CMP 13.10

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Q&A

Krista Rumberg Mortgage broker MORTGAGE SIMPLE/ AXIOM MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS

Years in the industry 12 Fast fact Rumberg stays active by water-skiing and wake-surfing during the summer, and skiing and sledding in the mountains come winter

A guiding hand for borrowers What sets Axiom Mortgage Solutions apart from other brokerages? I would say that we have a significant focus on our customers’ goals. We use our experience and knowledge to help our consumers achieve their goals. We focus on the best products, and great rates just happen to come along with them. Our products are definitely our most important edge.

What types of clients do you like to work with? I’m looking for clients who have stable incomes, consistent credit histories, timely liability payments and those with a strong need to understand what’s really going on. After all, it’s the single largest financial transaction that they’ll likely do in their lives, and it’s vitally important that they know what’s actually happening.

How has your brokerage been helping your clients navigate the current mortgage environment? I think we’re doing a really good job at educating consumers. With all of the federal rule changes, lending has become extremely confusing to consumers. We feel that with our experience stretching for over a decade now, we can help clients navigate all those regulatory changes and have them work towards their goals, despite the roadblocks. When pre-qualifying them under the stress tests, I would say that I’m more cautious on pre-approvals. I don’t let people go for the really high ratios due to the ever-changing rules. I don’t want them to be disappointed.

Community Trust gives back to broker channel

Around 140 golfers teed up at the fourth annual Community Trust Invitational in mid-September – a sign of the lender’s growing influence. “It has grown every year,” said Community Trust head Chris Humeniuk. “The first year we did this, we were about 45 to 50 golfers, and today we’re 140 golfers.” Humeniuk added that B-20 changes have especially highlighted brokers’ importance. “I think it has more meaning in a year like this to say thank you to our brokers to work with us through this period, but we’ve always valued our broker partners.”

Let’s be clear here: I don’t disagree with the stress tests. It should be difficult for people to qualify, and we should be prudent. Where I think the federal government made a mistake is how they’ve rewarded high-ratio borrowers with discounted interest rates that the conventional borrower can’t access. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

What do you think the broker’s role will be as the industry continues to be disrupted by technology? I think there are some people who might be able to qualify for the so-called cookie-cutter mortgage products without the advice of a broker, but I also think the majority of consumers are not cookie-cutter borrowers at all. They need somebody with comprehensive product knowledge and [who understands] how particular mortgages will affect them in the long term. Brokers will be here to stay, helping the majority of would-be clients that don’t fit the traditional mold. In such a major transaction, people will want a bit more hand-holding, instead of just inorganically generated computer advice. People buy people. They don’t just buy products.

What advice do you have for brokers just starting out in the industry? Understand all of the mortgage products in the market like the back of your hand. You can’t sell what you don’t know, so it’s crucial that you keep on reading about the industry, attend lender meetings and conferences, and register for every educational event possible.

Reverse mortgages can be key networking tool

According to Darlene Vilas of MOS MortgageOne Solutions, expertise in reverse mortgages can be valuable for brokers seeking to build relationships with real estate professionals, because many borrowers are hungry for information on the various ways reverse mortgages can be used. “I let Realtors know that their clients can use reverse mortgage financing to purchase a home,” said Vilas, who’s specialized in reverse mortgages for more than a decade. “It’s especially effective when someone is downsizing.”

Brand credibility key to growing business

Growing a client base is a never-ending job – but according to one leading broker, a little branding goes a long way. “Self-branding on social media is important, and as you build yourself and make more money, reinvest it in your marketing,” said Mortgages of Canada founder Samantha Brookes. She also advises using advertising to target specific segments of the borrowing public. “We target bad credit, refinances and renewals,” Brookes said. “We target people having a difficult time getting mortgages.”

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