Aws Amro - February 2020

February 2020


By Aws Amro


I’m Aws, and I’m BOLD BOLD is a sales training program for real estate agents that Keller Williams holds in different cities throughout North America. This organization has had a huge impact on my personal life and professional career. By attending BOLD’s events, I’ve amassed a wealth of friendships and knowledge that have paid dividends over the last three years. During these events, the coordinators group agents (myself included) into teams to participate in activities. In my first BOLD,

retirement, I emailed my manager saying, “Shotgun that assistant!” The rest is history. Now, I handle all the client interactions, and she does the paperwork and applications in the back end. Since I’m not bogged down from the paperwork anymore, I close a lot more business. At this last BOLD event, my aha! moment was about databases. The event opened my eyes to the importance of having systemized follow-ups with past clients and real estate agents I work with. What made it so clear was when I mentioned to the group I was with the 0% Down Payment Program available through all lenders now in Canada. This program was out for at least six months when I brought it up, yet none of the real estate agents knew about it. That means they don’t get policy updates from the person they currently refer business to. From there, the goal of having a newsletter for my previous clients and real estate agents was born. So, if there is anything in particular you want covered in this newsletter, let me know! I want this to be a monthly resource for you to ensure that you are armed with information and financing is a strength in your business.

I was grouped with Karen McClintock. We quickly became friends, and weeks after the event ended, I asked her to go for coffee. As we were chatting, she mentioned that she and The Oakes Team do open houses every week. Then, I started doing open houses with Karen. Through those open houses and engaging with customers, I learned a lot about the agent’s side of this business. Over the years, Karen and I have done a lot of business together. “The event opened my eyes to the importance of having systemized follow-ups with past clients and real estate agents I work with.” During my second BOLD event, the Bold Law that stuck with me was “Life By Design.” The top mortgage specialist at RBC in Ottawa at the time was retiring, and one of his assistants needed a job. The assistant had worked with him for seven years, so she had a lot of experience. At the time, I needed help with my least favorite part of my job: paperwork. After the mortgage specialist announced his

1 613-793-7930

Emails are a time suck. As you read through the subject lines, you wonder how your time can be better spent. Kevin Rose, entrepreneur and founder of, discovered an interesting way to limit the time he spends replying to emails, and it’s extremely simple. All you have to do is end all emails with “Sent from my smartphone.” 3 Tips to Make Emailing a Breeze Why does this make a difference? According to Rose, he found that people have different expectations based on whether emails are sent from mobile devices or computers. Presumably, any email that doesn’t include the tag “Sent from my smartphone” is sent from a computer with a full keyboard and your full attention. As it turns out, people don’t mind short, to-the-point emails if you reply on the go. The best part is that you can add the “Sent from my smartphone” from any device. You can add the signoff manually when you need a quick fix or add it to your signature. You no longer have to waste time writing paragraphs in response. Instead, you can limit your responses to single words or short phrases. This is helpful when you need to send someone a quick answer to keep things moving but you’re not interested in getting into the details then and there. In other words, you can buy yourself time until you can focus on a more thought-out response. Leo Laporte, host of the “This Week in Tech” (“TWiT”) podcast, has another suggestion: Tell people you don’t read emails. Of course, you do read emails, but the world doesn’t need to know it. This is a great way to cut down on the number of emails waiting in your inbox. Finally, set aside time to do an email purge. Look at the people and businesses that are sending you emails, decide which ones you don’t read anymore, and unsubscribe. Depending on the size of your inbox, this can take time, but it’s worth it. You’ll receive fewer emails, which means you won’t spend hours scrolling through your inbox, and that can save you time and money in the long run. NO MORE SPAM EMAILS!

I grew up in Jordan but came to Canada in 2001 when I was 18 to go to university. From a young age, I was interested in money, so I majored in finance at the University of Ottawa. One day, I was reading “Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ” by Robert Kiyosaki, which poses the question of why banks lend millions — sometimes billions — to some people and not others. I couldn’t shake my fascination with this question. Beyond wanting to know how bankers look at things, I also wanted to hone my sales skills. Since my passion is connecting with people and building genuine friendships and lasting trust, I read all kinds of books about first impressions, body language, personality types, and influence. When I graduated, I was determined to get a sales job in a bank, and sure enough, I started as a teller then a personal banker at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where I spent my time opening bank accounts, issuing credit cards, referring mortgages, and overseeing investments. I was getting paid to learn all about credit applications and finances. It was a dream job. When a client walks into an RBC branch, meets with a banking advisor, and inquires about a mortgage, that advisor refers the matter to mortgage specialists. The advisors don’t do it themselves. This is different than all the other banks out there because typically, personal bankers at other banks do mortgages that come their way. Because I referred a lot of files to the mortgage specialist in my branch, he took me out for lunch one day to show his appreciation and asked me about my future plans with the bank. To my surprise, he told me the next day that My Journey to Mortgages MY ORIGIN STORY

he thought I would make a great mortgage specialist. “You’re good with clients, and they listen to you,” he told me. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it, but it was a big jump because I would be going from a steady salaried position to a job where my income was 100% commission.

In the end, I decided to take the leap, and what a fantastic journey it has been! I’ve been a mortgage specialist for eight years now. My goal is to get clients approved as smoothly and as quickly as possible. I don’t own golf clubs or a boat; my hobbies include processing mortgages and answering your and your clients’ calls on the first ring. Give me a call — I am always available.

0% DOWN PAYMENT IS BACK! Is This Program Right for Your Clients?

Default insurance premiums for this non-traditional down payment is slightly higher at 4.5% vs 4.00% for traditional down payment sources. It is easier for your clients to work directly with the bank when applying for this program. The reason is because a mobile mortgage specialist at the bank can oversee both the loan application and the mortgage application. If the clients work with a broker, he or she will need to refer the loan portion to a bank employee, which means your client will be dealing with two people, the broker for the mortgage and the bank for the loan. This is more complicated than a one-stop shop here at RBC.

CMHC, Genworth, and Canada Guarantee reintroduced the Borrowed Funds program for down payments. That means that your clients can now get a house even if they have not saved the minimum down payment. The way this works is the bank will lend the minimum down payment amount required via a loan, and lend the rest of the amount via a mortgage. For example, if the client is buying a home for $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%. The client would come to the bank and we would do a loan for $25,000 and a mortgage for the rest. The clients debt to income ratios have to be within standard guidelines taking the loan payment into account. The loan can also be used to consolidate debts that the client has and that will improve the client’s debt to income ratio and cashflow.

While this is a fantastic program, it doesn’t lack complexities. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out anytime. TAKE A BREAK

Aws Amro RBC Royal Bank

1910, St Laurent Blvd Ottawa, ON K1G1A4 Cell: 613-793-7930 Email:



I’m Aws, and I’m BOLD

3 Tips to Make Emailing a Breeze How I Became a Mortgage Specialist


0% Down Payment is Back

Generation Z is Coming — Are You Ready?

MARKET TO GEN Z Have you started marketing to Generation Z yet? You should be. The oldest members of this generation — usually defined as people born during the mid-1990s to early 2000s — are starting to enter the workforce. By 2020, around 40 percent of consumer buying power will come from Gen Z. Companies need to think about how to reach them — preferably without making the same mistakes they made when marketing to millennials. LEARN WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS AT, AND WHY Gen Z grew up in an internet-focused world, but that doesn’t mean you can reach them through Facebook or email. Younger social media users gravitate to video-based platforms like YouTube or TikTok. On these apps, content feels more “real” because it is made by users for users. This preference shapes their buying habits. A survey from Business Insider found that only 49 percent of Gen Zers shop online once a month, a steep decline from the 74 percent of millennials who regularly make online purchases. Fifty-eight percent of the Gen Zers surveyed said they preferred brick-and-mortar shopping because they “wanted to see and feel the product.” DON’T BE ‘HIP’ There have been countless embarrassing attempts to get “on the level” with millennials, from a pizza company misunderstanding a trending hashtag about domestic violence to a presidential

Without Repeating Past Mistakes campaign asking people to use emojis to describe how they feel about student loan debt. These disasters produced major backlash because they were inappropriate, condescending, and insincere. Stay true to your brand persona and think twice before you approve an ad that riffs on a popular meme or claims your product is a “big mood.” millennials came from trying to market to “Millennials” — in other words, they relied on stereotypes to plan campaigns. Don’t make the same mistake with the 61 million Gen Zers about to enter the workforce. As president and founder of Red Fan Communications, Kathleen Lucente, puts it, “It’s more about understanding a set of behaviors, communication preferences, spending habits, brand affinities, and loyalties. Using terms like ‘millennial’ or ‘Gen Z’ might be easy, but they shouldn’t be applied to marketing when there are myriad other ways to understand behavior.” Marketers need to up their game when it comes to reaching this next generation — a generation who spent years watching companies clumsily attempt to connect with their millennial parents or siblings. Gen Z can spot insincere or manipulative marketing a mile away. REMEMBER THAT ‘GEN Z’ ISN’T A DEMOGRAPHIC Many of the mistakes companies made when marketing to



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