Mortgage Success' Principal Katrina Rowlands talks to The Adviser about what she likes about specialist lenders and the types of clients she has
Have you always used specialist lenders?
The privilege I had coming into this business was that I always found a solution for clients who were worthy of one. So I had no liaison with a previous employer, for example.
I didn’t come into broking, like a lot of my colleagues did, as an ex-St George manager.
I think it became front of line to look for all solutions and listen to all options, because I didn’t have any pre-set ideas of what should or should not create credit-worthy clients.
Today, I still use anywhere between nine and 13 different lenders every month.
At the end of each month, I review where my referrals are coming from, and I review the number of clients from each industry type, such as investors, or FHBs, just as an overview. Another thing I look at is the number of different lenders. It’s never fewer than nine in any given month.
What have the benefits been to your business?
Some of the strongest referrals are from those clients that you help in a difficult situation. The ones you truly listen to and openheartedly try to help.
For me, the strength of character in that person means you get a trusted source of referral.
If I show someone at a time like that the maximum respect as a professional, that always comes back to me tenfold. I love helping someone and making a difference to their situation.
What types of clients have you seen who have required specialist lending solutions?
I have one on my desk now that I’m talking to Pepper about. It’s a situation where a husband and wife were both working, and they were on a great road to success, then the wife was diagnosed with a brain virus.
She was immediately off work and in hospital, and nobody knew what was going on.
It took nearly 18 months for her to recover. Obviously, the priority at that time was not financial matters.
They were able to prove their situation, but it didn’t stop them from going into financial dilemmas. As they came out of it, they needed assistance to get back on track.
How do you have the specialist conversation with clients?
I always ask them to tell me what their ideal solution is – what do they want to achieve?
I ask them what they see as their worstcase scenarios; their best-case scenarios of repayment amounts; and how long they plan to hold the home – if they plan to hold the home long term or simply survive until they decide to sell it at their own speed.
I ask them what the likelihood is of their future income being regenerated or replaced at the level it was.
I let them do a lot of the talking, but ask the questions that allow them to understand that what they are really looking for is either a short-term solution or long-term solution.
If it’s a short-term solution, they have to understand that it’s not going to be a standard solution. I have to let them know that, in order for them to achieve what they want, we need to open our viewpoint and consider options that will allow them to survive and then move forwards in the direction they mean to continue.
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