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The Broker Who Almost Quit

It is no secret that being a mortgage professional can require persistence at times — particularly when you are just starting out.

One mortgage broker discovered that when he started his business, however, he persevered through the tough times to be named the Broker of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) in both 2018 and 2019 at the Canadian Mortgage Awards.

Clinton Wilkins is a mortgage broker with Centum Home Lenders Ltd. In Halifax. According to Mortgage Broker News, he is a regular on television and among Atlantic Canada’s real estate community.

But that was not always the case.

Before Wilkins was named the Broker of the Year in 2018, he had considered folding his Halifax business. He had funded $62 million over 305 units in 2011, but then business faltered.

“After 2011, the market was very soft in Halifax and there wasn’t much going on,” said Wilkins, as quoted in Mortgage Broker News.

Wilkins thought about moving to either Toronto or Vancouver.

However, he did not move away. Instead, he re-focused on his business and decided to take a different tactic.

“I wanted to focus on the thought leadership aspect of my business and became a regular contributor to CTV News, Rogers News Radio and Global News,” he said, as quoted on Mortgage Broker News. “I wanted to be the go-to person around mortgage lending in Halifax and Atlantic Canada…”

Following that realization, Wilkins wrote a book on mortgage lending for consumers.

To compete on the national level in Halifax, Wilkins has had to move an “extraordinary amount of units.” Despite that, he has been named to the Canadian Mortgage Professionals Top 75 Brokers list numerous times over the past ten years.

For brokers who are struggling in their business, or who just want to achieve more growth in the future, there are several items to take away from Wilkins’ success story:

  1. Do not give up.

Sometimes a change in thinking or mindset is necessary, but the number one thing is to keep going. Honestly assess what is working well in your business and where you have room for improvement.

Wilkins knew that he had to have more transaction units and volume relative to his area to compete on a national level. Consider your own volume and set a goal to increase by, and then look for realistic ways to get there. You might not be as far off as you think.

  1. Create recognition.

Wilkins made himself known through his marketing efforts, such as appearing on news channels and building key relationships.

“I’ve become the go-to person for information relating to mortgage lending in the local media,” Wilkins said. “They call me before anyone else and having the [CMA] wins really put Atlantic Canada on the map.”

Look for opportunities to be known in your community, be it through media, through your own social media profiles, through networking events, industry recognition (such as the Canadian Mortgage Awards, or CMP Top 75 Brokers), and more.

  1. Aim for thought leadership.

Wilkins did this by setting goals to appear on television channels in his community and to be the “go-to person around mortgage lending.” To achieve this, he literally wrote the book on mortgage lending for consumers.

Thought leadership can be achieved in many ways — you might take a cue from Wilkins and target the local media in your community, or create a value-added product, like a book, to educate consumers.

You might also use property data to learn more, such as analyzing your neighbourhood demographics, dwelling types, and property values. When you can access data quicker than the competition, and have the answer in minutes, you will stand out from the crowd.

Congratulations to Clinton Wilkins!

Create your own mortgage business success story with tools from Purview. Access up-to-date property information that empowers you to become a thought leader and close more deals in your own community.

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