CMP: What made you first get into the mortgage broker industry?
Sabeena Bubber: I’ve been in the industry since I graduated from university with a commerce degree. I started out at a finance company with a heavy sales culture, and it taught me everything I needed to know about management and credit. Working there, and the work ethic I learned, gave me the basis I needed to become a mortgage broker.
I’ve been in the finance industry for 24 years and have been a mortgage broker for 15 of those. After working at the finance company, I worked as an underwriter for a subprime company. Then I came into mortgage brokering in 2004.
CMP: How would you describe your time in the industry?
SB: It was hard when I first came into the business. As a new mortgage broker, no one really wants to give you the time because they don’t know your potential. There’s a lot of stuff you just have to figure out on your own, like how to package deals, how to build client relationships and provide proper advice. In the beginning that was challenging, but after a lot of learning and finding the right mentors, I started to have success. The last 10 years have been amazing.
CMP: You’ve operated during a tumultuous period for the industry. What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
SB: It’s so much harder to do my job now than it ever was. We are being forced to constantly relearn everything and understand how every change affects our clients. It’s also about seizing that opportunity, despite all of the changes and ups and downs we have faced.
The opportunity for us has been in growth, because ultimately, we have become the best advice for our clients. The banks can’t necessarily answer all of the questions because they are not the only option anymore. Consumers are becoming more savvy to the fact that brokers do exist and can provide better advice and more longer-term relationships than the banks.
CMP: What markets do you focus on, and how has business been for youthis year?
SB: I primarily focus on British Columbia, and business has been challenging because the Vancouver market has taken a hit, especially in the detached homes segment. It has been tough because a lot of people are now struggling to qualify. First-time buyers trying to get into the market are struggling to understand that they may never be able to get into the market here because of the rule changes. Home-buying opportunities just aren’t present for them. At the same time, the rate specials being offered by the banks lately are creating opportunities to help existing clients. So it has been a mixed bag.
CMP: What does it mean to you to be among CMP’s Top 75 Brokers and Women of Influence?
SB: It really means a lot to receive those accolades. Being named a Woman of Influence was especially big for me. After not feeling supported at the beginning of my time in the business, it has become my mission to try to not let other people feel so alone. I try to provide that support, and getting that recognition from CMP meant a lot to me. It validated that I have been doing the right thing and helping the right people.
CMP: How have you been able to keep growing your business?
SB: Hard work, determination and wanting to be a positive influence for my two daughters. I wanted to show them that they have the capability to do anything if they set their mind to it. I want to show them that success can be defined in numerous ways, as long as you’re making a positive difference in the lives of others and doing it with high integrity.