Daniel Johanis bounced around before becoming a broker—he worked for large banks preparing financial reports, he worked in the automotive field, and most recently ran a downtown Toronto tea bar.
“A friend of mine had just sold a mortgage brokerage and had for years been trying to convince me to become a broker because he thought I’d be a good fit,” said Johanis. “I got my license in early 2016, and as it turns out, he was right.”
As a broker, Johanis wears many a hat. While the job entails slotting clients into the right mortgage product, there’s so much more he does.
“Being able to provide solutions is one thing, but educating my clients so that they know all of their options and how to make the best decisions for their families is rewarding. Their financial health is the most important thing and it’s important for us, as brokers, to help them understand why but also how to get there. Coaching people on how to attain certain milestones beyond homeownership, like freeing up cash flow and sending their kids to school, is what I love most about this job. Playing a role in the success of families is invaluable.”
Running a tea shop on Spadina Ave. prepared Johanis for the ins and outs as a mortgage broker because of its client-facing nature. Beginning his mortgage career with Mortgage Architects, Johanis moved over to DLC Mortgage Centre and now works one of its sub-brokerages, Rock Capital Investments. It is here that Johanis has been able to convert his jocular, client-friendly nature into mentor for newer agents.
“Mentorship is crucial, especially in this industry because there isn’t a roadmap laid out for agents,” he said. “If you’re not used to time management and being a self-starter, because you do work on your own, you’ll find it difficult.
“The brokerage I’m at now fosters that kind of environment, where we all help each other, especially newer agents, and I’ve taken on that role because it wasn’t long ago that I was in the same boat as them. There are some process-driven questions, but also questions relating to attracting and retaining clients, and converting a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ It isn’t just about knowing products and lenders, it’s about building relationships. While our job is sales-driven, it’s also built on compassion, too, because there are few jobs in which you really immerse yourself in the life of your client and do for them what you would do for yourself.”