5 Open-Ended Questions to Ask Your Clients

March 2, 2020

Client Interviewing tips 

Starting out as a new Mortgage Agent, there is a lot of new information to take in and new processes to get used to.  Learning how to conduct a thorough client interview and take a proper application is key to hitting the ground running.  Successful Mortgage Agents provide full, detailed applications and clearly demonstrate that they know their client.

How do you do that effectively?

Ask ‘open-ended’ questions.  Then listen, and take notes. 

Here are 5 basic questions to ask your client to help you gather the information you need:

Question 1: “Tell me about your credit history.

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • How long they have had credit
  • How they pay their credit, i.e. paying minimum payment or full balances
  • Whether they have missed payments
  • If they have co-signed any loans
  • If they have had any collections, judgments, support payments, bankruptcies
  • Whether they have filed/paid their income taxes and are they up to date on property taxes


Question 2: “Tell me about your income.

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • All sources of income
  • If they are self employed, how the business is set up, i.e. sole proprietorship or incorporated
  • How long have they been at their current and previous jobs
  • How stable and consistent is their income


Question 3: “Tell me about your property.

Depending on whether it’s a new purchase or refinance, your follow-up questions should cover:

  • What type of property is it, i.e. owner occupied, rental, mixed use
  • How long have they lived there
  • Any improvements they have done or improvements needed
  • Unique features of the home
  • Known negatives, e.g. previous fire or flood damage


Question 4: “Tell me about your future plans and goals.

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • How long they intend to stay in their home
  • Whether they expect lump sums of income, e.g. work bonuses, inheritance
  • Any anticipated job changes
  • Expected changes to family, e.g. newborn children or college costs


Question 5: “Tell me what’s important to you about your mortgage.

Your follow-up questions should cover whether their priorities include:

  • Flexible payment options
  • Prepayment penalties
  • Portable/assumable
  • Lowest payment vs quickest payoff


An effective Mortgage Agent will take the time to have a thorough conversation with their clients, personalize the experience by asking the right questions, and then listen.  Once you have a complete picture of your client’s situation, you can readily place them with the lender with whom they have the best fit.


Register for Magenta's back-end portal to access useful forms and tools


About Magenta Capital Corporation
Established in 1994, Magenta Capital Corporation (MCC) is one of Canada’s oldest and largest Mortgage Investment Corporation (MIC) managers.  MCC sources, underwrites and manages a portfolio of primarily residential first mortgages, secured by properties located in Eastern and Southwestern Ontario, two of the strongest, most recession resistant real estate markets in the country. MCC has a 23-year track record of generating superior returns for the shareholders of Magenta Group MICs.  MCC exercises oversight responsibility for the Magenta Group MICs in its capacity as General Partner of three limited partnerships, each of which is wholly owned by one of the MICs.
For more information, call us at 888-267-1744 or  visit Magentainvestment.ca.