Broker Stories: Mike Lloyd, Mortgage Expert/Team Lead, DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts
“Thanks for being such a fantastic partner to the industry and to us. Here’s to the next five, 10 and 30 years. We wouldn’t want to do it without you.”
Mike Lloyd became a mortgage broker in 1999 after several roles in lending at various financial institutions. He began his career as a broker at Mortgage Source, which merged into Invis. His current franchise opened in 2011, based in Surrey, British Columbia, with offices across the province and in Alberta. With a primary focus on first-time and move-up residential buyers, Mike’s office employs 100 brokers, and generated $1.5 billion in 2017.
Mike shares his perspectives on what he views as the most significant changes in the industry, what has contributed to First National’s longevity and what he values most about his relationship with First National.
What are the most significant changes that you’ve seen in the industry during the course of your career?
ML: As an industry, we’ve made great inroads into educating the public about what brokers do. As we attracted consumer attention and interest, the Government followed suit. As a result, we are experiencing more regulations and controls. When change happens, people tend to get nervous. Some give up, while others see opportunity. I’ve been around long enough to have precedents to draw from, and know that change is just part of the natural evolution of the industry.
During this time of market change, how has First National supported you and your clients?
ML: It comes down to consistency. Whatever First National does, it delivers consistently. I have experts at my disposal that want to help me take advantage of opportunities and succeed. For example, Jose, our BDM, has been providing a lot of guidance lately about transfers. Since the new regulations came into effect, there are a lot of borrowers looking to move their mortgages when they come up for renewal, or they are breaking mortgages mid term. As brokers, we viewed that trend as a pain as a result of the paper work involved in the process. But Jose enlightened us to the opportunity, and now we look at transfers as a new, strategic way to generate business. Even in a changing market, our specialists at First National are finding innovative ways for us to grow.
First National is celebrating 30 years in 2018, which is a significant milestone. Why do you think that First National has been able to endure, grow and succeed?
ML: I mentioned consistency earlier, but I can’t stress that enough. First National has been consistent in so many ways – with innovation, technology, sales excellence, leadership and timely, effective product development.
I’m sure most of the brokers that you speak to mention Merlin and how great it is. It was the first online portal of its kind, and remains the best in the industry. Merlin is an excellent example of First National bringing innovation to market that is head and shoulders above the competition and endures that way.
The underwriting stands out as well. First National always tries to work with us, even if the answer is no. And if the answer is no, there is a sensible reason that is explained clearly.
Ultimately, I know that I can count on First National. We’re in a tougher market right now, and our numbers last year and this year are stronger than ever. I know that First National is there and I can rely on my specialists to continue working with me and helping me deliver for my clients.
In the past 30 years, how has First National supported and contributed to the growth of the mortgage broker channel?
ML: First National is present in the industry. The company prioritizes being a part of industry conferences as a top sponsor and bringing in the best speakers. There is constant support in the right places, in terms of education and lobbying with provincial and national bodies. First National is an advocate for brokers and is committed to that role.
When did you start working with First National and why did you continue to build the relationship?
ML: I started dealing with First National in 2000, after another successful broker recommended that I consider sending a deal there. Back then, we faxed deals in, commitment letters were one-page long and approvals were quick. We stayed with First National because that service level persisted throughout the years. First National has grown with us and has been a solid and consistent partner. I know that when I’m working with First National, I’m working with the best people in the business.
How has First National gone beyond service for you and your clients in the years that you’ve worked together?
ML: I got a deal done with First National in one day. That is unheard of in the industry. And there are so many other examples of service excellence. I had a client that was three years into the mortgage and had questions. He was able to call customer service and get the attention and clarity that he needed without question or hesitation. We rarely go home without an answer if we pose a question to First National. That’s what our clients care about. They really want their answers quickly. It seems like a small thing, but it’s huge when dealing with clients and referral sources.
What do you value most about your relationship with First National?
ML: We work with great people who are open and communicative about anything – good or bad. They really care about our clients and about us and want to get us the right answers in the right timeframes. It’s a hard balancing act to stay consistent but evolve at the same time. First National has always been able to do that. That’s why I’m confident that the next 30 years will be just as successful as the first 30 years.