Kate Arviko, associate vice president of business and network development at Verico Canada, cited a long-running passion for home building and renovations as a major impetus in her decision to enter the mortgage industry around eight years ago.
While on vacation with a group of women professionals back in 2013, “we talked a lot about the challenges in the industry and I was fascinated by the opportunity to develop creative solutions to financing challenges,” Arviko told MBN. “One of them mentioned that she thought I would enjoy working with mortgage brokers and that I should consider a [business development manager] role. After a few months, I interviewed for a role with a monoline lender and the rest is history.”
Arviko subsequently moved to the insurance side “where I helped build a new white label insurance brand which included creditor, home, and auto insurance.”
It was during this period that she established links with what would turn out to be the defining partnership of her mortgage career.
“For most of my years in the mortgage industry, I worked directly with Verico firms. So when the opportunity to join the Verico team came up early this year, it felt like a natural transition,” Arviko recounted. “On top of that, I believe the Verico model offers the best value in the industry and I have a great deal of respect for the current senior management team.”
Arviko added that her current position in the company allows her to leverage her greatest strengths as a professional.
“What gives my job meaning is building relationships,” Arviko said. “This role gives me the opportunity to do the most important thing humans do; connect, build trust, respect, and rapport with my clients and colleagues. I have met some amazing people in this industry. There are many special people who started as business clients and colleagues who have become long-term friends.”
Being a people person, Arviko admitted that the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced some significant strain.
“In any business development role, face-to-face interaction is crucial to building relationships,” Arviko said. “Not being able to interact with our brokers, agents, and our company colleagues has added a layer of complexity, challenge and change to what used to be normal ways of working. The same disruption occurred for brokers when it came to their clients, so I knew I was not alone.”
Fortunately, Arviko managed to maximize the tools at her disposal well before the situation spun out of control.
“I quickly adapted to the change in environment by utilizing technology more than I ever had before,” Arviko said. “I looked at it more as an opportunity to connect in different ways and to support my brokers beyond the scope of business transactions. Many wanted to talk about what was going on with their families and the struggles they were facing after we finished talking business. It’s been a hard time for us all, but the professionals involved in this industry are incredibly adaptive and have made the necessary changes in their business models to continue to be successful.”
Arviko stressed that this was an object lesson in the most important thing she has learned in her career so far: “to be fluid and adaptable.”
- “Nothing stays the same in life, and the mortgage industry is no exception,” Arviko said. “There are many disruptive changes in the industry that affect us all that are beyond our control – changes in government regulations, lending guidelines, the massive move to digital/online ‘everything,’ and of course, pandemics.
“We must shake off old mindsets and adapt to the changes and move forward through innovation. That is the only way you will continue to be successful in an ever-changing environment.”