Described as a “mythical unicorn” who can transform even the most difficult financing situations into real estate dreams, Rakhee Dhingra has earned her reputation as one of the most sophisticated and dynamic leaders in the mortgage industry. The Mortgage Savvy CEO’s petite frame and soft speech are rivalled by her big business strategy. She has been challenging the transactional nature of the mortgage industry since the inception of her business. In just a few short years, she has proven her ability to transcend the industry with a mortgage business that is built upon people, not numbers.
From her very first deal, Dhingra paved the way for a business built on supportive and strategic partnerships – inviting clients into her home, offering personalized credit counselling services and building meaningful connections with every homeowner who passes through her door. Now, as her Torontobased brokerage continues to grow, she uses that same mentality to partner strategically with industry partners and Realtors to deliver a service unrivalled by others.
“When I started my career in the financial world, I yearned for more meaningful and supportive connections, so I built a business based on creating meaningful experiences with every single client and business partner,” she says. “Today, we consistently provide space to inspire change and collaborate with our clients and network of supporters. True success is in building a sense of community, which naturally emerges as you collaborate, and I believe it’s through building friendships and sponsorships that business will thrive.”
At Mortgage Savvy, that sense of community starts with eliminating the competitive nature of the real estate industry and creating a space where Realtors and brokers can work together to organically grow their businesses. The brokerage’s White Glove service for Realtors provides agents with marketing support and lead generation, in addition to client services such as credit counselling and thoughtful closing gifts.
As the first brokerage with an in-house events service, Mortgage Savvy has earned a reputation for hosting buzzworthy open houses that feature gourmet catering, wine tastings, food trucks and specialty entertainment. But these events are more strategic than meets the eye. Brokers are on hand to provide prospective clients with financing advice, and leads are immediately transferred into a drip campaign for Realtors to access, helping them secure every opportunity available.
“For me, building the business has been about what I can do to add value and truly be an asset to my partners so I can help them transact and, in turn, transact myself,” Dhingra says. “When we work collaboratively and in partnership, we grow our businesses together. We’ve been very successful from the standpoint that our partners don’t view us as a third-party referral, but rather as part of their team.”
Many of these strategic relationships have been formed around work within the community, and Dhingra and her team strive to align themselves with like-minded Realtors who have their clients’ best interests at heart. “For us, it’s about defining your ‘why’ – what gets you up in the morning and what drives you,” she says. “My ‘why’ is about making an impact on the community.”
The Mortgage Savvy team and its Realtor partners support each other’s charity work – including a summer camp fully funded by the brokerage – and the team also invests in its community by providing partners with ongoing coaching and business development opportunities. “We support them in all areas of their business and growth, allowing them to thrive individually and as part of our team,” Dhingra says.
Yet Mortgage Savvy’s Realtor partners are the first to admit that it’s Dhingra’s genuine focus on client experience that allows these partnerships to thrive. “Clients who may be in a stressful situation are not [stressed] when dealing with her – she puts you at ease,” one partner says. Another adds: “Rakhee empowers the people around her.”
“We truly believe it’s about the people – not the transactions,” Dhingra says. “The majority of mortgage agents out there are not really interested in building connections or providing people who may not qualify under the conventional guidelines with the same level of service as a AAA client.”
Not only does the Mortgage Savvy team take the time to educate each client about their financial longevity, they pride themselves on finding solutions for clients who would be overlooked by traditional lenders. “I did credit coaching with one of my very first clients for two and a half years,” Dhingra says. “If I had put them in a B lending situation, they would have lost their home. Instead, they sat down with me every month because I held them accountable.”
Last year, those clients sold their property and purchased their dream bungalow, which was able to better accommodate their child with special needs. Dhingra put 100% of her commission towards putting the finishing touches on their forever home. “It was the most rewarding experience to see them in that home,” she says. “There is something really special about being in a mortgage signing where everyone – myself included – is crying tears of joy.”
As new mortgage rules create tighter lending scenarios for consumers, the Mortgage Savvy team continues to add value by providing ongoing support to clients who may not be ready to purchase in today’s market, which helps to build a pipeline of future business.
“Being patient now and not looking at everything as an immediate return is a huge area of opportunity,” Dhingra says. “By providing education and coaching them through the process of making financial changes, we’re preparing our clients to make sound and sustainable financial decisions.”
This investment in client relations speaks for itself: Mortgage Savvy has doubled its business year-over-year and operates entirely on referral or repeat business. Dhingra’s dynamic vision has built success in all avenues of her business – happy clients make for better transactions on both the Realtor and lender side, creating an incredible synergy between all parties involved.
“Rather than thinking, ‘How do I serve myself?’ we need to think, ‘How do I serve others?’” Dhingra says. “It’s that connection and support that makes us light up and shine.”