Senior mortgage professional on how transferable skills help

Long-term success in the mortgage industry can be built on all kinds of foundations

Senior mortgage professional on how transferable skills help

A broad palette of skills has served Renée Huse (pictured), senior mortgage professional and owner of the Spire Mortgage Team at the MMG Mortgages franchise, well over the years.

Even before entering the mortgage industry in April 2017, Huse already benefited from ample experience in high-level work in commodities trading and the energy sector.

“In those years, I really learned how leverage works and how to search for undervalued assets and then reposition them to make a higher cash flow,” Huse told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “When I had my first child in 2009, I took what my family liked to call ‘eternity leave’, and I decided to stay home for a while.”

Over the succeeding years, Huse raised capital and built several rental homes – a venture that she said served as an impetus for her to enter the mortgage industry.

“My husband and I still own that company today,” Huse said. “Over my years of purchasing real estate, I fell in love with figuring out mortgage puzzles and decided I’d like to use my extensive experience in real estate to help others try to differentiate their retirement portfolios. I had a couple of quick stops trying to find the right spot to hang my license, but landed at MMG in March 2018.  MMG has been the catalyst for the massive growth I’ve seen in my business over the last three years. Heather [Manna] and Jacki [Harris] have taught, trained, and supported me for just about four years now.”

Huse highlighted the importance of collaborating with a broker network early on, as experienced brokers, extensive training, and underwriting support can make all the difference.

“When I joined MMG, I was powered by a massive knowledge base with experienced brokers and underwriters that knew the industry inside-out,” Huse said. “It takes about 200 mortgages before you’re going to really know where every deal should land – and even then, there are some serious conundrums some days.”

The knowledge Huse received from the veteran professionals built on her already robust suite of skills.

“I am very strong on the sales and technology sides of the business,” Huse said. “When it comes to sales, I’m ultra-passionate about efficient scripting, and I’m constantly tailoring and evaluating my scripting and language to increase my lead to fund ratios. I think the reason I’ve had so much success is that I’m incredibly intentional about sales. I evaluate nearly every call to sort out how I could have been more effective in moving the deal forward.”

A deft hand at technology also benefited Huse’s business strategy.

“I believe that if you’re writing the same email more than three times, it can be automated,” Huse said. “I believe that our client databases are goldmines; farming them and tracking them is the best way to grow your portfolio. Technology can help automate all of this for us.”

However, Huse soon encountered the fiercest challenge in her career so far: the unprecedented impact of the current global health emergency.

“The most difficult year in my career was undoubtedly March 2020 to March 2021,” Huse said. “Historical volumes, massive stress levels for clients, quickly changing employment situations (while deals were already live), and the added stress of home-schooling three children. When the pandemic hit, my children were in grades one, three, and five. We home-schooled nearly half of the time.”

The past year honed Huse’s time management skills to a level she deemed “11/10”.

“I gave up any extracurricular for myself and focused solely on home schooling and my business,” Huse said. “Was that the perfect solution? No, but I believe that nothing lasts forever, so sometimes balance needs to go out the window and perseverance has to take over.”

The backing of a well-rounded team also proved invaluable during this period.

“I wasn’t afraid to hire staff or consultants where needed,” Huse said. “I gave up running my own social media and doing my own compliance, and I hired a second underwriter. I believe in delegating and hiring where you can to focus on what you’re best at or where you’re most needed.”

Huse believes a broker operates best when they set appropriate expectations and stay in control of the deal.

“I think as a new agent, I used to get wrapped up in stories and pushed back and forth between what clients want, what realtors want, what financial planners want, and so on,” Huse said. “What everyone ‘wants’ is very important, but we know our timelines, our lender turnaround times, our lender guidelines better than anyone. Now, I listen to the huge list of wants and needs from my clients, take it away and then go back with a realistic action plan and specific timelines. I never over-promise and under-deliver.”