By Vanessa Chris, Special to CMT
Some believe there are countless attributes that define a top performer in the mortgage industry, but for Kelli Pardo, only a few really matter. The key success ingredient for this Alberta-based Invis agent is establishing an airtight bond with clients, lender partners and referral sources.
Throughout her five years in the mortgage brokering industry—and her previous 10 years with TD Canada Trust—Pardo was diligent at putting the human side of the business first. And that strategy paid off.
“Brokers are a dime a dozen. You have to find a way to differentiate yourself…and, for me, it’s all about developing relationships,” she says. “This business isn’t just about transactions—it’s about taking the time to get to know people, learn about them and find ways you can help them.”
Facetime with Partners
As anyone who’s worked in this industry can attest, developing and fostering truly strong relationships is hard work. To ensure she’s constantly growing her network of satisfied customers and referral sources, she follows some important best practices.
To begin with, Pardo takes time to get out of the office and meet with referral sources, regardless of how busy she is. “In this business, if you’re out of sight you’re out of mind.”
“When things get busy, it’s really easy to get stuck behind your desk,” she says. To avoid that, Pardo relies heavily on her licensed office partner Michelle who does all of her underwriting. “She takes a lot of the paperwork off my desk so I can go out and meet with people.”
Making new connections
In addition to cultivating her existing network, Pardo constantly searches for ways to develop new referral relationships. That’s done, in part, by seeking new connections within her immediate circle of influence.
“Every time a client comes to you, there are two Realtors on that transaction,” she notes. “I always pay attention to who those Realtors are and, if I don’t know them, I use the opportunity to start a conversation.”
A personalized customer experience
Pardo is the antithesis of an online broker. She finds it essential to meet with every client in person. For her, looking people in the eye is the best way to learn about them and their story. That helps her understand and meet the needs of their mortgage requirements better, and ultimately, garner more satisfied referrals.
“Consumers are more educated than they were in the past, but they still need advice,” she says. “I like taking the time to meet my clients, explain how mortgage financing works and help them understand the differences between the various products.”
“A lot of the time, once things are explained to them, clients realize that the lowest-rate product they originally called me about doesn’t actually suit their needs. This is the type of value we…bring to the table.”
Vanessa Chris has been a professional writer and B2B content specialist for 13 years. She began covering the Canadian mortgage market as a journalist in 2006. You can reach Vanessa at firstname.lastname@example.org.