Bozic and Williamson lead 'raw' webinar on rate wars

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Merix’s Boris Bozic and industry trainer Greg Williamson will lead hundreds of brokers in a discussion on what may be the two biggest challenges on the collective horizon – bully banks and the broker channel’s low profile.

“We are going raw and uncut,” the Calgary broker and motivational speaker told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Boris is going to talk frankly about our two biggest threats in the industry today: one, two-thirds of Canadians don't know anything about what mortgage brokers do; and two, the banks and their hard core rate competition.”

Overcoming those two hurdles will be the focus of Williamson’s latest webinar this Thursday, part of his free series 180 DEGREES ACADEMY - Winning the Rate War. Bozic will help lead the discussion, reiterating his own concerns about the challenges ahead for brokers, but also how the industry as a group can get past them.

Williamson has already used earlier webinars to map out key strategies to help brokers retain or even expand market share, even as the banks up their own retention strategies.

A significant weapon in that arsenal, he told MortgageBrokerNews, is an Inflation Hedge Strategy, which effectively uses a software program to set out regular prepayment plan for clients -- one specifically tailored to the ebbs and flows of rates in the marketplace.

Williamson has also tried to steer brokers away from buying down rate in order to maintain originations and refis as the banks get more aggressive.

“What most brokers need to hear, and need to change, is getting better at closing deals,” he said. “We have to get to the point of saying that we’re not always going to have the best rate, but we’re always adding value.”

On his own blog, Bozic has argued much the same thing, in addition to being one of the first to publicly address the idea of a national advertising campaign entirely focused on elevating the profile of mortgage brokers with consumers.

More recently, agents and brokers have begun to call for Merix and other monolines to help in that effort.

“Indeed, I think that there needs to be a push to educate consumers on just what a monoline lender is,” Dustan Woodhouse, broker with Dominion Lending Centres Canadian Mortgage Experts on B.C.’s Lower Mainland, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “They are pretty much invisible to the consumer currently.

“The non-bank lenders do not do any significant advertising promoting the channel that brings them business or even of themselves. Thus in the minds of most consumers, when they hear names MCAP, Street, First National, etc., they lump them in with the heavily advertised local B lenders.”

That lack of clarity makes it harder for brokers focused on A deals to sell clients on monoline lending as a legitimate and safe alternative to TD, Scotia and National Bank, but also the big banks working outside the broker channel, said Woodhouse, one of this year’s CMP Top 50.

Ostensibly, Thursday’s webinar will touch on the pros and cons of any advertising or marketing campaign geared to helping brokers win the rate wars.

“Boris and I together are going to make an impact on this webinar,” Williamson told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.

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