MortgageBrokerNews is kicking off a series of features on the finalists for Broker of the Year in both categories -- the under 25 employees and the 25 and over. This year’s group is the most diverse, spanning the country. Winners in both categories will be named at the upcoming Canadian Mortgage Awards on May 10 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto.
Laurie Furness, The Mortgage Centre RDM Financial Consultants, Oakville, Finalist in the Mortgage Broker of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) category
Never one to sit back and let life “just happen,” industry veteran Laurie Furness jumped into the broker channel when her last underwriting deal was declined.
“I started as an underwriter with CMHC, then moved to Royal Trust when they first introduced ‘road reps,’” says Furness. “I went on to TD for a year in the same capacity until they declined my last deal. I became a broker and have never looked back!”
Furness finds a balance between work and relaxation necessary to maintain her sanity and edge in the broker channel.
“This is a stressful industry so I enjoy my off time as well,” she says. “I love golfing, travelling and gardening. That is my oasis to escape and relax!
“I love what I do, have great clients and referral sources who count on me to do what I say I can do,” Furness points out. “I have earned respect and an excellent reputation in the industry, which is very important to me. There is nothing more gratifying than a satisfied client who you have helped to get into their first home, save money on a penalty or blend when moving up or ‘saved their life’ by restructuring their debt to get them back on track.”
Furness attributes her success to a stable team and a promotional vehicle that has increased her volume.
“I have an excellent staff who have been with me for years and we are an efficient team,” she says. “I found a publication that I felt was worthy of sending to my clients and have found it has increased by volume with previous clients to where they represent over 50 per cent of my business.”
One of the keys to success is through customer service, with the mantra “under promise and over deliver.”
“My clients know they can count on me to do the best for them and my word is gold. I value the reputation I have built in this industry with my clients, referral sources, lenders and colleagues,” says Furness.
Her reputation includes being second in Canada for MCC in 2012 once again, and winning the Readers Choice award in Oakville.
“I only found this out as a client told me when I asked where they got my name!”
Her background in underwriting makes her appreciative of those underwriters she works with today, and tries to tailor her deals to best suit the underwriter’s needs.
“Knowing how to structure a deal, who to take it to so as not to waste the lender’s time and get the best deal for the client,” she says. “Then all parties are happy. My underwriter has been with me 10 years and is a ‘Mini Me’ with similar work ethics, knowledge and commitment to the business, which means it is seamless when I am away or tied up with clients.”
The awards sell out every year and with only 5 tables left, we hope it’s not you missing out this year!