Getting to Know The Family Mortgage Guy With Glen Griffiths

Nov 2, 2020

Getting to Know The Family Mortgage Guy With Glen Griffiths


Who is the Family Mortgage Guy? Glen Griffiths, life insurance and financial planner within his own company, Griffiths Insurance and Financial Services, is also now a qualified interviewer.

Glenn and I have worked together for a number of years and he graciously acted as host, asking me some great questions about how I got started in the industry, what does the mortgage process look like, and what I enjoy most about my work.

You can get a hold of Glenn through his website or social media:

Glen Griffiths, CHS, EPC
Insurance & Investment Consultant



Glen: I just wanted to say that, first of all, thanks for making the time for me to get some questions to get to know a little bit better here. So I really appreciate that.

Curtis: My pleasure.

Glen: I know you’re a pretty accomplished mortgage broker, you’ve been around for a while. Are you independent, which I love. But tell me a little bit about yourself before you got into your career.

Curtis: I originally came from Saskatchewan, so I moved to move to Calgary when I was in my mid-20s, give or take. And then I’ve been to Calgary ever since. I’ve been in Calgary for more than half of my life. And currently up to date right now, I’m married. We’ve actually had our 10 year anniversary with my wife, Susan, and I have three daughters. So I’ve got all girls of various ages from 22 to 11 to seven. So it’s a nice range of girls that one’s grown up and I’m still working on. So having fun with that.

Glen: That’s good to see. You’ve got a family. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary. Awesome.

Curtis: Yeah. So how did you get into being a mortgage broker?

Glen: And that’s an interesting question I get asked that every once in a while and I look back in the early 2000s when I was in Calgary already and I was starting to get investing, I started investing in real estate myself, my own. I owned a condo myself. And I met some other people that were real estate investors as well. So I thought, well, you know, I’ll give this a try. It seems like it’s working for them. They were making money, so I’m always attracted to that. So I thought, let’s give this a go.

When I started investing in real estate for a couple of years on my own. Some were joint ventures, but mostly on my own. And eventually, I just saw an opportunity because, after a couple of years, my friends and family started asking me for advice and I’m like, OK, you guys want me to help you get your property rented? And you’re asking about getting mortgages and, you know, all the questions that come with real estate investing.

They started asking me because I was the one that was in it actually doing it. And lots of people hadn’t actually started. They just maybe own their own home. So I saw an opportunity and I thought, well, I’m will get into this game because people ask me for my bicep. If I’m gonna get paid for my advice, I’m going to have to become a mortgage broker or a real estate agent.

And I just decided to go to the mortgage broker role because I like solving maths problems. So I’m pretty good with numbers. It just made sense. And it would be it would make me self-employed, so I’d have a little bit more autonomy. So that’s what led me to it. So the first few years, I did a lot of mortgages for people who were investing in real estate. And I just became their advice advisor because I was the one that was doing it the longest and the most. And that’s my circle of influence, were other successful real estate investors. So people always came to me for advice and then I just kept the mortgage. 

Glen: So you’re in that world before you decided to get into being the mortgage broker. He had some familiar equity and how things work, right?

Curtis: One thing led to another. 

Glen: So how does the process work for someone who wants to get a mortgage through you?

Curtis: First of all, someone’s usually referred to me from a referral source or from past clients. So I’ll either get a call or an e-mail from somebody and then they’ll get to get to know me a little bit and I’ll get to know them a little bit before we actually start the application process, just to make sure we’re a good fit. And I understand what they’re looking for and where they’re coming from.

Once I get to understand them a little bit, the next step is just to take the mortgage application. Usually over the phone these days because it’s a warm referral source. People are fairly trustworthy. And sometimes I’ll actually take the mortgage application or resume and just show them their own mortgage application and how that goes just to educate them along the way. Especially for a first time homebuyer. Once they get the mortgage application filled out, I know more than enough about them just to send them a checklist of documents that I need to support the application.

So if they say they work at XYZ, a company that’s been there for so many years now, I’m going to ask them for letters of employment and pay stubs to support that application. And then once I have those income documents and downpayment documents, I can do the pre-qualification, which is basically step number two. And just run the numbers to see how much they can qualify for. And then I’ll send them off in a nice prequalification email that lays out what they’re qualified for.

Five percent down or if it’s 10 percent down or whatever the details are, I let them know exactly what they can qualify for and then they get to go shopping. They can share that with their real estate agent, and go shopping in the right price range.

And then the final step is when I get the offer to purchase from the real estate agent or from the client themselves, then I can send that off to the lender of choice. And that we’ve done all our pre-work ahead of time, and know if they want to pay their own taxes or the mortgage company, pay them if they want a fixed or a variable rate. If they definitely want to go with their own bank or if they’re okay with just a different bank. So, yeah, there’s a lot of pre-work gets done in that process along the way because I’m always asking questions when I get the documents and have them fill out the application. And I’m a curious guy as well, so I always like to know, how did you get into XYZ Business? Why? Why are you doing that? Or how long have you been there? So it’s kind of trying to make it a fun process.

At the end of the day, hopefully, we get to stamp them approved and off we go.

Glen: I’m glad that you laid out the process here because I think sometimes people have this vision that you call someone, you just give me a name, a little bit of info and then boom, sell. Done. So you mean the words education in there, which I found very key. Right. Because you’re not just getting them something. You let them through the process of getting to know them. It sounds like you let them know what to expect, how to do things that are most suitable for them. So I really appreciate that about you, too. And I really think people should hear that. Is that, yes, you do not only just provide a quick service, but you educate them. And I think as a result of that, you may have some repeat business as time goes by.

Curtis: You know, most of my clients are repeat clients or referrals from friends and family.  

Glen: So what’s your goal for your clients besides just getting them the proof that mortgage?

Curtis: Well, actually, that’s part of having the process. My goal is not just to get them a mortgage, because that’s, I mean, that can be hard or easy either way. But I want it to be easy for them. And I wanted to be an enjoyable process without surprises. So if I say that they can get a $400,000 mortgage, I don’t want to burst that balloon, so to speak, and be the bearer of bad news and say, well, you can really only get three, seven, five.

So I’m really wanting to have a process. I want them to have a five-star experience because people don’t borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars every day. It’s not a normal thing to do for people on a daily basis. So, I mean, you’re doing this once every five years, maybe once every 10 years. So I want this to be an enjoyable experience, not something that’s stressful. So my goal is always to set up a five-star experience. I’m always thinking. I just met this guy. His name’s Glen Griffiths. He’s applied for a mortgage with me. What do I have to do to make sure I can get a five-star review from that person at the end of the day?

So I’m always keeping that back of mind to make sure that, OK. Did I call him today? And I give him an update. Does he know what to expect next? Does he have any questions that are alive that I haven’t answered? I want to be proactive. I don’t want people asking me for updates. I want to give them updates as they go. And if I’m communicating to them too much, they can tell me to just communicate as much if they want. But they’ll get lots of communication from me because I don’t want to left them left in the dark.

Glen: That’s excellent. So that sounds like, you know, that that’s another key point with the communication. You know, sometimes if it’s too little, too much. What the lack of a better word, communication going back and forth with them. They can let you know what is what. And you sound like you’re pretty proactive in following up with them. So that’s awesome. But this is a stressful process if you’re waiting to hear through. Is it happening? So I’m glad you make that quite a bit easier for them. All right. And I kind of leading to my next question, actually, what’s your favourite part about being a mortgage broker?

Curtis: Well, as finding the favourite part is actually reading what people want to write about me after they write the review.

That is one of the favourite parts because I’m always curious what they’re going to say. But you know what? Solving a problem that people don’t think is solvable, that’s actually always a big victory for me. Someone comes along and says, well, I’m self-employed. My credit isn’t great. And then, you know, six months later, they’re getting the keys to their house. And they didn’t think that was even possible.

I’m like, you know, I just I love to put myself in the box for that one because it’s something that they couldn’t have done on their own. I mean, a self-employed person with, you know, questionable credit. You know, it’s tough to do. So getting them to do what needs to be done and coaching them along the way. That’s not something that, you know, you walk into your own bank. That’s not something they do. It’s not a service they offer. It’s just something unique that can be offered to someone like myself. So yeah, it’s a victory when they get the keys and they thought they were never going to be a homeowner like that. That’s fabulous. That’s a fabulous feeling to me. Mean they’re always so grateful.

Glen: I can imagine. And you know, that for me is also heartening to hear because you didn’t just say, you know what, so you don’t qualify. Call me back when you do. You said six months later. Right? That’s something that you have a process to help them to get in a better position to getting what they want. And you’re putting in the time, even though it’s not benefiting you at this time. Right. And then the reward of knowing that you helped them go through a complicated thing and qualify. I identify with that. So kudos to you for that.

Well, Curtis, I really appreciate you making some time for me. Is there anything else that I haven’t asked about that you might want to throw in at this time just to let folks know about?

Curtis: You know, I don’t know if I have anything to add or not. I think I’ll just get a lot of joy out of this industry. The brokerage I’m worth is really like family to me, and all my clients are like family to me, too. Why? Your client is just someone like me, someone with kids who just wants to buy a house or maybe get a second home so that they can have a place to go with a family. Or maybe they do want to invest in real estate and just diversify a little bit. So it’s just like helping people.

Glen: Excellent. So, folks, if you’re thinking about real estate and getting into real estate, whether that’s personally or to have some additional properties, you know, you need to find out how much you can qualify for. This is the guy to contact, Curtis Arnold. Thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. Have yourself a wonderful rest of the day. And we will talk to you soon.



About My Mortgage Blog

Published specifically for Realtors to keep you abreast of Canadian interest rate trends, economic news, lender programs, and tips to “Help Realtors Sell More Real Estate.” Subscribers will get the inside track on what mortgage brokers are seeing on the front lines trying to finance your deals.

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