It’s a message that reverberated from one end of The Mortgage Summit to the other, with speaker after speaker calling on brokers to choose sides – are you focused on service or rates?
“You can’t be a rates person and a service person,” Top 50 broker Calum Ross told delegates on the first day of the Toronto event at the downtown Carlu, drawing 500 brokers and industry players from across the country. “Doing both probably isn’t going to work.”
The comments came during one of 25-plus sessions over the two-day event, presented by Home Trust and hosted by CMP, focused on bringing brokers together to help each other, but also to map out solutions to some of the challenges facing their industry. Brokers gathered information and made connections that will help them provide even better service to their customers and in turn, grow their business.
“We’re proud to be the title sponsor of The Mortgage Summit,” said Tom Trenouth, assistant VP, Business Development, Home Trust. “Since we deal exclusively with brokers across Canada this is a great venue for us to showcase our products and services and support the broker community in Canada.”
Over the two days, brokers heard directly from top industry executives, such as Ron Swift of Pacific Mortgage Group, Michael Beckette from Mortgage Alliance Canada and Paul Therien from Centum Financial who appeared on the opening keynote panel to discuss such issues as impending OSFI guidelines and how the industry can better market itself to consumers.
“This event is a huge opportunity for mortgage brokers, especially those who are starting out in the industry,” said Equitable Trust’s Harry Singh. “It gives them the opportunity to meet people and get a comprehensive view of what the industry is all about, learn about trends affecting brokers and it’s a tremendous educational opportunity for new as well as seasoned brokers.”
Jacquie Carstensen, a broker with Mortgage Architects, commented on the advantage of having so many brokers and industry people in one place. “It’s a great event for keeping up with what’s going on in our workplace and environment and the lending world and the mortgage industry in particular. And of course seeing some old friends and getting to collaborate in one place, since we don’t often get to connect in person.”
For Paul Grewal, president of Street Capital Financial, The Mortgage Summit was a win-win for brokers and lenders.
“For brokers, the advantage of coming here is that you get to learn from other brokers. A lot of the panel sessions have been brokers assisting other brokers to become better at running their businesses and helping customers. For lenders, I think the value is that we’ve got a lot of brokers here, these are our customers and for us it’s important to advise them of new products and services that we have.”
Other sessions at The Mortgage Summit included discussions about brokers differentiating themselves on something more than rate, led by broker Peter Kinch, strategies for winning over consumers in the face of online competition, led by Robert McLister, a review of ongoing regulation issues, featuring CAAMP president Jim Murphy and the event’s final session which featured a spirited discussion of the relationship between brokers, underwriters and BDMs.
More topics covered, such as collateral charges, stewardship of young agents and Internet sales kicked off active debate between panelists and delegates, but the challenge of fighting and winning the rate wars, said one broker “was always the elephant in the room.”
A model almost entirely focused on rate and buy-downs often used to win high volumes is a viable one, said Ross, and other brokers taking to two stages. But professionals centering their offerings on high-level service are less susceptible to the vagaries of today’s interest rates.
“If all you have is the ability to get rates done,” said Ross, you're no different from the other guy who can do the same."
Tweeting @ The Mortgage Summit
The Twittersphere was abuzz with thousands of Tweets being sent throughout The Mortgage Summit, with delegates extolling the benefits of attendance as well as letting those who were unable to attend know what they were missing.
2 JunMichael Cameron @axiommike
Good morning Toronto. Had a good inaugural summit#cmpmortgagesummit off to see Jays this afternoon.
1 JunKarim Talib @KTALIB
Had a great time on the panel discussing regulations at#CMPMortgageSummit
1 JunGord McCallum @gordmccallum
“If you’re in an industry pay attention to your industry.” - Nick K. Changes coming Brokers! Heads up. #CMPmortgagesummit
1 JunNat Ng @FindMeAMortgage
Exciting panel of underwriters & underwriting team of major lenders talking on credit decision #Cmpmortgagesummithttp://pic.twitter.com/66g3lklw
31 MayLisa Theriault @ottawamortgage
Just learned of another lender out there that does 80% LTV on stated income for self-employed clients! Good day at the#CMPMortgageSummit
31 MaySafe Money Mortgages @SafeMortgages
People are defined in their moment of weakness not their moments of strengths. - Calum Ross #CMPMortgageSummit
31 MayTwyla Verhelst @mortgagetwyla
Thanks to all who are tweeting fr the #CMPMortgageSummit I’m sad I’m missing this event but love that my colleagues are sharing the content
31 MayBrian Matthey @Mortpro
#CMPMortgageSummit investing in myself and still learning.Too busy to attend?Such a shame-good content
31 MayMichael Mullis @MT_MikeMullis
@pasain: Just heard someone say “this is the best panel I’ve heard in far too long” #CMPMortgageSummit #whatsyourVAP.... AGREED
31 MayJackson Middleton @KiltedBroker
Great discussion about the viability of the Broker Channel#CMPMortgageSummit cost, relationships and compensation on the table