Lending executive on the value of versatility

A diverse set of options is crucial in a volatile market, says BDM

Lending executive on the value of versatility

With volatility in the global and domestic financial systems not likely to abate any time soon, lenders have the crucial task of ensuring reliability and versatility by offering the widest possible suite of options for both brokers and consumers.

“At this point, it’s really incumbent upon lenders to be able to pivot and provide the right products, the right services and options in the face of a pretty challenging market,” according to Gita Cartwright, MCAN Home’s business development manager for GTA West and Atlantic Canada.

Cartwright stresses the need for lenders to learn and adapt in a timely manner, especially since brokers and consumers might end up getting overwhelmed by the rapid market shifts.

“I think it’s fair to say that a homeowner’s ability to qualify for a mortgage has absolutely been affected,” she said in a recent roundtable facilitated by Canadian Mortgage Professional.

“Their mortgage payments are higher. Interest rates are playing a part in that, and higher debt and the cost of living are making it really tough. I think folks are absolutely stretched.”

Lenders must also be comfortable with engaging in extensive collaborations with brokers, as their clients might be understandably reluctant to part with more of their money in the current environment.

“I think our ultimate goal is to be inquisitive and understand the story that the broker is telling us so that we can design the right mortgage for their client,” Cartwright said.

The MCAN Home exec encouraged brokers to ask the tough questions such as “Why?” and “What are your financial goals?” to ensure as smooth a transaction as possible.

“I would also add to that, along with this playbook that’s out there: use the tools that your lender is offering you,” she said. “Have you pre-vetted your deal with a specialist? Not only to see if it fits, but also, what do I need when I end up submitting? How do we make this a bit more efficient for everybody?”

“The motive is always that we just want to make our broker partners successful, and it’s a win-win, because if they’re more successful, of course we’re going to be successful as well.”

A survey by RE/MAX earlier this year seems to support this notion: The poll found that 69% of Canadians believe that their interactions with their mortgage and real estate professionals have made them feel less stressed.

“This is particularly true for millennials and lower-budget buyers, for whom forays into the real estate market can be particularly daunting,” RE/MAX said at the time. “In this landscape, it’s about striking the right balance between the professional and the personal. The key to this will be relationships that are human-centered rather than transactional.”

Cartwright said that such commitment to transparency should also be present in the lender-broker side of the equation.

“You want to deal with people you know, like, and trust – a lender like MCAN that’s an extension of your team, that makes you feel like we’re a part of the family,” she said. “We’re in it together, so to speak.

“You want a lender that cares, that has the experience and really understands that at the end of this transaction, there is a homeowner waiting to see what’s happening with this process. That’s where I would put a lot of my faith in a lender: making sure that they feel the same way about my client as I do.”

Read now: How can lenders and brokers thrive in today’s mortgage market?