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Manulife One keeping customers satisfied

From hopeless to homeowners: how Lisa Holly is changing lives with tailored mortgage solutions

Advertorial By:Manulife One

For Lisa Holly, sales achievements don’t define her success. Helping people in ways that make a difference is what really matters to the London, Ontario-based mortgage broker—especially with clients other brokers couldn’t assist.

“It can be such a challenging time to secure a mortgage now,” Holly said. “But with access to the right lenders and the right mortgage solutions, I’ve seen firsthand how people who’ve felt hopeless can be helped. And that’s what drives me.”

Often, a journey that starts with her client feeling like a mortgage is just out of reach ends with them overcoming difficult situations, securing the right mortgage solution and building real friendship along the way. And, sometimes, building furniture too.

“I have a client right now; I’m helping her put her furniture together,” she said. “She just turned 80 and we celebrated her birthday. She was one of the ones where a broker had worked with her for 18 months prior to meeting with me, with no success.”

The best logic game on the planet

Prior to her career as a mortgage broker in 2007, Holly spent 16 years working in automotive finance, often assisting subprime borrowers. While she enjoyed helping those in need, she felt the extra time and effort she put in mostly benefited her employer. Eventually, she went looking for another challenge.

After just a few months working for a major bank in their mortgage division, she was headhunted by Dominion Lending Centres, where she continues to work today.  

“A bank, as opposed to a brokerage, can only provide a small niche of products to a small niche of clients,” she said. “I just found I wasn’t saying ‘yes’ nearly enough.”

That desire to find a solution for clients is ultimately what drives her to keep working on a file long after other brokers admit defeat.

“For me it’s like a puzzle; I like logic games, and this is one of the best logic games on the planet,” she said. “I get files passed to me from other brokers who can’t figure it out, and it’s a fun ending when you can make it work for people.”

A partner that shares the wealth

For much of her career, Holly says she felt like she was working against a range of external stakeholders — from banks to governments — that only made those puzzles more difficult to solve. Then she discovered Manulife One.

“It’s not hard to sell something that makes me feel so good,” she said. “That’s not to say that other lenders aren’t great, but in my opinion Manulife Bank as a whole is in complete alignment with how I want my clients to be treated — how I would want to be treated.”

What Holly most appreciates about the unique mortgage solution is how it puts her clients’ savings to work for them, rather than the financial institution providing the loan. She likens other mortgages to her days working 12-hour shifts for a car dealer that benefited most from her efforts, adding that she’s determined to put people in a situation where they are the primary beneficiaries of their savings.

“It’s the only one like it in Canada currently that allows people to incorporate their daily banking with their mortgage in such a way that your money is working for you every day, instead of just working for the bank,” said Holly, who is also in her second year serving as part of Manulife’s broker council. “I don’t have another lender that asks in so much detail what we want to see in products, and how its impacting us on the front lines.”

Giving families one less thing to worry about in their darkest times

While Holly says the product is a good fit for homeowners at different life stages and income levels, she personally enjoys working with retirees. One such client called her at the end of last year, after being diagnosed with dementia, worried that he might leave his wife unable to cover their bills. Holly helped him pay down the remainder of his mortgage in seven months.

“Sadly, he passed away last week, but he has no mortgage, and we only started with Manulife One four years ago,” she said. “I’m going to the funeral tomorrow knowing his wife is left with a home that’s mortgage-free. With all the equity in her Manulife One, she’s taken care of. And because of Manulife Bank’s survivorship policy, she doesn’t need to qualify again.”

That is the type of outcome Holly says keeps her motivated to keep working as hard as she can every day to find the best solutions for her clients.

“There’s not one single dollar that can provide me the pride that I feel at the end of the day; that’s what matters to me,” she said. “I don’t have to go looking for testimonials like that with Manulife Bank; they find me.”