When the going gets tough

When the going gets tough

When the going gets tough

Kyle Green loves people and numbers, so it made perfect sense when he found his way into the mortgage world and very quickly figured out how to differentiate himself from others in the business. Early on in his career, Green started working with investors in Vancouver while also growing his own real estate portfolio. He soon realized that creating a niche is a critical step for any broker looking to grow their mortgage book. Pairing his personal interest in real estate wealth with his affinity for financing solutions became Green’s ticket to success.

“I just click with investors,” he says. “They are more analytical in nature compared to the average homebuyer. Investment deals are a lot more challenging, and I love putting that puzzle together and solving a client’s problem.”

Starting in the industry at age 19, Green needed to find a way to stand out among the crowd. Building his knowledge and experience within the narrow pillar of investment financing gave him a leg up on the competition and took his age out of the equation. While being young in the mortgage industry can often translate to being inexperienced, Green found a way to turn it into a competitive advantage.

“As soon as I started seeing success, I leveraged that, and my age became less important,” he says. “Plus, now that I’m leading a team and building my company, being a young, charismatic guy helps promote a great working culture.”

Green opened his own shop in 2009, focusing his business almost entirely on property investors and building a team of young, energetic professionals with a similar mindset. Today, he leads a team of eight: two documents people who work hand-in-hand with two underwriters, plus a commercial and private lending underwriter, two account managers who act as the primary point of contact for clients and a general manager who holds the team together. This strong team has become a stable foundation for the company to grow into the future.

“It took a couple of years for me to become a good mortgage broker, but it took a lot longer to learn how to be a good businessperson,” Green says. “As my business evolved, I began to understand the importance of systems and processes, which has been a big focus of mine for the last couple years.”

Developing a positive team culture has been paramount, he says, as it allows him to better attract talent and retain good employees.

“This business is stressful and can be really tough on people,” he says. “We embrace the fact that mistakes will happen, learn from them and try our best not to make the same mistake twice.”

Green’s growing team has also proved to be a competitive advantage. Working with investors is often more challenging than a typical transaction, he explains, and having a larger team allows Green to accommodate big fluctuations in business and volume while still giving each deal the extra time and attention it requires. It also allows him to take on more of an advisory role and leave much of the operations in the very capable hands of his team members.

“When doing more complicated deals, advice becomes more valuable compared to pricing,” he says. “When your niche is complicated, it creates really sticky clients. They know they aren’t likely to get the same level of expertise and service elsewhere.”

In recent months, Green has doubled down on his digital marketing strategies to stay top of mind with existing and prospective clients. From email campaigns to social media marketing, the team has been working hard to reconnect and re-engage with people online.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we cut expenses almost everywhere, except for our social media presence,” Green says. “People are spending more time online, so we actually ramped up our digital marketing.”

His mission in the coming months is to continue building the Green Mortgage Team’s digital presence by updating the brokerage’s database and producing more focused, relevant content. The most successful businesses, Green says, are the ones who can best adapt to change, and in the current environment, that rings truer than ever.

“If you’ve been a mortgage broker for the last 10 to 15 years, there’s been a hell of a lot of change in our industry,” he says, “and the ones who can continually adapt and manoeuvre are the ones that will come out ahead.”

Reflecting on the start of his journey in the mortgage industry, Green says that while the heyday of easy deals might be over, the complex nature of the industry will only drive business to the more skilled brokers. “The nice thing about working with investors is when times get tough, we get busy,” he says.