Ambitious agents chasing broker licenses

Ambitious agents chasing broker licenses

Ambitious agents chasing broker licenses

It’s a trend that may ultimately enhance the industry’s credibility, say advocates, but an increasing number of agents are training for broker licenses even before they’ve been two years in the business – a way of building on their own personal credibility as competition with the banks and other mortgage professionals grows.

“I’m actively planning to get my broker’s license,” Issac Jirjis, a Toronto agent with MortgageBrokers.com and now 16 months in the business. “Being a broker is a valuable designation that should help to increase my marketability and elevate my profile in a very competitive market."

It is, in fact, a growing trend according to stats from Ontario’s regulator, pointing to a more than seven per cent growth in the number of new brokers over the last year. They’re mortgage professionals with anywhere from two to 20 years of experience, and while a small number represent brokers from other provinces, the vast majority are Ontario agents who’ve taken the required Seneca College courses before sitting for the licensing exam.

The online and in-class instruction is focused on meeting the province’s Mortgage Broker Qualifying Standards (MBQS), through theoretical and practical components. The goal is to arm agents with greater compliance knowledge, supervisory skills, but also the ethics, conflict of interest and best practices basics needed to assume principal broker duties, including fiduciary ones. While agents with less than two years’ experience can enrol in the classes, they must wait until they've crossed that threshold to take the exam.

Still, the growing number of agents looking to make the leap to broker is being driven by younger professionals like Jirjis, keen to improve their marketability. The more usual course of events has been for even high-volume seasoned agents to get broker licenses only if and when they're prepared to strike out on their own.

Several Ontario mortgage professionals on this year’s CMP Top 50 are, in fact, agents.

But even agents with advanced degrees in business are actively considering taking on the broker license, a way of better defining themselves in the minds of clients and officially assuming the title “broker” in their marketing efforts.

“I’ve thought about it, but it’s really been a matter of priorities,” Andrea Meynell, an Ontario agent and MBA, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It would make it easier in terms of putting ‘mortgage broker’ on a business card. But I find that with the vast majority of clients, it’s less about your title and more about what you can do for them.”

Still, Jirjis and others argue it’s in the industry’s best interest to bump up the percentage of mortgage professionals licensed as brokers – a way of better differentiating independent mortgage professionals from bank reps.

“It’s the way everybody should be going in this industry,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I realize that education does cost money and perhaps takes time away from closing deals, but I see it as an investment.”
 

8 Comments
  • Larry Rachlin 2011-10-06 6:58:28 AM
    It is time that FSCO mandated compulsory education for licensed mortgage agents. Professionalism is related to education as well as performance. Any agent who cannot show that he/she is not currently progressing towards becoming a broker should have their license suspended until they meet the ongoing requirements. It is absurd to have more than six people working under the supervision of a single broker. The remedy is to mandate eduction. Those who are committed to professionalism will meet the requirements. The others seek another career.
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  • AB Mortgage Broker 2011-10-06 7:18:20 AM
    Perhaps I'm missing something here. Just because I pass the broker course doesn't make me anymore credible than an associate. If you think that's your ticket to instant credibility, time for a reality check. What good is a broker's license without a brokerage? The brokerage course deals more with day to day operation of the brokerage, compliance, etc...

    Our industry does not need a bunch of associates to take the broker's license who are going to run out on their own because "I can earn more commission". What the industry needs is ethics, morals and integrity and a broker license doesn't provide you with any over the above. I do agree that we as an industry need to raise the bar. And like I say in all my posts, the big brokerage houses need to take a stance and quit providing the rift raft with a place to do business.

    On with the mortgage revolution!
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  • Paul Mangion 2011-10-06 8:54:42 AM
    If you are doing it for self improvement to make you a better agent then my hat goes off to you. But unfortunately it has become a lot easier to get the broker designation now then in the past and two years of experience does not make you qualified to hire a new team of agents let alone provide training for them. It is this intention combined with many super brokers poor qualification standards that will do more harm than good.
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