When Cait Holmes learned she had been named one of Canadian Mortgage Professional’s 2021 Women of Influence, the first thing she did was run upstairs and share the news with her family.
“It’s very important to me to be of service to others, whether in my work as a mortgage broker or through my nonprofit, River Kids, and that’s the kind of life I want to model for my children,” says Cait. “It was such an honour to have my efforts recognized on a national level.”
Cait was nominated for the award by a peer in the industry, and was one of 82 Canadian women chosen for the honour out of 340 nominated. Cait believes she was nominated for her tireless commitment to her clients, and also because of the positive contribution she is making through River Kids, which provides financial support to qathet families when their children are going through life-threatening medical challenges.
“Helping people is a big part of my personal code of ethics,” she says. “I make it a priority both professionally and personally, and while it’s thrilling to be recognized for that commitment, that’s not why I do it. I do it because it’s the right thing.”
Cait runs the Powell River satellite office of Mortgage Designers, a brokerage based in Victoria, which also won the prestigious President’s Award in both 2020 and 2021.
“The President’s Award goes to a brokerage that has funded over $100 million in volume,” says Cait. “Winning the award gives the whole brokerage access to the best underwriters, rates and turnaround times for our clients. With rates changing as quickly as they are, having that kind of commitment from our lenders means we can help our clients get the right mortgage at a great rate very quickly.”
Using a mortgage broker for financing a new home purchase or refinancing or renewing a mortgage allows clients to compare and contrast the products and rates across a multitude of lenders, says Cait, and with the changes in the industry wrought by the pandemic, it makes sense to look at all your options.
“I work for my clients, not for any particular bank or lender,” she says. “I have a legal obligation to look out for your best interests. We’re in a competitive market, and it’s important to know what options you have as quickly as possible.”
As part of her commitment to customer service, Cait has hired an assistant to handle some of the day-to-day business of the brokerage while she focuses on helping her clients.
“I have a personal service standard that I will get back to any business-hour enquiry within an hour, and I’ll respond to any outside-business-hours enquiry within an hour of getting back to the office,” she says. “I pride myself on timely communication with my clients. In this market and with things changing as fast as they are, knowing your mortgage broker will get back to you quickly can put your mind at ease.”
Part of her quick turnaround comes from a seamless, virtual intake process. Clients upload the complete package of information to her secure website, and she’s able to use her extensive knowledge of lenders and products to find the right fit for the client’s situation.
“Powell River’s market has changed a lot over the last five years, and it’s important to understand that when it comes to mortgages,” she says. “To best serve my clients, I have to be accessible and communicate well, and that’s the goal I set for myself every day. I strive to be a leader in our industry, and the person qathet residents go to with questions about mortgages.”