I walk in my client’s shoes. It’s not just the mortgage, but the whole experience of buying a property. Often, I will provide opinion of what and where to buy, provide advice about the house buying process, and discuss the associated risks with our clients.

I will help them understand the economic environment, what’s happening with interest rates and housing and what that might mean for them. I don’t just look at the here and now of how to get them approved, I encourage them to look forward and plan their future. What are their long term goals and plans; are they starting a family, getting divorced, keen to retire early or building an empire? How does this decision fit into those plans?

I know about leaky buildings and P contamination and how to complete a Sale & Purchase agreement, the difference between freehold and cross-lease, how to read LIM reports, and I can provide feedback on valuations and building reports.

Of course, I need to arrange, price and compare the mortgage. I must also ensure the entire mortgage process runs smoothly across solicitors, accountants, inspectors, valuers, and banks often with tight deadlines.

On an ongoing basis, my clients will seek my view on interest rates and house prices and whether they should buy or sell or invest. I will help them with fixed rate rollovers. I will also be there, just in case they need me when something goes wrong. Sometimes it does.

For business owners, I am doing all of this and more. I’m thinking about their business, and its cash flow, and how the whole picture fits together.

For most people, they are trusting me with the biggest financial commitment of their life. This is an honour I don’t take lightly.

John Bolton is the mortgage practitioner director of Financial Advice NZ and CEO of Squirrel. The original of this post can be found here.