In only four years working full-time as a mortgage broker, Rakhee Dhingra leads her own team in the Broker One network and has built her business around strategic partnerships.
“We treat our realtor partners and their brokerages like client accounts and focus on their teams and the numbers they generate,” she said. “We’re strategic with where we put our time and attention versus trying to service everybody.”
It’s certainly paying off. Dhingra’s team has already hit $80 million in volume this year with six weeks to go year, and listening to her explain how she started in the industry might provide the first clue to her team’s success.
“I was a stay-at-home mom and my intention was to do one or two deals a month. The intention wasn’t to be here. It really wasn’t, but it just kind of happened,” she said, adding that money was never her motivation.
“I fell in love with my clients. I had the good fortune of working with amazing clients and forming friendships, which led to networking events and future business. But I never looked at the numbers. I did $25m in my first year and it grew from there.”
There was, of course, some doubt at the outset. Her first mortgage was for $100,000, and after paying for the property’s appraisal and a gift for her client, she was left with about $345.
“I wondered to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ But it was the best thing because I learned so much in my first six months from how to source business to various lender packages and what not to do, and it gave me the skillset to get better and really start executing.”
Central to Dhingra’s success is her recognition that building relationships would carry her far. The mortgage industry is very transactional, she says, and drawing upon her corporate and investment banking background at Citibank Canada, she quickly built a business predicated on relationships building and providing clients top-notch service.
Dhingra also remembers that, after purchasing her first home, her bank rep stopped returning calls and it made her feel like a nuisance. That’s why she’s cognizant about always being available to her clients and to her realtor and lender partners.
And together, they strategize.
“My retention rate with clients is higher,” she said. “I don’t want to hustle anymore. I built relationships on pure intentions. If my partners’ business grows, I grow with them. It’s only been four years, so I’m only starting to benefit from renewals, but most of it is referral business. Going into 2019, my realtor partners and I are sitting down and setting targets, so I know that I may have six or seven teams who can give me $20m each.”