With imminent changes to the way mortgages are funded, strengthening lender relations in preparation is paramount for any broker.
Mortgageoutlet.ca, one of the largest brokerages in Canada, understands that B-20 will tilt business in the favour of private lenders and credit unions, and that cultivating strong relationships with them is the key to surviving 2018 and beyond.
According to Elan Weintraub, a director and mortgage broker at mortgageoutlet.ca, being respectful of lenders’ time is reciprocated with a willingness to conduct business, so mortgageoutlet.ca doesn’t submit files it isn’t absolutely sure will receive funding.
“The golden rule: Do unto others what you would have done unto you,” he said. “Treat your lenders like partners, which they are. Don’t waste people’s time and understand their products. If there are flaws on a deal or circumstances, have that discussion up front because you can save hours and hours of work for the underwriter, or avoid having to put out a fire at the lawyer’s office. With your lenders, pretend it’s your money you’re lending.”
Weintraub personally meets with lenders every week to learn about their products, as well as to ask them about trends they’re noticing.
“One question we ask is ‘How can we prepare our agents for you to make your job easier?’” said Weintraub. “Once we know what they’re good at and what they don’t like, it makes it easier for everyone. Don’t submit deals to 12 lenders knowing you’re only going to use one. Make things as easy as possible for your underwriters, which makes your life easier. It’s win-win.”
Mortgageoutlet.ca has been expanding its relationships to different credit unions, which are going to become busier come January 1, regardless of their location. If a credit union is outside of the GTA, for example, but an agent is brokering a deal for a property in that area, Mortgageoutlet.ca will work with them. Part of the strategy the brokerage employs is setting targets it can exceed.
“We partnered with credit unions and we were very up front about establishing a volume we were comfortable with, something we could deliver on” said Weintraub. “So we purposely gave conservative numbers with the intention to exceed them.
“We’re also expanding reach beyond credit unions and connecting with private lenders, institutional lenders and MICs, who have come in and given presentations.”
While lender relationships are important, so are the ones forged with borrowers. Mortgageoutlet.ca has been training its agents on every facet of B-20, and they in turn reach out to their clients.
“One of the things we’re doing is communication with clients and our realtor partners, and our network in general,” said Weintraub. “We go through our CRM and advise our clients about B-20 and what the implications are.”
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