A thoughtful approach has served this mortgage veteran well all these years
For Bekim Merdita (pictured), vice president and founding team member at Rocket Mortgage Canada, a unified vision is an immeasurable advantage for a mortgage company.
“Great culture that is spread by great people with a common mission creates magic,” Merdita told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “For anyone who has ever been a part of an amazing team, they’ve experienced this level of synergy which is often difficult to describe.
“It’s exhilarating and fun for everyone involved. It allows our team to band together and work harder to achieve our goal transforming the client experience when obtaining a mortgage.”
Merdita said that his commitment to the mortgage industry in the first place came about as a result of a shared dream.
“It took a friend introducing me to the business to find it,” he said. “It’s not something school counsellors pitch to kids as a potential career option, which is unfortunate because it’s an extremely rewarding career. We have the opportunity to help people achieve the dream of homeownership while providing a living for ourselves and our loved ones.”
A thoughtful approach comes naturally to Merdita, who remains an avid reader.
“I read and/or listen to over 100 books a year,” Merdita said. “Most of my reading is non-fiction for the purpose of personal and professional development. However, I do continue to mix in a lot of fiction books because there are always great lessons to be learned in any well-constructed book.”
Time spent on this pursuit has yielded significant dividends for Merdita.
“For me, the Charlie Munger quote about reading holds true: ‘In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero,’” he said. “Don’t go at it alone. There are resources, groups, and mentors available to help you get started. Be less focused on commission splits and more focused on who is going to invest in your training and development.”
These strong fundamentals helped Merdita when he began his career as an associate banker at Quicken Loans, earning citations such as “Triple Crown”, “Presidents Club Mortgage Banker”, and “Director of Mortgage Banking” in Quicken’s direct-to-consumer channel.
“In 2018, I was part of a small team in Detroit, Michigan that pioneered our national sales team of wholesale lending at QLMS, which is now known as Rocket Pro TPO,” Merdita said. “In 2020, I had the privilege of being part of the startup team for Edison Financial – part of Rocket Companies in Windsor, Ontario – as vice president of sales and business development.”
Merdita recalled this time as being among the most challenging periods of his career.
“Coming from a company of 26,000 team members to a company of eight when we first started was a shock to the system,” Merdita said. “It’s easy to take all the comforts of a large organization that has built teams and systems over 35 plus years for granted. Building everything from scratch is an incredibly tough journey but one worth taking. We really had to lean on one another as a small team and persevere through a difficult time in history and we’re all stronger and better for it.”
With Edison Financial rebranding into Rocket Mortgage Canada earlier this year, Merdita said that the drive for self-improvement is what underlies both his reading habit and his approach to the business.
“I have worked hard to become a strong leader of myself and others by bringing our great culture into everything we do,” Merdita said. “We live by our -isms – a set of core beliefs that guide our teams and our decision making.”
“The one thing I focus on is the building of an organization that is optimized for scale. Working for Rocket for many years afforded me the privilege to see how wonderful, as well as completely necessary, systems and processes are in a growing company.”
Merdita said that this culture of continuous development is what gives Rocket its edge over the competition.
“Creating things with scalability and repeatability in mind allows a company to grow quickly,” Merdita said. “Great people can then refine and enhance those systems as the scaling continues.”