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Have you ever been to a party and overheard a conversation where someone learns that the person they are talking to is a professional? The person then begins asking for advice and wanting to know answers to his current predicament.  The professional will most likely deflect the question and encourage him to book an appointment.

There are all sorts of variations of this type of public interaction with many professions including dentists, doctors, accountants, realtors, lawyers, mechanics, etc. The responses from all are generally non-committal.  You get what you pay for.

So, how does this work when the service I provide to my clients is free? After all, time is money.  My time is valuable and limited.  I only get paid if the mortgage goes through so I need to know my client is committed.

In meeting new clients, I have found that when you are being mined for information, it’s important to determine if the questions are casual curiosity or feeling you out to see if you’re credible. If it feels like it could turn into something more, move on to the next step.  Get a firm commitment. Once committed, I will willingly educate and provide the best service out there while a “rate shopper” will get bare basics.

The truth is there is value in giving free advice. It makes me feel good helping people so I do give away some advice for free.  I give seminars, write blog posts, answer questions on LinkedIn and answer questions on other blog posts.  I also contribute relevant topics and insights to Facebook and Twitter.

Is all this free stuff enough? No, people still need to talk to me.  Most people don’t spend their time filling their brain with the knowledge and skills about mortgages and the whole mortgage industry, just like I don’t fill my head with the mechanical workings of my vehicle.  It is a wiser use of my time and money to hire someone else who is an expert in this field.

Part of the reason I help people get mortgages is because when I do a good job, I feel like I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of my clients. The feeling of satisfaction is off the charts.

I like to help people!