Still wondering if you should look at renewing your mortgage at today’s interest rate? With all the information out there about mortgages and interest rates this past year, it’s useful to talk to a mortgage specialist to help you navigate and understand what might be useful in your situation.

Thank you, Julia Pho, for having me on her new show, YYC Business Speaks! It was a pleasure.

Video Transcript

Curtis: Well, I specialize in mortgages, so I know almost everything there is to know mortgages or someone in my brokerage will know the stuff that I don’t know. So I’ve always got access to all the latest information on mortgages, and I just save people a lot of money. 

If they just go through a mortgage broker, I can show them the ins and outs and the pitfalls because there are often mortgages out there that just have to have some hidden clauses that they may not know about. Or and I think the biggest advantage is one mortgage application, one credit check, multiple lenders that I have access to. 

Julia: OK, so you shop around for that, right, and then they really get to know what the best rate is that they can get? 

Curtis: Yeah, the best rate. And there are other features like prepayment privileges and penalties and portability. So those are the features that people don’t ask about. But I always educate my clients, always give them the education on top of it. 

Julia: Yeah, awesome. I think that education is really important, especially for home buyers. How long have you been doing this for?

Curtis: I got licensed in 2004, and by 2006, I went full time, I worked my way out of having a job and I was investing in real estate at the time. So it was a natural fit for me to work with investors back in 2006 when I started going full time. So 17 years in this business already. 

Julia: Wow, that’s quite a while now. 

Curtis: I know when I say that out loud, it’s like, wow, I’ve been doing this a long time. 

Julia? Yeah, no kidding. Who was your best customer? 

Curtis: Oh, I would say thinking of some of my most recent customers are people that are new to Canada because they’re also first time home buyers and they’re quite often professionals coming from other countries that are working in jobs that are, you know, like a doctor or an engineer from Nigeria or Venezuela or something like that. 

They have to come here and rebuild themselves because their education is often recognized. But so the fun part is educating them because they’re educated people themselves. So educating people who are educated from their own countries, coming here and just wanting to learn how do I get a mortgage and what do I have to do to get a mortgage?

And they’re usually mature people because they’ve already gone through university in their own country. Yeah. And so yeah I usually have a lot in common with them.

Julia: Yeah. So that’s great. So they’re navigating a new system and you have the expertise in that system. So when they come to you you’re like a full education might help them get their mortgage. And you know, it really it’s so useful to have that help in navigating a system that you don’t know something really cool that that’s your target market. 

Curtis: You know, they don’t know what they don’t know. 

Julia: Yeah, definitely. What’s the greatest impact the pandemic has had on your business this past year? 

Curtis: Well, the pandemic was a short-term impact, not really a long-term impact. To be honest, I mean, that impact was mostly confined from March, April and May, where people were really nervous about what was going to happen because it was there was still so much unknown about how much is the government going to shut us down? How big is this impact going to be? How is it going to affect my income? And so people are really afraid. 

And so that impact was kind of defined. But then once people started to relax and get into the routines and, you know, people that were going to lose their jobs were already lost their jobs and things started to settle down and even out again. So there wasn’t really a spring market as much as normal. The normal buying frenzy in the spring is. So that changed. It just shifted. So the big impact is now it’s really busy in January and February right now. So now I’m busy.

Julia: Right. So there was all that pent-up demand from people that thought they were going to buy in 20, 20 and decided to put it off. Yeah. And now they’re I guess their New Year’s resolution is to go buy a new house. So lots of people shopping.

Curtis: Yes. When you look at it overall from the lack of people shopping in March, April, May, and then the uptake of people shopping now with that kind of balance each other out, or is that. Yeah, it does. It seems to just you know, it just shifted. So I think it has balanced out.

Julia: That’s cool. That’s good to know. I didn’t know that. Yeah. What’s one or two actions that you’ve taken that have made a difference over the last year? 

Curtis: A difference in my business or a difference to my clients? 

Julia: Let’s let’s say both one of each. 

Curtis: Sure. Well, I think the biggest difference that I made for my clients during the pandemic was just being the voice of reason on the voice of calm. So many people were either actually losing one of their incomes in the household or they were worried about their job. 

So the big thing was the deferral that the government announced. So the government was saying, OK, you can defer your mortgage, we’re going to allow that for up to six months. So people wanted to know what that meant for them. And there was so much misinformation, which happens often in my industry, in social media. 

So there’s lots of misnomers and misinformation in social media. So I actually just crunched the numbers because one of the biggest concerns for people was, well, if I defer my mortgage for three months, the bank is going to make a lot of money off of me. And I’m desperate right now, so that’s not fair. So that was kind of a, I guess that was kind of the way people were feeling. Yeah. And people were throwing out numbers. Well, they’re going to make thousands of dollars of interest off of me. And so lots of misinformation.

So I just crunched numbers like I do, got on my calculator and my spreadsheets and I put it into perspective so people would send me your mortgage and I’ll show you how much money it’s going to cost you.

So I just started doing presentations to people one on one when they would consult with me on their deferral. And then I started doing presentations to bigger audiences like my business group and just showed them that, you know, the banks aren’t going to make much more money off of you. If you defer your mortgage, you’re going to have to your mortgage payment is $1,500. You defer for three months. That’s $4,500 dollars in your bank account. Take that money and put it against a credit card where you have higher interest or a line of credit where you have higher interest anyways.

I just show people the logic of it. Make sure you can make your payments on these other, you know, put food on the table and make your credit card payments, preserve your credit rating, make sure you’re going to be fine. And it’s still only going to cost you an extra $20 a month in interest, so the banks are going to make a whole bunch of money off of you. So then the people started to relax once I started putting that information out there to counter all the misinformation and the fear. 

Julia: Yeah, yeah. That’s a cool perspective. I hadn’t thought of it that way. [00:08:06][3.0]

Curtis: Well if I can show them on paper how it’s going to work, then they kind of relax. So I had a pretty good presentation there for a few months that was making an impact. 

Julia: Yeah. Love it. And that’s very customer-centric. Very, very customer-oriented. So that’s great. It’s been said that smart people learn from their mistakes and wise people learn from the mistakes of others. So what’s one or two mistakes that you’ve learned along the way that other entrepreneurs can learn from? 

Curtis: Well, being an entrepreneur is. Well, there are a few sleepless nights, but I think what the lesson is, if I were to go back and do it again, I would have not lost any of the contacts that I’ve made. Since I became an entrepreneur, before I was an entrepreneur, I may have maybe had, you know, 100, 150 contacts and my contact database and my cell phone. But once you become an entrepreneur, there are so many more people out there that you get to know and I’ve got almost 3,000, yeah, I would want to keep up my database on my CRM a lot better and I would start a lot sooner.

So right from Day 1, I would invest in finding out what’s the best CRM for my industry as an entrepreneur and then make sure that you’re staying in touch with people. CRM is so important. I never took that into consideration the first few years. And so all those people I did business with the first few years, I really don’t know. I haven’t got that contact information anymore because I was 17, you know, 17, 16 and 15 years ago. I don’t know that information anymore. Yeah, so. 

And just pick one and don’t look around after you’ve decided on one. Don’t look over the fence to see if the grass is greener. Just forget about that. Just be dedicated to one customer relationship management system and be happy with your decision. 

Julia:  Yeah, did you switch CRM midway or what happened that you have done that? 

Curtis: Yeah, I have done that. When you switch from like I was a mortgage broker, I can be with different brokerages. So that’s the other tip is to make sure that if you’re using a CRM, make sure that you own the job, but not your brokerage or somebody else. So make sure it’s transferable. That follows you wherever you go. And it doesn’t have to stay with the brokerage or, you know, some other business. 

Julia: Yeah, yeah. That was a really good lesson. 

Curtis: And switching is hard. So if you’re going to pick a CRM, that’s why I say stick with it. Don’t look two years later and say, oh, there’s a great new one over here because switching is hard. 

Julia: Yeah definitely. Wow. That’s a really good lesson. I love it. Yeah. Curtis, where can people find you and is there anything you’d like to offer our viewers? 

Curtis: Well, the best place to find me, I guess, would be on my website, if you’re looking for, that would be a That’s where I am there. Or you just want to get a hold of me, Just text me at 403-613-1555 because that’ll be the fastest response by faster than my website. OK, we’re on Facebook. If you just Google me, I’m pretty active on Facebook. I am Curtis Arnold on Facebook. I have a business page too, but it’s a lot easier to find me as just my personal page.

Julia: OK, good to know. And then is there anything you’d like to offer our viewers? 

Curtis: Yeah. You know, if your viewers are watching this and they mentioned Julia Pho, I’ll give you 15 minutes of my top advice. It’ll save you thousands of dollars on your mortgage. If you have a mortgage, give me a call. Whether you’re getting close to maturity or even if you’re in the middle of the mortgage, I give you 15 minutes of the best advice you ever had and probably saved thousands of dollars.

Julia: OK, cool, so in the 15 minutes, you’d be looking at their current mortgage and what they have and then what else might be available for them, is that idea?

Curtis: Yeah, I do what’s called a mortgage check, and I do that normally on an annual basis with my clients. OK, so I’ll do a mortgage checkup. That’s what it’s called. It’s just 15 minutes of reviewing their current mortgage and their current situation. I’ll give you some advice that’ll save you thousands. Some things you probably don’t know. 

Julia Cool. That’s awesome. Thanks for this offer. OK, one last question for you. Tell me what’s inspiring to you today? What’s most inspiring to me today? 

Curtis: Well, I’m the Family Mortgage Guy, I got to say, it’s my family. It’s my three daughters. Yeah, they’re inspiring to me, especially my middle daughter. And just because she was diagnosed with diabetes in December. So she’s been quite an inspiration, actually. She’s handled that diagnosis like a champ. 

She’s 11 years old and she has to check her blood sugar five times a day and inject insulin four times a day. So, you know, the diagnosis didn’t bother her that much, but when her when the doctor at the hospital said, well, you’ve got to stay overnight for a couple of weeks, that’s what hurt her. And yeah, because she knew she wasn’t going to see her mom, that she had to stay in the hospital with me.

This young lady is pretty inspiring because she’s just she’s not depressed about it, she’s not anxious about it. She just met it head-on and that was it.

Julia: Yeah, that’s amazing. Like the resilience of your kid and you with and it’s just like, all right, this is what’s next. Let’s go right now. 

Curtis: You know, she took it on by all three of my daughters. But that’s just the most recent experience. 

Julia: Yeah. It sounds like we can all learn a lot from her experience and how she’s dealing with that in your telling us about it, for sure. 

All right. Cool. Thanks, Curtis, for coming on our show. I’m going to post the links on the posts that I put up when I post this video, and then I’ll have you tagged and everything so that people can find you there. And so if you’d like to take up Curtis on his mortgage check-up, offer a 15-minute call with him, reach out to him, mentioned Julia Pho. He’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. Otherwise, that’s the end of this interview. Thanks so much, Curtis. 

Curtis: Thanks, Julia. Bye.