Jul 7 | 2017

3 Tips to Stay Healthy When it Gets Busy

Posted by:

Tips to stay healthyWhether you’re a lawyer, lender, mortgage broker or realtor – working in the real estate industry can be unpredictable. Before you know it, things get hectic and you can slip into bad habits like skipping meals, not exercising and working on just a few hours of sleep. This will eventually take a toll on your health and even your mood. But when you’re busy, it’s even more important to maintain peak performance.

Here are three simple ways you can stay healthy and energetic all year round.

1. Make healthy food choices

Not that you can’t enjoy the occasional pizza party, but think of it this way, nutrition fuels your body and you’ll get the most out of premium gas. If you skip meals, you may end up making bad food choices out of hunger. Try to stash healthy snacks like fruits, nuts and pre-cut veggies at your desk. This way you won’t need to rely on candy bars and fast food to get you through the day.

2. Keep active

You may be sitting hunched over a desk all day or behind the wheel of a car – going to client meetings or rushing from one property to another. Take some time in the day for a quick stretch break or better yet, start a fitness challenge with co-workers. Getting other people on board is a great way to ensure you all stay moving and motivated.

3. Set expectations and priorities

At the end of the day, you’re only human. Make sure your clients and co-workers have reasonable expectations of you. Create a list of priorities for the day to help you get organized and let people know when they can expect deliverables.

Do you have any other tips to get through busy periods? Share it with us in the comments section!

Sep 23 | 2015

Ask a title officer: how to complete the RSA form

Posted by:

Andrea Tait has been with FCT since January 2015 as a title officer.

Andrea Tait has been with FCT since January 2015 as a title officer.

No one likes completing paperwork, we get that. But no one likes a delayed refinance deal either —especially your clients. By completing all the forms required for your Platinum Refinance Deal correctly the first time, you will minimize delays, but more importantly, you’ll improve the customer experience and stand apart from your competition.

Our latest edition of Broker’s Edge examines just how to put this advice into practice when completing the Request for Statement and Authorization (RSA) form. Andrea Tait, title officer at FCT, offers some helpful tips to avoid time-consuming errors and unnecessary back-and-forth that can annoy your clients and can potentially put your deal at risk.

Andrea explains:

“I like to think of the RSA form as the combination to a lock — get everything right and the vault will open.”

Andrea offers the following checklist for seamless processing:

  • Always use the FCT form, if available. If not, use the form provided to you by your lender.
  • Choose only one purpose for the form by identifying it as a discharge, transfer or information only.
  • Identify the financial institution and include all pertinent contact information.
  • Include the mortgage number.
  • Make sure all necessary parties sign the form.
  • Include contact information for the lawyer handling the mortgage.
  • Ensure all information is legible.
  • Give your lender enough time to process the refinance by submitting as soon as possible.

 

Additional resources

If you’re looking for more tips on completing the RSA, check out the RSA Tip Sheet. And if you still have questions, get in touch! You are invited to contact us by phone at 1.855.500.3565 or by email at brokersedge@fct.ca. Remember, your questions and comments are the key to helping us deliver a better experience for you and your peers and we’d love to hear from you.

Check back again soon for more of the inside scoop or subscribe to the FCT blog today.

Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited

Aug 26 | 2015

Ask a title officer: volume 2

Posted by:

Robyn_asktitleofficer

Robyn Downie has been with FCT for 3 years as a title officer

As a followup to our recent post: ; we offer you volume 2, which will examine additional questions asked of an FCT Title Officer via our online newsletter, Broker’s Edge. Here is the dialogue that took place between an FCT customer and FCT Title Officer of three years, Robyn Downie.

My client has a short maturity date on their existing mortgage. How does FCT’s process ensure that my deal closes on time?

Occasionally we do get a refinance/transfer deal through the Platinum program where the borrower’s current mortgage will mature before we can actually close the deal. This can result in unnecessary penalties to the borrower, but moreover, can put your entire deal at risk. And as you know, you don’t make money off deals that don’t close, despite all the work that goes into them.

The first thing we do is remind our broker partners to be well aware of maturity dates before they submit deals to the lenders. In the case of a known short maturity, it is always best practice to advise your client to renew their current mortgage into an open term so that there is ample time for you, the lender and FCT to process the new refinance/transfer.

Secondly, if FCT receives a file and it cannot be completed by the maturity date (i.e. the short maturity date was not made known up front), we will contact you and your client to ensure all parties are aware of the issue. By doing so, the customer will then be able to arrange for an open term with the existing lender.

But isn’t there a risk that my borrower may be lured back to their current lender when they apply for the open term?

Yes, there is always that risk. The bottom line is that your borrower’s current financial institution will use every available touch point, including when we request a payout statement, to make an attempt to retain the borrower’s business. However, there might be a greater risk that the deal won’t close without an open term.

If you need any more information about how to handle short maturity dates, call our Broker Hotline at 1.855.500.3565 and we’d be happy to help you work through any potential obstacles.

Still have questions?

If there is something you’d like to ask an FCT Title Officer please submit your question below. You never know; we might use it in a future edition of Broker’s Edge and/or feature it in an upcoming blog post.

And as always, check back again soon for more of the inside scoop or subscribe to the FCT blog today.

Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited

Aug 13 | 2015

Ask a title officer: volume 1

Posted by:

You may or may not know that FCT has recently launched a free bi-monthly e-newsletter called Broker’s Edge. Broker’s Edge provides timely content and handy tips to help brokers process refinances more efficiently through FCT’s Platinum Refinance Program and its participating lenders.

title officer

Gillian Baker has been with FCT for 9 years as a title officer

“Ask a Title Officer,” is an interactive section on Broker’s Edge where you get to ask questions of an FCT employee and benefit from their first-hand knowledge of the industry. With the help of their insight, tips and tricks, we hope to help you create smoother closings. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the first question that our FCT Title Officer, Gillian Baker addressed:

I love how your Platinum refi program offers convenience and cost savings for my borrower. Is there anything special I need to do to in order to close my first Platinum deal with FCT?

First off, thank you for choosing FCT for your refinance deal! And yes, there are definitely a few, simple things you can do to assist in a smooth and timely closing:

  • State that you want to use FCT for closing in your notes to the lender
  • Take time to introduce your client to FCT and our process by using the lender-specific borrower letters. To access the letters:
    • Go to the Platinum section for brokers on FCT.ca
    • Click on your participating lender
    • Select Borrower Letter in the Platinum Refinance section
  • Submit all pertinent documentation to the lender together at once
  • Ensure that the Request for Payout Statement and Authorization form is correct and completed in full and all check boxes (discharge, transfer, etc.) found at the top of the RSA form are checked, as needed
  • Use milestones as opportunities to follow up with your client and keep them involved and informed of next steps. You will receive a milestone at the following stages:
    • Deal received/started by FCT
    • Payout Statement ordered
    • Payout Statement received
    • Signing appointment date set (date will be included)
    • Funding complete
  • Ensure your borrower understands the role of the signing agent and that any and all questions should always be managed by you, not the signing agent

I hope that helps! Remember, you can always call our Broker Hotline at 1.855.500.3565 if you would like additional information or help with closing your first deal with FCT.

Need help? Want to learn more? Just ask!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask an FCT Title Officer? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Submit your question below and we might use it in an upcoming edition of Broker’s Edge.

Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited

Jul 14 | 2015

Harnessing partnership to broker success

Posted by:

Today the broker segment represents over brokers edge_small30% of the mortgage industry and wields great influence regarding the acceptance of title insurance within the lending realm. Harnessing that partnership between lending and title insurance is what will ultimately differentiate business models and earn loyal customers for both sides.

“In a world where technology has made everything instant and transparent, it is always easier to find a better deal elsewhere. But the bottom line isn’t what keeps customers nor does it build loyalty. What really separates the good from the great in the title insurance business (or any business, for that matter) is customer experience,” says Colleen Preisner, Director of Marketing at FCT.

Experience Excellence

Most know that failing to meet customer expectations can be the downfall for any business. Therefore, focusing on the customer experience as a whole is important to moving beyond merely meeting expectations to exceeding them. Partners need to keep themselves relevant and constantly provide value in an ever changing market. In fact, that is the basic premise behind FCT’s promise of Experience Excellence™.

FCT sees all of its customers as valued partners — partners who can offer insight and best practices critical to strategic development and innovation. And more importantly, to service excellence.

Get an edge on the competition

In fact, FCT is launching a new free bi-monthly e-newsletter to do just that. Broker’s Edge will offer timely insider information to help busy brokers outshine the competition in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The thinking behind this newest electronic resource is to continue to find different ways in which to improve communication and the quality of dialogue between Brokers, FCT and Broker lenders. As a two-way street, FCT seeks to build a better, stronger relationship with brokers, while assisting them to process their refinances more efficiently through its exclusive list of participating Platinum lenders. Broker’s Edge will serve as an interactive, user-friendly, central source for all things FCT. It will focus on helping brokers make the most of the FCT’s highest level of service for lenders: the Platinum Service Refinance Program.

Broker’s Edge will examine the following areas in relation to its Platinum program:

  1. Closing best practices from the experts in our operations centers across Canada
  2. Market and sales insights developed by our business intelligence team
  3. New process innovations based on Broker’s feedback and collaboration with our lender partners
  4. Handy resources for document processing, sales contacts and operational help

 

Experience Broker’s Edge for yourself. Click here to view the premiere edition!

Subscribe today and don’t miss out on this exciting new publication from FCT.