The long-term value of a mortgage professional can be developed in other financial services
Honing one’s abilities as a specialist in the broad-ranging financial services industry is a path that offers significant long-term returns – as Kalson Jang of Premiere Mortgage Centre can attest to.
In Jang’s case, having worked as a financial advisor since 2002 helped him bring a lot of valuable know-how into the mortgage agent space.
Such a background – complemented by an MBA from the Schulich School of Business – has helped Jang provide his clients “with additional insight and knowledge that they don’t get elsewhere,” the Toronto-based broker told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “As a result, I can help clients plan their overall finances, not just their mortgage.”
A diverse suite of skills can turn a mortgage professional into, if not a one-stop shop, a dependable multi-talented resource that can address a wide variety of client needs.
“Being able to review a file and put my ‘underwriter hat’ on has also been very helpful for me,” Jang said. “At the end of the day, the underwriter makes the final decision, so it’s important to know what their requirements are so you can ensure your client’s application will be approved.
“Every client’s situation is unique, and some files can be more challenging than others. When the underwriter raises their concerns, knowing your client’s situation completely and being able to mitigate the lenders’ concerns is a helpful skill to have.”
Earning one’s stripes in a highly competitive industry while keeping one’s knowledge base updated is no mean feat, but Jang said that the fruits of labour are more than worth it.
“I’m a firm believer that dedication to my clients and hard work is the solution to most adversity,” Jang said. “I’ve never been one to advertise, relying instead on word of mouth and on my reputation to grow my business. I always tell people who are self-employed the same thing, it may seem like ‘I’m working so hard, doing such a great job, none of this is working, I want to grow faster.’ But if you keep at it, eventually the hard work will pay off and when it does, it comes very quickly.”
Jang encouraged mortgage professionals to do their research, a taxing but rewarding pursuit.
“Don’t ask questions you can figure out for yourself,” he said. “This learning process allows you to develop a deeper understanding of each lender’s products, which will really help you. Don’t wait for someone else to ‘show you the way’ when you can ‘show yourself the way.’ Be organized and concise with your clients and your lender partners. Your clients and lending partners are all very busy; the easier you can make things for them, the better it is for everyone involved.
“When you first start in this industry, you try to be ‘everything for everyone.’ But as you grow and understand the value you bring, you have to focus on becoming an integral partner for the type of client you want.”
Continuous learning also sets the stage for upgrading one’s skill set, which is crucial for professionals working in an ever-evolving industry.
“By 2018, my business had grown tremendously and I searched for a new brokerage that could help me take my business to the next level,” Jang said. “After exploring many different options, I joined Premiere Mortgage Centre which has proven to be a great decision.
“Many of my friends are real estate agents, so the opportunity to add value to their businesses by using my skill sets resonated with me,” he added. “Having the opportunity to help people achieve their dream of homeownership is really rewarding. Getting qualified for a mortgage is more difficult than ever, and with real estate prices rising so rapidly, it feels good to know I can play a part in helping my clients achieve their goals and dreams.”
Many of these connections helped Jang garner repeat business from clients who have seen first-hand what his approach brings to the table.
“Because of my reputation for excellence, I have been the beneficiary of many referrals,” Jang said. “As my business has grown, the rate of growth hasn’t really slowed down like I thought it would. The pace at which my business has grown, even when I reach higher and higher targets, has been very gratifying.”