Ray Meredith: Banker to Broker

In this episode of Real Life Mortgage Solutions, Len interviews Ray Meredith, a seasoned mortgage broker with a rich background in the banking and real estate industries. Ray shares valuable insights into the key differences between the banking and mortgage brokerage sectors, highlighting the advantages of being an independent contractor and the array of product options available to mortgage brokers.

The conversation delves into the importance of building strong relationships with lenders, the significance of comprehensive insurance coverage, and the necessity of continual professional development within the mortgage brokerage industry. Throughout the episode, Len and Ray underscore the commitment of Brokers for Life to provide real-life mortgage solutions tailored to client’s needs, backed by a team of dedicated professionals with diverse expertise and a shared passion for excellence in service delivery.

About Ray Meredith

Ray Meredith is a respected figure in the Alberta mortgage industry, bringing with him a wealth of experience gained from various roles in banking, real estate, and mortgage brokerage. With a background that includes sales management, realty licensure, and leadership within industry associations, Ray offers a unique perspective on the evolving landscape of mortgage financing. As a full-time mortgage broker with Brokers for Life, Ray continues to demonstrate his commitment to client satisfaction and industry advancement through his expertise and dedication to excellence.

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Len 00:02

Welcome. My name is Len Lane, and I am the founder and president of Brokers for Life Inc, and we are Dominion Lending Centres in Western Canada. The topic of our podcast will be about what we consider to be Real Life Mortgage Solutions.

Len 00:20

Welcome back. Our special guest today is a gentleman who is an icon in the mortgage industry in Alberta. He has a very long history of working for several of the banks in the industry, especially with Royal Bank, which is where we met, he was a market specialist and I was a lowly homebuilders manager and in our show home in North side of Edmonton probably, it’s been a long time. And he has a background in not only being the market specialist but being a sales manager, as well as a licensed Realtor at one time, as well. So, very well versed in the real estate industry in Edmonton to the point of one point actually being the President of the Edmonton Home Builders Association. I can’t remember what it was called in those days, but—

Ray 01:06

It was called the Greater Edmonton Home Builders Association, yes.

Len 01:13

EVA, yes. Anyways, my special guest today is Ray Meredith, and now a full-time mortgage broker with Brokers for Life. Welcome. Because you have such a background in in the banking side, I thought you’d be the perfect person to kind of maybe discuss with what you’ve seen as the differences between the two sides of the industry, your knowledge, of course of how the mortgage specialists work and now somewhat of how the mortgage brokers work is a chance for us to maybe do some comparison. So what’s the glaring difference that you see between the two types of employment, I guess, if you want to call it.

Ray 01:55

There’s actually quite a few, I would say probably the first is the option for a variety of different products as a mortgage broker, versus working for just one lender. While that, I’ve always been a big believer that, you know, your strongest skill set is also your biggest Achilles heel. So, while we may have a ton of options to find lenders, it can get a little confusing to understand what everybody’s nuances are, you know, you kind of get yourself down to probably three or four, maybe five lenders that you get comfortable with, you get to know their products, the benefits of each of their products, and then you kind of stick to those, obviously, you’re going to have one-offs for private lending and things of that nature. That would be probably the biggest one. The second one, I would say is the fact that you are an independent contractor, that you are self-employed and while you do have you as the broker on record for where we are, and we have to answer to RICA, bottom line is the business is ours to run how we see fit, provided that we are of course, following the rules. I think that the feeling of freedom, I don’t remember ever feeling is in control of my own career as I do now. Even when I was at the bank, you know, as you know, I’ve worked for them all. So it’s, yeah, I know, I have an ATB, too. So, the bottom line it’s very much an independent small business world that we live in. And you need to treat this, like it is your business, not like a job.

Len 03:28

And that’s one point I’ve always made to people. It’s like, yes, we have a broker. But really what we have is an aggregation of 28 small businesses, right, everybody is running their own business, to the best of their ability, and it’s up to you what you put into it. And that’s what you get back out of this industry, right?

Ray 03:49

Oh, absolutely. It’s, you know, similarities in the roles would be you get out what you put in, like you just said, very, very true. I mean, it’s like if you don’t succeed in this business, it’s through nobody’s fault, but your own. In my own humble opinion, because you’re the one that needs to motivate yourself, you’re the one that needs to go out and be in front of people all the time. You as a broker are the one that controls how busy or not busy that you are. So to me if you’re not successful in this industry, it’s because you’re not doing those simple small things, which is being in front of somebody pretty much every day.

Len 04:23

And that doesn’t change, right? It doesn’t like I’ve literally sold everything from nuts and bolts to houses. It is that same thing if you don’t see anybody in your show home for a week at a time you better go figure out a way to get somebody into your show home because everybody always jokes about my analogy about the making popcorn, right that more kernels in the pot and more popcorn you got to make out of it. So, what do you think was one of the easiest things for you to grasp in on the broker side?

Ray 04:55

The easiest thing was just the ability to connect with the different BDM’s at the different lenders So, I would say that’s probably the first thing that you should do is get to know them. Becaus…