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I was reading through the trade news the other day and I came across an article that talked about how COVID-19 has changed the role of the mortgage broker. The article quoted a survey that found that two-thirds of brokers had experienced greater engagement with their customers since the pandemic started. According to the banking executive quoted in the article, the pandemic has led to an increased level of financial stress and that because of this, brokers are having to change how they work.
“During this period, we are seeing the role of mortgage brokers evolve to not only helping customers navigate through this period financially but providing emotional support too,” the executive said in the article.
I found this very interesting, however, I don’t agree that the role of the mortgage broker has changed. This is because providing emotional support to my customers is not something new – it has always been a vital part of my role.
When you think about it, buying a home is one of the most significant purchases any of us will ever make. Aside from the amount of money involved, there are also a lot of tricky situations to navigate during the purchase process. From the very personal questions that you have to answer on the application, the waiting for approval (which isn’t always guaranteed), through to putting in an offer on your dream home and navigating the legal side of the purchase, you experience so much uncertainty when you buy a property.
Even if you’ve been through the application process before, or have bought and sold a number of properties, there are still many reasons why you may become financially stressed. You might lose your job, or experience financial hardship that makes paying off your loan extremely difficult. You might go through a relationship break-up and need to sell. On the more positive side, you could decide to retire to the beach, or meet the love of your life and want to grow your family. All these things prompt financial change which can create worry or anxiety.
My point is that, as a broker, it’s impossible to work with customers and not see them at times of stress. I believe that it is our responsibility to help our clients through these periods of anxiety and to offer emotional support. We are privileged to be invited along on the journey towards our clients’ goals, so we should show them kindness and help them when that journey gets tough.
I hope that the current circumstances have shown how valuable having a mortgage broker who cares about their clients can be. Although it has been challenging in so many ways, I know I have forged even stronger relationships with my clients, and for that, I am extremely grateful.