Today’s Doozy Article: Whatever Happened To Not Having An Opinion?

First and Foremost, The Podcast.

Before I jump into this week’s hard hitting article, I wanted to share something fun I did with a couple of great local realtors, Adrian McLaren and Vincent Baart. They host an interesting local podcast called YYJrealestatepodcast, and it’s loaded with lots of great episodes on everything Victoria, real estate, and a bunch of other great topics. Not salesy at all. Great job Adrian and Vincent for putting together a very relevant, and entertaining podcast.

Adrian and Vincent were nice enough to invite me for an episode, and we kept the conversation going for quite some time. I really didn’t hold back. We talked about everything, including about the time I was sued (Olympic Mortgage I mean), slights on various different companies and people in our industry (for good reason), and of course interest rate and real estate predictions.

The podcast has been up for a week now, and we already have a new realtor partner coming on with us because he listened to the podcast, and got to know me even before speaking to me. So, thanks Adrian and Vincent!

Listen To The Podcast Here

I welcome your feedback! It was a good time. Thanks guys for hosting me!

And onto today’s main content.

Let’s Say It’s Been An Intense Few Weeks.

I’m behind on writing the newsletter because the phone’s been ringing more. Someone has to take care of the inflow of people asking a whole range of questions, mostly about predictions on rates and whatever else they’ve heard, from friends or the like.

Everyone has an opinion now. Everyone has something to add, or let’s say, lend to the situation. (see what I did there?) It’s getting worse with the advent of social media. Somehow, everyone’s an expert now.

So, my main question is:

Why does everyone have to have an opinion?

Just the other day, a new client tells me that the listing agent on a home my client is interested in, tells our client (through the buyer realtor) that my client should go directly to (let’s call them Lender X) because “they don’t have to pay mortgage broker fees”.

Wow, really? First of all, isn’t the listing agent prohibited from talking to our buyer, AND obviously also prohibited from giving my buyer any advice at all, especially lending advice? This was a blatant disregard for the rules.

Anyways, my buyer is somewhat smart enough to trust my word over theirs, but my point is:

C’mon guys. Stay in your lane.

It’s like this selling realtor thinks that their advice might lead the buyer of the property getting a better deal, if they don’t deal with a mortgage broker. Bad advice, AND incorrect advice.

Specifically, Lender X, just like so many other lenders, are pushing for insured business. My client’s business in uninsured, which surely, the listing agent must know (hint, the purchase price is above 1 million). So even the advice that my client is getting from the listing agent isn’t holding up. Anyways, like I said. Why Does everyone have to have an opinion?

The plot thickens with more juicy information that I can’t disclose because the property is still listed. Let’s just say there are a few blatant errors that this listing agent is making, most of which is not knowing their place in the transaction and staying in their lane.

Amateur Stuff. And what kind of “advice” is this anyways?

Me and my team have to deal with a whole range of odd questions and objections because our clients “heard” something from someone else.

I’m just feeling like I’m becoming the guy who has to dispel all the myths behind money lending, and also the news in general and how it affects our markets. Side note, I’ve been saying to everyone that November 2024 will be an interesting month to wait for, as someone awaiting (or on?) criminal trial may again be elected the next President. Hint: He brings uncertainty.

When the US sneezes, the world gets a cold. Is that the saying?

Anyways, back to my point. We’re fielding questions not just about rates in general, but more-so about how all the interest rate news will affect them and their personal situation.

Many of my recent callers are weary and frustrated by the lack of straight information they get from their other broker or bank. They know they get the straight goods from me and my team.

It’s OK if I’m the Second Opinion Call. I get it.

That’s right. For many, I’m the second call after Mr. Client has had enough of of the lack of confidence they get in their previous mortgage advisor, whether that person is at the bank or at another brokerage. Too many people that might have the look or tell people that they know what their doing, when really, only a small portion of us actually get it.

Once my client gets me on the phone and realizes that my knowledge and experience is leaps and bounds above most others, they stick with me anyways.

My Clients Get: Clear. Financial. Advice. Without the BS and confusion.

That’s it. I’ve been overly busy trying to inform clients, one by one, 15 minute call by 15 minute call, how their qualification works, how rate pricing works, and generally what their outcome is.

Here’s another common example of amateur flubs that we see everyday.

On our podcast that I mentioned previously, around 18;25 into the session, I talk about the frustrations that clients have when they just don’t know how many days to leave for a subject to financing, especially on a competitive property. I get realtors calling me and exclaiming that brokers have always told them 10 days no matter what, and other brokers will tell them some random short time, but always end up needing an extension (so that person can’t really be trusted).

Let’s just say the answers vary greatly, and our clients and those whom referred them are none the wiser. Confusion persists when we have a bunch of newbie juniors passing off as knowing how to handle a situation properly.

There’s so much confusion out there, and so much misinformation and imposters pretending they know what they’re doing, and getting their clients into real jams. I think to myself, honestly, there should be more barriers to entry into our real estate and mortgage licensing.

It’s Not Really Rocket Science, But There’s Serious Strategy Involved.

Since I’ve been a brand new banker in 2004, I’ve been able to tell clients how long they need for financing, what the important variables are, and what to expect if there are obstacles. It’s mostly basic math, but also having a good understanding of risk too.

Basically, good, wholesome financial advice that gives my clients the best chance to get their bid to win the house. Yay.

And I’m usually right.

Things Are Getting Ever More Confusing In The Lending Landscape.

I was speaking to another pro broker I know yesterday, and she marveled about how confusing everything has gotten in our industry. Insured, insurable, uninsured, conventional, non-compliant, income exceptions, debt servicing exceptions, rental addbacks or offsets, corporate expense addbacks, legal or illegal suites, multiple properties, multiple co-signors, downpayment confirmations, fixed, variable, open, closed, collateral charges, the stress test, net worth mortgages, private lending, just to name a few.

Wow, that was a bit of a word dump, wasn’t it?

Don’t be surprised if lenders all of a sudden need you and your families blood type. No, really!

It’s not basic anymore. There’s so much more strategy involved now.

Are you leaving the most important purchase of your life up to the guy that’s just doing this part time, for a quick buck? Or maybe it’s your friend who just decided to become a mortgage broker? I hear it all the time. I’m dealing with this person who is my friend, I feel obliged to give him the business.

Ok Mr. Client, is that really in your best interests? Ask yourself.

I for one don’t really like dealing with friends, because there are many difficult conversations to have, especially if the situation isn’t straightforward. In fact, my friends keep coming back to me because they know I provide the best advice and service, and before we start working together, my friends acknowledge that whatever the outcome, our friendship is safe.

Spoiler: All my friends who are also clients are still my friends, because I always get the deal done, and my clients and friends always end up happy.

A nice end to a stressful story.

No Amateurs Here. I keep good company.

With regards to that barrier to entry I spoke about previously, one might even look at me and say, well, David, don’t you have junior agents along with you?

Sure. But there’s a major difference.

I vet anyone joining our team with a high level of scrutiny. Are you going to give your clients the standard of service that I give them? Are you going to have that sense of a duty of care for your client? Can I trust that you understand how to give the client that high level of service when they need it the most?

Yes, I have full faith in my team, and I support them and answer all their questions. All the time.

See For Yourself: The Olympic Team.

Starting with Kamal Sandhu, she joined our team in late 2022, coming off of five years in customer service and lending split between Khalsa Credit Union and Coast Capital Savings. She knows that her clients need a lot of explaining, and shes there to help with that. She understands there’s a high level of “babysitting”, so to say. Believe me, when her clients are calling her at 7pm on Sunday, and she answers and takes time, she rightfully earns every penny of her commissions.

Nicole McConnell joins our team a few months after 24 years in the Navy. I’ve known Nicole for a few years now, as the hockey team manager and financial handler of hockey accounts for the various teams her son plays for. She not only has to be organized and financially literate, she has to herd 20 different parents to approve budgets, collect and distribute seed moneys, handle the bank account and all the payments, and just generally handle, well, everything. She’s highly organized, personable, and understands the basic tenets of being in a position of providing financial advice to her clients. That’s why I was happy to bring Nicole onto the team, and we’re lucky to have her. She is contributing so much and fitting in perfectly into our tight Olympic Mortgage Group.

Roxan is on a leave right now, but everyone knows how good she is. I’m asking her constantly to come out of retirement and jump back in with us. One reason that she took a step back is because she cared so much for her clients, that her work life was starting to invade her family life, and none of us wanted that. So when we do have Roxan come back, she will be setting serious boundaries on her work so it doesn’t impact her time with her family or kids. We just want her to come back!

5 Years For Someone Special In July!

I have to give the biggest mention here to our Senior Underwriter, our voice of reason and head of compliance, Darla Donais. Side note – it’s quite funny, there are a plethora of people who have gotten Darla’s name wrong over the years, and her and I have a good chuckle every time it happens. She gets Donna the most. Donna Donais. LOL!

Darla is our catch all, our rock steady, and she’s a dynamo at keeping things organized and everyone closing on time. She does it all with a smile and firm politeness like no one else can. I always know she’s worth more than whatever I can pay her and am thankful she puts up with me on a daily basis.

She’s coming up on 5 years in July with Olympic, so let’s give Darla a Cheers! Cheers to Darla!

As always, reply to this email with your feedback!

Signing off for now,

David Steinberg, Mortgage Strategy Professional

Lead Broker, Owner

Olympic Mortgage

email me directly:

phone me directly: 250-858-7160