From the ashes of the last great financial turmoil more than a decade ago, Lev Keselman has carved a successful path in the Canadian mortgage industry, working for organizations like Mortgage Alliance and Dominion Lending Centres before joining Verico Paragon Mortgage Group in 2010 as a senior mortgage consultant.
“I ended up in the mortgage industry almost purely by chance. I graduated from university just before the 2008 financial crisis and was hoping to land a job in finance,” Keselman said. “At that time there were no such job openings and I ended up working as a branch employee with one of the chartered banks – the transition to commissioned sales was very natural as the branch structure was extremely restrictive and I was looking for both more opportunity and more freedom while staying within the scope of financial product sales, which I really enjoyed.”
This well-rounded experience has given him the versatility that he demonstrates as one of Canada’s top brokers.
“I treat each client individually, and make choices depending on what suits their particular situation best – there is no ‘one fits all’ in the mortgage business these days. This concept of customized borrowing plans is drilled into my team constantly – we look at every file as its own, to see what works and fits with that individual client, whether it may be a bank, an alternative lender, or a private lender,” Keselman said.
Among the vital components to his success in the market is a robust network of contacts.
“I have also been fortunate to have excellent relationships with my real estate partners, which have allowed me to continually form new relationships that are supportive and mutually beneficial. We as a team strive to provide as close as possible to perfect service levels for our referral partners. We aim to make them as competitive as possible when they refer business to us – and in return we get to grow these valuable relationships,” Keselman said.
And while the present environment is a very different beast compared to when he started out more than a decade ago, Keselman said that this will not be an impediment to providing a high quality of service to his clients.
“With the current lending framework, many clients do end up borrowing from alternative and private lenders. We aim to create long term borrowing plans that ensure that, most importantly, the clients end up with a mortgage they can afford; and secondly, are on a path to a borrowing solution that fits their long term needs,” Keselman said. “My education and finance background assists me in putting together the mortgage within the concept of the client’s overall financial plan rather than a borrowing stand alone. This concept has been a key to high conversion and retention rates as well as continuous referrals from past clients.”