Joining Scott in today’s episode is Greg Williamson, winner of Mortgage Broker of the Year and Founder of Finmo. The two talk about lessons and failures as a mortgage broker, and Greg shares the vision that he sees for Finmo.
This episode is sponsored by Finmo. Finmo is Canada’s fastest growing mortgage origination platform. To find out if Finmo is right for your business visit www.finmo.ca/scott
Timestamped Show Notes
(click the timestamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[2:28] How did you get into the mortgage business?
- I was recruited by the Royal Bank on-campus the year I graduated.
- About a year after, I started working at Investors Group running their commission mortgage program.
- I started my brokerage in 1997 and have been an agent since then.
- In the mortgage space alone, I’ve built and sold three businesses.
[6:35] Can you share an example of something you failed at and a lesson you learned from it?
- When the bottom fell out of Calgary in 2008, I was severely over-leveraged in commercial buildings.
- I thought I could be the next king of landlording and real estate development, but the truth is I knew nothing about that business.
- It hurt me personally and financially.
- The lesson is that when things are going well, I need to check my hubris.
- A lot of entrepreneurs feel the need to prove to everyone that they’re amazing, and I certainly fell into that category.
[9:21] If you went to a new city and didn’t have a network, what would you do in the first 90 days if you had to build a mortgage business?
- This is exactly what it was like when I moved to Calgary. The only people I knew were my family members that came with me.
- I would meet as many top realtors as I could and pitch to them that I’m building a certain service for a certain group of people.
- Realtors are the number-one source of business for any new agent.
[11:43] What’s an idea that you wish you would have pursued?
- I love the idea of credit repair; that idea of allowing people to repair their credit through loans.
[12:32] Where did the idea for Finmo come from?
- My partner, Carter Zimmerman, was running ads for me about five years ago.
- He was discovering that there was a sharp drop off of lead conversion during the application stage.
- After drafting the first proposal, we got a bunch of large, influential brokers to do the first round of funding.
- Consumers today want a digital experience for everything, so why not mortgages?
- From day one, everything we do is based on what’s best for the consumer.
[16:38] What kind of feedback have you been getting from users?
- The biggest concerns people have in tech are if it is reliable and how hard it is to learn. We do really well in those categories.
- Our users are continuously grateful that our service just works.
[18:45] How do you interact with your users but not allow feature creep to destroy the experience?
- We’re really careful so that if just one person asks for something, we know it may not necessarily be important to us.
- We had a business partnership opportunity where they wanted us to do one thing. We wouldn’t do it because it didn’t align with our vision.
[21:50] What is the vision for Finmo?
- The vision is a mortgage a minute. The time that a customer wants a mortgage to the time they’re approved is minutes, not days or weeks.
- It a three-step project. The first step was, how do we get the information from the customer into the already manual experience as efficiently as possible?
- The second step is telling the customer exactly what documents they’ll need.
- Phase three is working with lenders on filtering.
[27:43] How is Finmo different from other platforms?
- I believe we’re the only customer-centric product. I think other competitors in the space are building tools for brokers.
- Also, we’re the only viable, independent alternative. We’re not owned by networks; we’re owned by brokers.
[29:00] Rapid fire questions.
- What’s one thing or habit that’s made you successful?: My morning routine. I’ve been running for years. If I’m feeling down, I know I just need to double down. I also meditate every morning.
- What book do you recommend?: The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. It’s a game changer.
- What’s another tool or app that you think can help brokers?: Pipedrive and Zapier are both great.
- If I wrote you a check for $100,000 and you had to spend it on your mortgage business, what would you do?: I would get an excellent underwriter/deal support person. If you’re good at doing deals, you should not be doing paperwork. I should only be in front of people who are going to give me money.
[36:51] Anything else I should have asked you?
- Nothing comes to mind, but I really enjoyed it. Thank you for inviting me.
If you’re interested in becoming a deal creator, visit http://www.10loansamonth.com/call to find out more.
Try Finmo: https://finmo.ca/scott