Obtaining lending for clients has become ‘an art form,’ says broker

by Ksenia Stepanova17 Jul 2018

NZ Adviser talks to Auckland-based mortgage adviser Glen McLeod from Edge Mortgages about developments within the adviser industry, the challenges and rewards of the job and his most memorable client experiences.

McLeod was named a Top Adviser in our second annual Top Advisers Rankings 2018.

How do you think the mortgage broking industry has changed over the last two years?
The Reserve Bank’s LVR restrictions and capital requirements have changed the lenders’ ability to lend freely, and this has made obtaining lending solutions for clients into more of an art form. It is no longer a simple procedure of filling in an application and waiting for an approval. Details analysis is required on all lending, and further evolution of the adviser space is turning advisers towards longer-term relationships and client welfare. That has been very satisfying to see.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy building long-term relationships with clients and helping them to manage their mortgages over time. Clients that I helped into their first home are now buying investment properties, or upgrading their homes. Starting to work with the children of clients that I have known over many years is also really exciting.

What has been the secret to your professional success? 
Committing to being the best I can be for my clients, and ensuring that both me and my team provide them with the best possible service.

What is the key to overcoming the challenges you face as a mortgage broker? 
Always work smarter, use technology to assist you as much as possible and always be informed and ahead of the game.

What is your best strategy for generating leads? 
The majority of my leads come from our existing database, and they’re either clients returning to obtain further funding or referring friends and family. Never be too scared to ask for referrals from existing clients.

What was your most memorable client experience this past year? 
A new client referred by an existing customer had been declined by their existing bank, so I sat down and worked through the scenario and came up with a solution. I was able to get the existing lender to approve the funding for the client, and they were able to follow their dream of owning a new property. A lot of this was around restructuring the existing debt and not enabling the existing lender to be blinded by the status quo.

What do you think of the impending changes in the regulatory landscape? How will this shape the future of the industry? 
My biggest concern is that the new changes will not go far enough and will let the banks/existing QFE providers off the hook. We need a level playing field and we need clients to understand that advisers give advice, whereas the lenders don’t. We see advertisers encouraging clients to visit their home loan specialist etc., but whilst they may be specialist application takers, they can’t give advice. Hopefully the new regulations will mean that they must either offer advice, or they won’t be able to continue to claim that they’re a specialist and provide a false representation of what they can do. If done correctly, this can strengthen the industry and enable the ongoing rise of the mortgage adviser market.

Outside of being a broker, what are your favourite hobbies? 
Indoor cricket, following our boys’ sports, refereeing football.

If you were the Prime Minister for a day, what would you do? 
Make it compulsory for anyone on unemployment benefit to complete community work or military training to give them a skill.

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone starting a career as a mortgage broker, what would that be? 
Always do the right thing. Never waver from doing the best you can for the customer and the lender.

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