There’s more to brokering than securing clients the best lender rate possible.
Just ask Hercules Galang. The co-founder of Mortgage Scout cut his teeth as a financial planner and mortgage specialist for TD Bank and Scotiabank, and the approach he takes to his clients is atypical in the mortgage industry.
“I would prepare financial plans and take a look at my clients’ investment planning, estate planning, tax planning, and project their financial future,” Galang told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “We’d do annual reviews together, but the approach was whole rather than only partial, and I brought that professionalism with me to the banking world when I became a mortgage specialist. It was a polished, holistic approach to people’s financial lives.”
That might be an understatement. The years Galang spent as a financial planner helped him become a top 1% producer at both TD Bank and Scotiabank, but he also credits the banks with helping professionally.
“I wouldn’t be here without them because they taught me so much,” he said.
Along with partner Deren Hasip, who has over 20 years of experience in the banking world, Mortgage Scout was launched in July and has already been nominated for a Canadian Mortgage Award. Listening to Galang explain his approach to brokering, it’s easy to understand why the nascent brokerage is quickly becoming one to reckon with.
“A lot of what I do comes from the heart rather than just treating it like another business transaction,” said Galang. “If a deal goes sideways, I’m not one to hide underneath a desk and disappear. I’m there—whether it’s for my client, a real estate agent or a lawyer—you name it—I want to make sure it gets done. I take every deal very personally.”
Galang is known to treat peers with the same delicate care he does his clients and has built a reputation mentoring young brokers. In fact, helping brokers navigate the industry is one of Mortgage Scout’s objectives.
“We want to deliver, and one reason we can is because we have Hercules, who was a top 1% producer and is well-liked by his peers,” said Hasip. “He’s a natural mentor and a lot of people admire his achievements.”
Over a 25-year career, Galang has seen it all and become an invaluable guide for young brokers. When deals go south, Galang is there to remind them that they will be better for it.
“If something breaks down in a deal, I’m there because I’ve been there myself and felt the way they’re feeling,” he said. “I’ve experienced the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs. I share my war stories with them and impart knowledge with respect to how a deal should be packaged and structured so that it makes sense to the lender. I’ll break their file apart and put it back together, but show them the reasoning through every step.
“That’s one aspect to mentorship, but the other is if a deal falls apart or a client leaves for different broker. I’ll guide the young broker through that and let them know it’s happened to me before. They could have five files in front of them and lose them just as quickly. It’s not the end of the world. When they hear I’ve been through it—through what they deem failure—they realize it can be used as a learning experience, and it usually helps with their self-esteem. Lead by example and be humble. In this business, never let anything get to your head, especially when you become successful quickly.”