go a long way. Instead of them, if they know you personally they know you are not necessarily sending crappy deals on purpose. They might call you and say well, this doesn’t seem right. Why would you send that in? They kind of get to know you. So you know, being personable is huge, it’s just being able to convey ideas properly, it’s not all about the numbers.

Reporter: Finding the one is critical, but how do you know they are the one?

Joe Walsh, Bedrock Financial Group Inc.

Joe Walsh: Well if you are talking about what makes a good mortgage selling agent and can they also come with good administration skills, I say first of all I find it difficult to be able to you know without somebody already being in the business, being successful, I find it hard to tell whether this person is, they come from all walks of life and you are never sure and sometimes when I interview people, you know first of all I tell them that it’s not as easy as it looks. Right. It is difficult, people think they are [going recommend us], it’s so easy to do mortgage, it is not so easy.

  • Ingrid Menninga: Marketing 101 Ingrid Menninga: Marketing 101 (views 18672)

    Marketing for brokers is about cost-effective methods that deliver results, says Ingrid Menninga of Jolt Marketing, who will be presenting "Monetize your Marketing" at the upcoming Mortgage Summit, powered by CMP magazine. One of the first decision brokers need to make when putting together a marketing plan, she says, is to decide who their most important clients are.

  • The Big Story: Fixed-rate mortgage shift The Big Story: Fixed-rate mortgage shift (views 16287)

    It wasn’t too long ago that the prevailing wisdom held that variable-rate mortgages were the way to go. Now, a recent poll reveals that fully half of all Canadians said they would choose a fixed rate mortgage if they had to decide today, a 10 per cent increase from a year ago. That’s a huge shift from the past five years, when people saved money by sticking with variable rates. Brokers can certainly attest to this trend, and say they are seeing clients choose longer term mortgages with rates at historic lows. They are also recommending that clients go with as long a term as possible, event 10-years, as rates haven’t been this low in 20 years. This week we spoke with Catherine Evel, mortgage broker/owner and mortgage agents Kelly Sams and Julia Parkin at Dominion Lending Centres-Homestead Financial. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: HELOCs The Big Story: HELOCs (views 13700)

    The right product for the right client. This is especially true for HELOCs, which now account for almost 50 per cent of non-mortgage debt. Even as government moves to cool this market by withdrawing its backing, brokers are finding more lenders are offering them the product. Brokers caution however, that HELOCs need to be used wisely. They need to present the product properly and advise responsibly, so the best long-term interests of their clients are met. This week we spoke to, Ron Alltree, Kunaal Bhalla, Sarah Makhomet Deepak Bansal and Jonathan Tillger, of Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Village. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: Prepayment clarity The Big Story: Prepayment clarity (views 15458)

    New code of conduct rules for lenders mean they must clarify prepayment and penalty terms for borrowers. While brokers welcome these changes, they feel they don't go far enough. This week we spoke to Nick Kyprianou, CEO, Equity Trust Financial and Deepak Bansal,Ron Alltree, Kunaal Bhalla, Sarah Makhomet and Jonathan Tillger, of Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Village. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: The spring market The Big Story: The spring market (views 13053)

    Spring is upon us. The spring housing market that is, as the winter weather really never arrived in most parts of the country this year. Typically, it’s the busiest time for home purchases and renewals. Brokers who haven’t been preparing by marketing themselves and reaching out to clients and referral partners are likely to get left behind. It’s when things are slow that brokers say you should be reconnecting with referral sources such as Realtors and your client database who are likely to know someone who is looking to purchase or refinance. This week we spoke to Sarah Makhomet, Kunaal Bhalla, Jonathan Tillger, Ron Alltree and Deepak Bansal of Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Village. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: Mortgage Fraud The Big Story: Mortgage Fraud (views 16176)

    Most brokers think it could never happen to them. But mortgage fraud is still a problem. Not anymore with brokers than with banks, but a recent report put the cost of mortgage fraud at $400 million, a number everyone should be concerned with. For brokers, preventing fraud comes down to “knowing your client”. Education is also key in knowing what to look for when putting a deal together. This week we spoke to Ray Leclair, VP, public affairs for LAWPRO (TitlePlus), Lee Welbanks of The Mortgage Centre and Bill Eves, Wayne Sudsbury and Grant Brown of Homeguard Funding Ltd. (VERICO). Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: What should Flaherty do? The Big Story: What should Flaherty do? (views 15902)

    It’s no surprise that this year’s federal budget is focused on reducing debt. But it’s not just their debt that concerns Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. With Canadian household debt continuing to rise and home prices slowing, but not dropping, some have predicted that the government will tinker with mortgage rules for the third year in a row and lower the maximum amortization period. Not surprisingly, most brokers disagree with this option. MortgageBrokerNews caught up with some brokers at the Centum inaugural conference – VISION 2012 – held in Toronto. This week we spoke to Enza Venuto, Paul Therien, Karim Talib, Aniruddh Raol and Jimmy Hansra. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: The Lending Landscape The Big Story: The Lending Landscape (views 13242)

    With recent events, the lending landscape outlook remains uncertain. What effects are these changes going to have on the broker channel and how will brokers adapt? Some say it will be short term pain for long term gain, while others think a new order will be created. On today’s Big Story, we spoke to Lee Welbanks of The Mortgage Centre, and Wayne Sudsbury, Bill Eves and and Grant Brown of Homeguard Funding Ltd. (VERICO). Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

  • The Big Story: Housing market snapshot The Big Story: Housing market snapshot (views 13380)

    It’s been an ongoing debate for a while now. Housing bubble – no housing bubble. The latest numbers support the idea that the Canadian housing market will have a soft landing in 2012. In January, CREA reported that sales activity was down for the first time since August of 2011, while prices increased by a modest two per cent year-over-year. Forecasts for economic and job growth going forward vary widely for different parts of the country, meaning some markets may soften while others pick up. For experienced brokers, continuing to work with Realtor partners may be one key to surviving any drop-off in the market. As well, people will continue to buy, refinance and renew. So regardless of what the market may or may not do, brokers need to continue to show clients why brokers are an integral part of the home-buying purchase. On today’s Big Story, we spoke to mortgage broker Paula Roberts and mortgage agent Dena Kakaletris of The Roberts Group-Dominion Lending Centres. Find out on today’s