Imagine logging in to work at 9:00 a.m. for a day of pre-scheduled calls with pre-approved applicants who have not only completed a full mortgage application but selected their preferred mortgage rate and product, too. Your goal, within that call, is to ensure the desired mortgage is suitable to your client’s lifestyle, both current and future.
What it means for you: Less selling and more advising. But is such a dream scenario even real?
For anybody who’s line of business involves teamwork and technology, a scenario like that might sound familiar. But for most traditional, independent mortgage brokers, it’s a fairy tale.
Until recently, except for a couple of technical improvements, the mortgage industry hadn’t evolved much in the past 100 years. There is still a lot of paperwork involved, a mountain of underwriting and administration tasks, depending on each lender’s and insurer’s guidelines, not to mention the most time-consuming and exhausting part of a daily routine: prospecting clients.
Brokering would be a different job entirely – easier, more enjoyable and, ultimately, more profitable – without these administrative demands, time-consuming tasks, and having to take a cut out of your own pay cheque to offer the absolute best rate via buydowns.
That’s the belief nesto was founded on.
The need for change
For Chase Belair, Principal Broker and Co-Founder of nesto, the mortgage industry was clearly ready for a big change. “I think that most tech-savvy brokers who genuinely care for others’ wellbeing more than their paycheques have a “nesto” solution in mind to transform their business,” Belair says, “but the human and financial resources required to build it are so cumbersome, that it just remains an ‘idea’ or ‘vision.’”
Through Diagram’s VC support, he explains, nesto was able to come to life in less than six months.
“Two years in, our vision is turning into reality and the platform is evolving faster than we ever could have imagined.’’
At nesto, technology means efficiency. The company has developed a user-friendly online system that processes most of the information that would usually be collected during a first consultation or phone call. Virtually guiding a future client through every step of the qualification process doesn’t only save time for both the borrower and the advisor, but also a fair amount of money. The money saved thanks to the company’s modern approach can then be given back to the customer in the form of a better, lower interest rate for the same mortgage product they could obtain from a traditional broker.
Since only pre-approved clients make it to the next step, nesto’s brokers end-up working only with prime mortgage customers. Could there be a bigger time-saver than that?
Michael Nasra, one of the first brokers to join nesto in 2018, describes the company’s model as a “total game-changer.”
“It represents the future of mortgage brokering in the A mortgage space, and it feels good to be a part of the first team to do it,” Nasra says.“It's great to be part of where the industry is going instead or where it’s been for ages.”
Technology is a big part of the nesto equation because the company views itself as a tech company first, mortgage company second. That’s also what makes it such a unique, intriguing business to work at.
Instead of a mortgage brokerage outsourcing to a tech company every time it needs to make modifications to its system, everything at nesto can be done in-house by its own team of developers. If the company brainstorms an idea for makingits brokers’ lives easier, they bring it to nesto’s tech team, who then bring it to life: No long delays, no costly intermediaries.
Another reason why nesto’s brokers love their job so much: clerical help. Having an entire team dedicated to supporting brokers every step of the way is not only priceless, it’s impossible to replicate. From underwriters filing and analyzing documents, to managers stepping in on the lender’s side, to in-house tech support that’s only a phone call away, nesto’s take on collaboration removes a heavy burden from brokers’ shoulders, allowing them to be more efficient and handle a much larger volume of files in the same amount of time.
‘’Brokers are social beings,” Nasra says. “We love interacting and building a relationship with our clients. Having such great servicing, document and underwriting support allows us to spend more time with people and less with paper. This way, we can really focus on meeting the clients’ needs, better and faster.’’
All expenses paid
On top of taking care of all its brokers’ administrative duties, nesto covers all day-to-day expenses that the independent broker currently pays out of his own pocket, including licensing, appraisals, rate buydowns, etc.
That’s right: nesto buys down 100 percent of the mortgage rates offered on its advisors’ behalf to make sure it never comes directly out of their pockets. This means you can offer a full-featured standard mortgage at the same rate as traditional mortgage brokers’ “restricted’’ mortgage products. All this without the need to prospect, underwrite or complete any administrative documentation. A nesto broker’s time is spent doing specifically what they love and what makes them shine: Helping borrowers get the best possible mortgage.
The sweet spot
nesto wants its employees to make good money, but without having to sacrifice the kind of flexibility needed for them to tend to everything else in their busy lives.
The fact that everything at nesto can be done remotely makes life easier for brokers and, more importantly, for clients.Only a few months ago, the necessity and relevance of an online-only home financing service might have been arguable. Today, however, after weatheringan international health crisis, it doesn’t only seem relevant, but mandatory that people can do as much as possible without leaving the comfort of their homes.
For nesto broker Josée Racicot, flexibility means a better quality of life.
“What attracted me at first was the business model,” she says. “As an independent broker and a mother, I had been dreaming of so many ways to improve my day-to-day workload and efficiency and keep a good balance between business and life. So when I found out about nesto, a mortgage agency that was building technology to do just that, I thought if you can’t beat them, join them.”
For independent brokers used to being available 24-7 to add value for their clients, this means less urgency to answer phone calls at any hour of the day or night, as customers can verify their application status via the nesto platform and communicate directly with the nesto UnderWriting Centre for urgent questions, concerns or changes.
It also means a complete set of generous advantages and health benefits, including stock options and instant access to telemedicine for brokers and their families. With a competitive base salary topped with clear, achievable and uncapped bonuses, a nesto employee’s earnings as a salaried broker will easily end up resembling or even exceeding her current revenue. All this, without having to sacrifice the time spent with loved ones or those critical hours of self-care. It might just be the perfect balance between great service, great results and livelihood.
Less stress and more doing what you love. Some call it the sweet spot. We just call it nesto.