As exciting as Instagram has made the world of real estate, the purchasing of property is still the largest purchase for most Canadians and requires a level of attention that many of my clients have not completely prepared themselves for.     I have often found that clients believe that real estate is an easy process once you have secured your down payment and your credit score is ideal. These are factors are still important and allow client's to provide the lowest rates of borrowing. But how does one determine the appropriate mortgage professional to entrust with your new home?     Is this individual licensed to provide you with solutions and advice?     Always ensure that the individual is licensed with whatever governing body issues licenses in your region. More often than you may realize, there are many individuals providing advice and products that are illegal, inaccurate, and not in the favour of the client. I have found the individuals who do this have lost their license to misconduct or other factors that no longer qualify them to provide mortgage services. If this is the reason for someone not holding a license, avoid them at all costs. The risk is never worth it. Regardless of what they may promise you.     Does this person have an active social media presence or website?     It is abnormal for any business professional to have no social media or web presence simply because it has become an effective method to meet potential clients, share with their network what they have been doing, provide value to those who are unsure of working with them, the affordability attached to it, and other features that simply only work in our favour. You should feel as if there is an organic and professional attempt to highlight to share their personal and business life with you. The financial industry is built upon trust and anyone who fails to make themselves visible should be carefully considered.     What type of security measures do they have in place to protect your information?     When you are prepared to apply for your mortgage, you will need to ensure that the information you have provided will be seen by only the invested parties in your application and that the information is stored in a way that is sensitive to protecting you. Systems can be hacked. You will want to ensure that there is attention to protecting all details you provide to them. Your mortgage professional is required to store your information for seven years. Make sure that are comfortable with the precautions taken.     Can they validate the relationship they have with lenders?     Mortgage Professionals are only as strong as their lending partnerships. One of the true advantages of working with a Mortgage Professional is the relationships with lending institutions that they cultivate to obtain the best rates and terms for their clients. This field is a relationship field. Although 'name-dropping' is still frowned upon, you'll need to ensure that they have spent enough time in the industry to build strong relationships with others in the industry. Essentially, this is the asset value of Mortgage Professionals.     Have they considered your objectives over the next three to five years?     Regardless of your current financial situation, you will want to ensure that you have firstly expressed your goals moving forward and that your Mortgage Professional expresses through the product offered how they have kept your requirements in mind. For example, if you are renewing your mortgage now and know that you will be retiring and selling your property in three years; your Mortgage Professional should provide you with a three year mortgage so that you do not have to break the existing term, even if the rate is higher. Mortgages are far more than the rate that you are offered. Breaking your mortgage can be a costly figure and avoiding that is the objective of an experienced Mortgage Professional. We need to know how to tailor your product to your needs and our questions should address all details that are of importance.     Can they provide referrals of past clients?     If they have been providing great service consistently, it should not be difficult to discuss the experience with others that have benefited from their relationship. You will want to ensure that they are intentional and forthcoming with how their clients perceive their services, pricing, and processes. Do your best to find out as much as possible about this individual before proceeding too quickly.     Are they professional in their approach to your mortgage needs? Even if you are currently in the ideal financial situation?     One of the advantages of working with a Mortgage Professional is their ability to provide financing options to those who have bruised credit, income verification concerns, distressed or emergency scenarios. Whether your situation is ideal or not should never speak to the level of attention and respect your Mortgage Professional provides. Life can happen to anyone and you should never feel shamed or embarrassed for a situation your are actively looking to improve. Your Mortgage Professional should be compassionate and forthcoming with short term and long term solutions.     Are they clear regarding the cost of their service?     Mortgage Professionals do charge clients for their services for a few reasons. Presuming the reasoning is ethical, you are benefiting from their cultivated relationships with lenders and you have the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars as a result. When priced properly and disclosed properly, there is often merit in the cost.     If you found this information to be helpful, be sure to share it with someone that you believe would benefit!