Niche Sheet is a new app-based service specifically for Alberta brokers that saves time by helping them find the right lender that meets the specific needs of their clients.
Which lenders do insurable financing or allow maternity leave income? Which require condo documents and which have minimum square footage requirements?
Think of Niche Sheet as a sort of “cheat” sheet that answers all of these questions and more, providing info on 70 different lending niches from 16 different lenders.
The app was developed by Lynn Gorman, a lead mortgage planner with Mortgage Architects. She drew upon her 27 years of experience in mortgage lending, including as a branch mortgage manager, mobile mortgage specialist and a mortgage agent.
“After years of knowing lending policies by memory, it was extremely difficult for me when I came to the broker channel,” Gorman explained. “The whole purpose was to be able to offer my clients choices, and what I was hearing was that many brokers only worked with a couple of lenders so that they only needed to know policies for a couple rather than trying to keep up with all of them. That didn’t work for me so I tried to organize each lender’s policies/guidelines in such a way that it was easy to reference and the Niche Sheet was born.”
While the majority of the policies in the database are national, Gorman says many are specific to Alberta’s underwriting policies, some of which are unique to the province’s oil industry decline, the Fort McMurray fire and the Calgary flood, for example.
“Knowing which small rural communities lenders will consider and the levels of financing they will do there is very helpful for local brokers,” Gorman said.
The service is also beneficial to lenders, which often receive files that don’t meet their guidelines. The hope is the ease of accessing individual lender policies will increase efficiencies by improving the quality of submissions and reducing calls inquiring about policies. Gorman said she has already received positive feedback from BDMs at lenders such as MCAP, My Scotia, ICICI and ATB.
“I am definitely considering expanding into other provinces and will be using this as a ‘pilot’ to see what changes need to be made, if any,” Gorman said, adding she is also considering expanding to include the alternative and private lending markets.
For more info visit NicheSheet.ca. New users can take advantage of a limited 30-day free trial.