Evolving with the industry

How one Community Trust BDM finds opportunity in constant change

Evolving with the industry

This article was produced in partnership with Community Trust

Mallory Hendry, of Canadian Mortgage Professional, sat down with Francis Massie, BDM at Community Trust, to discuss what attracted her to the industry and how she navigates the challenges that come with her role.

When Francis Massie (pictured) started her career in the mortgage industry over 12 years ago, what drew her to it – and has kept her with it – is its constant state of flux. From regulatory changes to the widespread adoption of technology spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s always something shaking things up and that’s what keeps it interesting.

“The thing I love about my role is that as I continue to evolve, the industry does too,” said Massie, a business development manager with Community Trust. “There are day-to-day challenges in this role, but I embrace them all.”

Transitioning from in-person visits to the virtual world at the beginning of the pandemic is a good example of a change that brought challenges, but ultimately Massie, along with the industry, adapted to the new work environment. From face-to-face presentations, to webinars and Google Meets, Massie rose to the challenge and pivoted her approach to meet the needs of brokers, noting it’s easier to conduct meetings in large group settings online and with many people still working from home there’s “further reach and value.” As the “new normal” took hold and people settled in, the benefits of virtual options gained traction and there was gradually more engagement.

“It went from webinar fatigue to everyone being more present and wanting those constant updates,” Massie said. “This shift wasn’t just because of the previous lockdowns, it’s also a preference of how brokers want to navigate this new reality.”

On top of virtual options for work-related topics, Community Trust also hosted many virtual social events during the height of pandemic restrictions, as a reflection of their “We Care” philosophy. This provided the opportunity to be more personal with brokers, and the virtual cooking events and tasting evenings led to some of the best times Massie’s had in her role. In some ways, these virtual meets were superior to in-person visits because she connected with the brokers while they were out of work mode, comfortable in their own home.

“Those experiences were classic – I really got to know who they are, being in their household,” Massie said. “And the great thing was they weren’t always about work. I got to know the brokers as people.”

Massie started at Equitable Bank in mortgage servicing and quickly began climbing the ladder, moving into commercial lending before realizing she was drawn to fast-paced environments and her calling was in residential lending. She started as a mortgage officer, the next logical step was to transition to an underwriter and she “knew from there I had the skillset and passion to provide brokers with solutions – I was best suited to sales.” Massie made the move to the internal sales team and, realizing she thrived in a dynamic environment, looked to join a growing company that was carving out a name for itself in the market. Community Trust’s sales team was new at the time, and the opportunity to be part of that evolution was the main reason she came aboard and eventually took on the role of BDM.

Community Trust’s vision aligned with her own approach with its commitment to providing resources to brokers and setting the bar high when it comes to service. One example is the access brokers have to the service team, which is available to them from 8am to 8pm – a differentiator in the industry, and a hallmark move by a company whose culture she wanted to be a part of.

“We’re constantly innovating and providing solutions for our broker partners from a product and technology standpoint,” she said, noting whether it’s updating Community Trust Café or launching the Mortgage Advisory team “we really listen to them and cater to their needs.”

Over the years, Massie learned that integrating yourself into the broker community and building lasting relationships comes from making yourself available. Being readily accessible, communicating policy and product changes and working together to strengthen the partnership is Massie’s recipe for success. She’s built trust with the brokers she works with and makes a point of being very transparent with them, a trait they appreciate and value. But above all, Massie sees flexibility and adaptability as the most crucial components, especially in times of sweeping changes.

Lately, keeping up with technology and finding new ways to deliver great value is changing the landscape of the industry yet again, but true to form Massie – and Community Trust – will continue to turn challenges into opportunity.

“The day-to-day on how we approach business development and how the company runs has changed in the last few years, but our overall approach hasn’t,” Massie said. “Educating and advocating are the keys to success in regard to building your credibility in this industry and among your broker partners.”

A privately held Canadian company in operation since 1975, Community Trust prides itself on a creative and optimistic approach to finding you the best options, executed by experienced and capable experts in the financial services field.