Virtually every client to whom Nicole Hayes recommends Manulife One ultimately chooses it as their mortgage product. They are also more likely to provide positive feedback and referrals.
While it may take a little extra time to educate them about the unique product, the Langley, B.C.-based mortgage expert says that once clients understand what it can offer, they almost always choose it.
“If it’s not a great fit for them, then I don’t recommend it,” says Hayes. “If I’ve determined that it’s a good fit for them and I’m recommending they go that route, they almost always take Manulife One.”
Not only are those clients more likely to choose the product, but Hayes says they are also more likely to report satisfaction with it. “I haven’t had any clients who have, in that annual review, told me they wished we had done something different,” she says.
Born to sell
As the daughter of two Realtors, Hayes says she grew up with a passion for real estate investing. After a brief stint running a mortgage referral program with the big banks, she decided to “get out of the middle and become a mortgage broker” in 2006.
Ten years later, Hayes achieved Dominion Lending Centres’ Diamond/Master Status, a designation reserved for the top 1% of brokers in Canada, which she has maintained ever since.
“This product in particular has helped me grow my business, because once a client is in Manulife Bank they feel like they have a good mortgage advisor who put them into a great product, and they tell their friends,” she says. “I receive more referrals from clients when I have taken the time to place them in the Manulife Bank product and educate them about their mortgage.”
Identifying clients who are a good fit for Manulife One
Manulife One is an all-in-one re-advanceable mortgage and banking product that lets customers combine their mortgage with bank accounts, short-term savings, income, and other higher-interest debts. Customers can increase or decrease their mortgage payments as needed, tap into their home equity, and reduce their overall interest costs.
Hayes adds that the product appeals to those who might need to tap into their home equity prior to selling their home, or those who could benefit from flexible repayment options.
“You used to have a premium for that, but Manulife Bank has gotten really competitive with their rates, and the underwriting is good, so overall it’s a great fit for some of my clients at all different stages of life,” she says.
Hayes says it’s a particularly good fit for families up for renewal and looking to upgrade their housing within the next five years, retirees that want to tap into their wealth to support their children and grandchildren, real estate investors and the self-employed.
“I offered it to one family, they were wanting to buy commercial space for their massage therapy business, and they were almost mortgage-free on their principal residence, so being able to access their home equity for that down payment was a difference maker for them,” she says. “As a massage therapist, you’re kind of capped at the income you can generate on your own, but by buying a building and renting out different offices, it created a good income stream for them.”
Educating clients—and brokers—about Manulife One
Hayes acknowledges that Manulife One isn’t for everyone, and when she does identify a client that can benefit from the added flexibility, she often needs to put a little more effort into educating them on how it works.
“I explain to clients that they’re going to be approved for a total lending limit, and to think of it like a really good full-service checking account with a giant overdraft, and underneath that they can carve out a mortgage,” she says. “Then I talk to them about the flexibility of it and I explain the banking fee.”
Mortgage brokers looking to learn more about Manulife One should start by reaching out to the company’s business development managers, advises Hayes, whom she typically employs to review files before sending them to her clients.
“Manulife Bank management has put a lot of effort into making the product competitive and have people there to help us talk through new deals and scenarios,” she says. “My business development manager always answers the phone when I call, and he’s a huge resource.”
Hayes says she takes a lot of pride in being a trusted product advisor for her clients as they navigate one of the most financially significant decisions of their lives.
“I just focus on doing what’s best for clients, and finding the best products for them, which is one of the reasons why I do a lot of work with Manulife Bank,” she says. “I think it’s a great mortgage product—it’s the mortgage I have on my own home—and I like to help people build wealth through real estate.”