Interview written and conducted by Daniela Da Silva, Canadian Banking Communications
As competition amongst home buyers heats up in major Canadian markets like Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces , lenders are working harder than ever to offer unique, competitive solutions that will enable more home buyers to purchase their dream home. Scotiabank pushed the boundaries this year with the introduction of a fully digital mortgage experience called Scotiabank eHOME, allowing potential home buyers to apply online, track their status and know the instant they’re approved.
We sat down with Janet Boyle, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending at Scotiabank, who led the development and launch of Scotiabank eHOME. Janet was recently recognized as one of Canadian Mortgage Professional (CMP) Magazine’s Women of Influence for 2019 as a trailblazer in the industry and for her work on Scotiabank eHOME. Here’s what she shared:
Daniela: How did you get started in the financial services industry? Were you always in the mortgage space?
Janet: I’ve always been passionate about finding ways to help customers reach their financial goals, whether it’s becoming a homeowner or funding a small business. I actually started my career at the Toronto Contact Centre as part of a team that was piloting telephone banking – yes telephone banking! Since then, I’ve enjoyed so many diverse and interesting roles at the Bank including operations, complaint management, and risk management. I love the responsibility of running a product line and I transitioned to the unsecured lending portfolio for personal and small business in 2011. After a few years, I joined the Real Estate Secured Lending team and here I am today!
Daniela: What do you love about working at Scotiabank?
Janet: I’ve been with Scotiabank for more than 20 years now, and I’m proud to be part of a team that works together to look for new ways to add value for our customers. 2019 has been a milestone year for us, as our team launched Scotiabank eHOME, a unique digital mortgage experience that modernizes how Canadians can get a mortgage.
Scotiabank eHOME helps Canadians apply for a mortgage completely online, track the application status through real-time updates, and complete the closing with a lawyer without requiring an in-person appointment with a mortgage specialist or financial advisor. This was a huge step forward in the Bank’s digital transformation strategy and a significant source of personal pride.
Daniela: What do you find most interesting about the mortgage space right now?
Janet: Everything! I’m excited about how we’re innovating by leveraging technology to digitize the mortgage experience, making it easier and more convenient for home buyers to find and finance their dream home. We are also looking to take friction points out of the entire home ownership experience, which goes beyond the home purchase and supports the various delivery channels we operate in. I like to encourage my team to think outside the box and I’m happy we are able to create solutions that address some real pain points for our customers.
Daniela: What is a typical day like for you as a leader at Scotiabank?
Janet: I’m laughing at this question because I don’t think I’ve had a ‘typical’ day in the last five years that I’ve been in the mortgage business! I always start my day checking the news to see if anything has happened overnight in the markets, real estate or technology, that can have an impact on Scotiabank. As a team, we spend time every day looking for big and small ways to improve the customer experience. Having a “customer first” mindset is at the core of what it means to be a Scotiabanker. I also spend part of each day with people – either mentoring, coaching or trying to help someone. One of my personal philosophies is that you have to give to get, so it’s really important to me that I spend time giving to others in some way.
Daniela: This month you were recognized as one of the CMP Women of Influence 2019. What does this acknowledgement mean to you?
Janet: I was incredibly honoured to be recognized by the industry in this way and to be featured with so many inspiring and fantastic women in the field. I am a huge advocate and supporter of the advancement of women, and I myself am an active member in multiple sponsorship and leadership committees. I feel it’s so important to give time to other women in this industry and mentor those starting out or building their careers – that also extends to my team. I believe the key to building high performing teams is creating an environment where people feel valued, motivated and supported. I am also extremely thankful to those leaders who have taken the time to guide me on my own career journey, truly highlighting the importance of both mentorship and sponsorship opportunities.
Daniela: What advice would you give your 22-year old self?
Janet: Be cool. Everything’s going to be alright! In other words, relax and don’t be so hard on yourself.
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