"I have grown my business in three years as a broker expanding my portfolio of clients in ways I didn’t think possible"
Positive formative experiences in the financial services space paved the path to an illustrious career for Liane Moskal, mortgage agent and team leader at KeyRate Corporation.
“I had a friend who encouraged me to get into mortgages and knew a brokerage looking for help, since I was driven, loved helping people, and loved sales,” Moskal told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “I’ve been in the mortgage industry since 2011. I started part time in 2011 while finishing university.”
Moskal found that the industry dovetailed perfectly with her inclinations.
“I fell in love with mortgages because it was ‘real’ numbers that I can relate with to help clients,” Moskal said. “I always enjoyed my business classes in university – mostly accounting as it was real life numbers that anyone can relate with and need help understanding.”
Moskal said that this line of work helps her “[set] up my clients for success,” particularly when it comes to refinancing for debt consolidation.
“I review all documents and have detailed discussions on their situation, and then give them actionable steps to take,” Moskal said. “Setting up my clients who want to invest in real estate is creating a plan and strategy to reach their financial goals. With my own experience, I can relate and give advice about renovations, being a landlord, and having multiple properties.”
For Moskal, the amount of work a mortgage professional puts in feeds into “more experience you get to educate clients, which is very rewarding.”
“I had an opportunity to work for a major bank with great training in January 2012 where I worked as a mortgage specialist for seven and a half years floating around many different branches in Ottawa, and I learned a lot from many knowledgeable colleagues about finances, not just mortgages.”
Joining KeyRate in April 2019, Moskal recounted undergoing “a very intense training program with [principal broker and CEO] Danny Ibrahim while starting with no clients and a brand new email address.”
Moskal said that the struggles she encountered during her earliest months at KeyRate helped refine her approach as a mortgage broker.
“The most challenging part of leaving a bank to start over with independent brokerage was [rebuilding] my clientele and the way I do business,” Moskal said.
“I needed to get out of my comfort zone on social media and revise my marketing strategy as well as learn many new lenders guidelines and products that could help clients. Working in a male-dominant industry as a young woman has been a challenge, but I held my ground that I belong and I am not going anywhere.
“I have grown my business in three years as a broker expanding my portfolio of clients in ways I didn’t think possible.”
In Moskal’s experience so far, patience and perseverance are the vital components of success in the industry, as these amplify the positives of a proactive approach.
“A great lesson is nobody else will put in the work unless you do,” Moskal said. “I put in a lot of work in my 20s, and into my 30s mortgages have become much easier as I have a system in place and a lot of knowledge.”
This is especially applicable when it comes to forming enduring relationships with industry colleagues.
“My advice would be to put in many hours in the beginning, ask all the questions, find a mentor, get as much training as possible, get out there to let the world know what you do and how you can help,” Moskal stressed.
“Find specialists around you and grow your own network of other professionals so they can help your clients. Reach out to realtors, financial planners, appraisers, insurance brokers, lawyers, anyone in the industry that you build your clientele with and vice versa. It’s all about teamwork in this industry.”
Moskal believes that this ethos should also reflect in the mortgage professional’s personal life.
“Mortgages and any full commission self-employment can be difficult,” Moskal said. “It is important to have support around you. My husband was a big supporter of mine. Some years were okay, and some years were very successful.
“The lesson I learned is, the better experience the client receives, the more likely they will refer you to their friends and family – ultimately growing your business.”