1. Getting Deals Done
Not all mortgage deals are created equal. Some are like a puzzle that needs solving—and every day, Brokers see new variations and surprises in the details of their deals. Lenders interpret these infinite details in different ways, so the path to getting a deal done is not always the straight and narrow.
This is where online communities have their highest value for Brokers. Private Facebook Groups like “I Love Mortgage Brokering” and “Women in the Mortgage Industry” rule the day here, as Brokers convene to discuss credit products, wins and losses, and seek referrals to Lenders to help them get their deals completed. Without disclosing any borrower info, Brokers will ask the collective hive mind about which Lenders offer the right credit products. Unfailingly, several Brokers will step in with suggestions for Lenders. In some cases, while the Broker may not have crowdsourced suggestions for a Lender, they will post to praise the Lenders that have gone above and beyond; working late hours or weekends, or driving across the city to help get a deal done in the 11th hour.
Scott Peckford, host of the I Love Mortgage Brokering podcast, is proud of the connections that Brokers have made in the ILMB Facebook Group he created. “It is amazing to see how Brokers help each other every day in these Facebook communities,” says Peckford.
This collaboration dispels the notion that Brokers only look out for number one. While the mortgage business is very competitive, the action inside private Facebook Groups is proof positive that within the Broker community, there is a greater sense of camaraderie than one of competition. Particularly when it comes to offering better deals than the big banks, Brokers have proven that they are willing to band together to help a deal get done, even if it means helping a Broker from a competing office.
2. A Sense of Belonging
Along with the nitty-gritty of the finer details of mortgage deals, online communities give Brokers a “water cooler” of sorts, where one might not otherwise exist, especially in a field where so many work from home. A Broker might not need to share the terms of a trick deal publicly, but they can still feel a sense of being less alone; being part of a greater community of like-minded professionals who share a lot of the same problems and concerns. It is perhaps this dynamic that makes Brokers so cooperative—they often operate as lone wolves, and convening as a larger pack gives them a sense of community that reassures them that they’re not alone, and fuels their fire to get the job done.
Outside of the very obvious benefits of having the collective expertise of fellow brokers, there are the intrinsic benefits: Laughing together over funny circumstances, commiserating over lost deals, railing against policy changes they don’t agree with. A home office is a lot less lonely when you can feel so many kindred spirits just a few clicks away.
All of this support and collaboration is getting noticed. “We have been recognized within the Mortgage industry with a CMA (Canadian Mortgage Awards) Award in 2016, and are recipients of an AMBA (Alberta Mortgage Broker’s Association) Award,” says Suzanne Fleur de Lys-Aujla, one of three women who co-founded the community on their own time, purely on a volunteer basis. “Going forward, the AMBA award will be named The WIMI Innovation Award,” she adds.
3. Tools, Software, and Operations
Full disclosure: We have an obvious self-interest here. But it has been nothing short of fascinating to witness the collaboration that takes place around the general operations of a Broker’s business. Lengthy comment threads about the virtues and pitfalls of one piece of software over another, shortcuts and hacks for saving PDFs, the inevitable rise of e-signatures and the myriad ways they are already in use—the ways that Brokers help each other with insider tips on operations and tools is truly inspiring to watch. But while the village-like atmosphere of Brokers is undeniable, so too is the frustration with the available tools. More than ever, Brokers are able to operate autonomously, and conduct their work as a truly mobile enterprise. But some establishment systems prevent them from being completely untethered. It’s here that we are most excited to help bring about some change, and offer Brokers a lifestyle that involves productivity (sans printers and fax machines) from a much greater “office,” whether it’s at the beach, the golf course, the game, or even just from the car.
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