A new reality for borrowers. Different types of borrowers. More questions. More confusion. A lot of information (and misinformation). Misperceived knowledge. A broader range of factors to consider. Selling value.
These are just a few of the pressures and realities that brokers need to deal with in 2019. And as we’ve heard from many brokers, change is change. It comes with the territory. Success lies in how you to choose to react and adapt.
Those brokers that are optimistic are relishing their new role. Where some see challenges, they see opportunities to step up to be their best – adapting, pursuing education, furthering their knowledge, staying inquisitive, remaining curious, emphasizing comprehensiveness, choosing a value mindset, mentoring and counseling clients, and most importantly, being a leader.
What’s most important to brokers?
While adaptability tops the list in how brokers are stepping up to their best in 2019, there is also a realization that client demands are still the same. They want the same response, clarity, high-touch service and attention that they’ve come to expect.
In speaking with and surveying brokers, we learned some vital things that continue to shape our approach as a lender partner. Within the realms of business growth, client service and professional development, brokers are prioritizing:
- Loyalty to drive repeat business and referrals: for borrowers, the dream of home ownership is a constant, however, they are more diverse than ever before. Not all borrowers fit a template in terms of how they earn income and the course of their overall financial journeys. To cast their nets as wide as possible and enable positive experiences for as many borrowers as possible, brokers want more options and more flexibility within the confines of acceptable risk.
- Consistent service: evolving solutions, technology and processes are certainly foundational to enabling brokers to adapt to a changing market. But that evolution must be measured – enough for brokers to keep pace with the industry, but not too much that service suffers. Borrowers still want to know what they can expect from their experiences with brokers, so adaptability must co-exist productively with predictability.
- Support clients confidently: when a borrower’s dream home hangs in the balance, emotions, anxiety and anticipation can run high. Having one person that they can rely on for information and explanation at every stage of the mortgage process is a welcome relief and builds unbreakable trust. Brokers want to be that resource and earn a reputation for being straightforward, clear and transparent.
How First National supports broker priorities
Our ongoing commitment has always been to support the broker channel. We’ve been doing it for more than 30 years – in how we go beyond service, champion brokers, and now, based on the realities of the industry, helping brokers always be their best.
To support brokers’ core priorities – building loyalty, delivering consistent service and supporting clients confidently – we dedicate ourselves to several core priorities as well:
- Providing knowledge and experience: we know that not all borrowers are the same. But regardless of the nature or outcome of a deal, we want to facilitate quick, quality responses. Our commitment to value beyond rate, common sense underwriting, positive outcomes and a problem solving mindset helps brokers get the answers they need, when they need them, for the widest range of borrowers as possible.
- Adapting and evolving: ongoing innovation is certainly important, but not at the expense of reliable foundations and proven approaches. Our innovation goal is to always empower brokers. We scrutinize the market and introduce or revitalize product solutions at the right time. We also continuously look for opportunities to advance our technology to further simplify the mortgage process for brokers. The reintroduction of Excalibur and the ongoing feature enhancements to Merlin are great examples.
- Communicating openly: knowledge and understanding build confidence. We want brokers to feel prepared to answer any question that comes their way. As a result, supporting broker education is a vital priority. Having access to experts and hearing the experiences of peers helps to build a comprehensive body of knowledge. We also have clear intent in the way that we share information with brokers and provide the rationale behind our decisions. By being transparent with brokers, they can be confident in being transparent with clients.
For us, it doesn’t matter how much the industry changes or how much perceived pressure there is. Like many of the brokers that we work with, we are always optimistic about the opportunities. With our knowledge and expertise, ability to adapt and evolve and commitment to open communication, we work side by side with brokers, championing them to be their best by building loyalty, providing consistent service and supporting clients confidently.