Paul Davidescu is a jack of all trades. He’s the founder of Tangoo, a social media and digital marketing agency, he has participated in the development of educational programs, and he regularly speaks at universities and organizations across Canada on business development and entrepreneurship.
When he was looking to find a way to help Tangoo’s mortgage clients attract borrowers and market themselves in a more authentic way, Davidescu realized he needed to learn more about a business that can be opaque and is misunderstood by many. He decided to fully immerse himself in the industry by becoming a licensed mortgage broker in Ontario and BC.
Davidescu immediately realized there’s a huge gap in the education and information available to Canadians about the mortgage process. He knew he could do better, drawing on his proven experience in building client-centered businesses to make lasting changes to improve the mortgage experience for all Canadians. Thus, Level Up Mortgages was born.
“It doesn’t matter what business you’re building; the key is to be customer-centric,” Davidescu says. “It’s all about observing customers and thinking about their experience from the get-go.”
One of the first things he found was that transparency is still very much lacking in the mortgage industry, which he also felt needed a refresh in terms of customer engagement and building meaningful relationships. He began employing some of his customer discovery strategies, using data, analytics and user testing to learn about customer experience and discover the pain points.
Through his research, he found that clients often felt unprepared and stressed throughout the mortgage process. To counteract these feelings, Davidescu spends a lot of time and energy on setting expectations early, laying out exactly what’s needed at the beginning of the process and helping maintain a positive mindset through constant communication. He’s also designing courses for homebuyers to make information more readily available and digestible at their own pace.
“Consumers want to do their own research and reach out when they are ready,” he says. “Content is the beginning of the customer journey and gives borrowers a chance to digest information without feeling under pressure.”
Being accessible in a variety of channels is also important; Davidescu connects with clients via various social media sites, his personal blog and contributions on well-known publications like Forbes. To counter the problem of helping different buyers during any part of their journey, he uses email automation to ensure monthly newsletters are sent to both referral partners and end consumers. Instagram and LinkedIn have been major drivers for his business, allowing for content distribution, networking and meeting like-minded referral partners. He’s even on TikTok, the newly popular social media platform that allows for short-form mobile videos.
“TikTok is a new frontier, which can be crucial to connecting to the younger generation,” Davidescu says, although he adds that “YouTube is still my biggest focus, as I post a new video every week interviewing industry experts and share other educational posts.”
Sharing content helps to create a level of trust long before a potential client picks up the phone. As a newcomer to the mortgage industry, Davidescu is tapping into his pre-built network and his expertise in digital branding to attract new clients and referral partners. Being a scrappy entrepreneur himself, he’s especially well placed to guide other self-employed borrowers.
“It’s all about how these borrowers position themselves,” he says. “Sometimes I need to give them a reality check on where they stand and what they need to do to level up, and I’m always willing to use my network to help my clients be better prepared.”
For Davidescu, everything is about adding value. A lot of his business coming from referral partners, and he often offers coaching on how to be more entrepreneurial. He believes the mortgage process starts way before the application – and that it essentially never ends. Adding value beyond closing is something else Davidescu prioritizes.
“After inheriting the biggest debt of your life, most brokers just wipe their hands clean,” he says. “I try to help with that continuation plan though financial modeling and advice throughout the entire homeownership journey.”