Broker channel bank offers referrals to Realtors

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An email from National Bank promising commissions for Realtors who bring referrals directly to a branch will likely upset its broker partners.

“From the standpoint of supporting someone and then finding out that they’re going over your head or trying to cut into your business it just doesn’t make sense,” Mark Fidgett of Verico NotaPennyDown told “I hope as an industry we can respond as a group because one-offs just don’t do it; they won’t care.”

Fidgett received an email from a Realtor referral source that was sent from a National Bank mortgage development manager to Realtors soliciting direct referrals.

That National Bank employee refused to comment on the referral program.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the bank,” Helen Prasad, mortgage development manager for National Bank told “The information you received was for Realtors that were in some way in my database through business or through other means but to find out any more details you’d have to contact National Bank; as you know at a bank we are not at liberty to talk about bank policies unless it’s with our contacts.”

The original email, obtained by  contained information on how the referral system works:
•             Meeting is set with the client at the location of their choice
•             The client’s file is processed quickly, Realtor is advised of status      
•             The file is followed up until the funds are disbursed
•             Referral Commission is sent to the real estate office after closing
This isn’t the first time such offers have been circulated to real estate agents, and brokers will likely see this as a snub from the lender, which relies on brokers for a great deal of its mortgage originations.

“I don’t like it and I don’t think any brokers will,” Fidgett said. “I think it’s going to drive a lot of brokers to really think about who they are supporting.”

Calls to a National Bank rep were not returned.
  • Mike on 2015-05-15 9:44:34 AM

    And this is news, NBC has paid realtors for years, because when you have a product like theirs you need to give some incentive. Other banks have points, what is the big deal. I tend to give the realtors who send me business client referrals. So do you want a BBQ or do you want to earn $8000? I think the math is pretty simple. Funny how most realtors don't get it. They should be lining up to get me to send them business but I never get a realtor calling on me and I am the one that has the clients.

  • James on 2015-05-15 9:49:25 AM

    It ain't rocket science. Any broker who thinks and continues to think a Bank is their buddy and is too lazy to source alternatives is ....

  • Mike on 2015-05-15 9:59:16 AM

    ....but banks are my best friends. They make is so easy for us to look good without even trying hard. Just picking up the phone and not having voice mail hell puts us way ahead.

  • John Dunford on 2015-05-15 9:59:49 AM

    You should work in Quebec. The Banks pay Real Estate Brokers for every lead they send them, that go through. From .50%to 1% depending on the institution. Mortgage brokers are requested to share their commissions with the realtor. You then work hard for very little. To me this is a conflict of interest on the part of the Real Estate Broker.

  • crybaby on 2015-05-15 10:17:54 AM

    Why should we begrudge National Bank for branching out to another channel to generate business? Good for them. Every one of you would do the exact same thing if you were National Bank (and if you didn't you are not working in the interest of your shareholders so your ass should be fired).
    For those mortgage brokers who have an issue with this, my advise is to get their realtor's licence and send your deals to National Bank as a realtor and earn 50bps for just supplying a name and a number.

  • George Christopoulos on 2015-05-15 10:22:21 AM

    My office stopped using NBC a few years ago when their road reps figured out a way to manipulate their system and offered discounting far beyond what was available anywhere and high referral fees to realtors.
    This is a free market but why do business with a company that clearly is does not treat the brokers on a level playing field.

  • Barb on 2015-05-15 10:22:56 AM

    I thought a person had to be a bank employee or a LICENSED mortgage agent to be able to discuss mortgages? NBC may say the realtor is just "referring" the mortgage but you can't tell me the realtor isn't first having a mortgage discussion with the client.

  • Mike on 2015-05-15 10:23:30 AM

    So in Quebec if you pay realtors for send you business how much do they pay you when you send them a client? Thinking this could be a good deal. If I give them half of my commission and they give me half of theirs I will be quite happy. One realtor I deal with have made over $60,000 this year from my referrals. We don't ask each other for anything. We are both professionals and put the clients needs first. You would be surprised to see how much referral business from your clients you get when you become a professional.

  • MP on 2015-05-15 10:29:34 AM

    I agree that it should be a conflict of interest for the Banks to give a kick back to the real estate agents for business, so wrong in so many ways! and the best part is that they hind behind this " Bank Act" double standard in my opinion .

  • welbanks on 2015-05-15 10:33:43 AM

    And I believe realtors are to disclose they receive these fees... I'm going to bet that none of them do.

  • Max on 2015-05-15 10:39:08 AM

    As John Dunford said, realtors in Quebec get paid 50bps on any funded mortgage volume. I didn't think it happened anywhere else in the country but I guess NBC is hungry for business and will cut off its nose to spite its face. As for Quebec and the way banks pay realtors, I think it should be considered a conflict, since I don't think realtors make any sort of split with their broker or bank partners when they sell a property.

  • crybaby on 2015-05-15 10:42:21 AM

    blah blah blah blah.
    Stop the whining and get back to work.

  • wow on 2015-05-15 12:39:43 PM

    @ crybaby

    yes sir, back to work now !!

  • Ad Lakhanpal,Mortgage Alliance on 2015-05-15 12:43:16 PM

    This is not News? This has been going on for years. Other banks like TD also provide incentives in various ways.

    This issue has been discussed previously and a large number of brokers expressed their concern via comments on this forum at that time.However,nothing was done by FSCO or professional associations. No one wants to take on the banks and the real estate boards. In the mean time,the consumers will keep on buying bad products like collateral mortgages from the likes of National or TD and there is no one to give them good professional advice.

    We as brokers can vent our anger and concern but we need to live with it because I doubt if anything will be done this time either.

  • Randy on 2015-05-15 12:47:34 PM

    I believer that the powers that be should get off their buns and stop all this nonsense. Who makes most of the money? It is the Powers that be. (RECO, FSCO, TREB, CREA. etc...) These people should do the right thing. Check the salary and perks of the chief in all these different organiation. You will find that they are earning at least 1 million per year and that is from our fees, etc that is mandatory regardless if we make a sale or not. Coming up soo, in June is TREB renewal over $800 per individual. Think how much they will make just on this renewal. How much work did thy put in to earn all this money. They are not really representing their members, they represent the public by policing members and making sure to find some kind of offence so that they can make additional income. Bare in mind, those members that do great wrong deserve to be punished. Why fine everyone for just some small misdemeanor. That is the way they make their money. They should fight for their members. Do not allow the bank to take everything. FSCO allow banks to sell insurance products by having them register company as insurance companies. That took away a lot of the business from the insurance brokers because now the banks have their own insurance agents to work for them and they have the clientele and resources. Same with TREB, they allow the public to list their oproperty on MLS thus taking away the Real Estate Brokers and agents business. The Powers that be in Real Estate should standardize the real estate fees. on a reducing scale. Each side should be starting at 3% down to 1% (Full MLS 6% down to 2%). WORK WITH MEMBERS NOT AGAINST THEM. EDUCATE THEM MORE NOT PENALIZE THEM.

  • P on 2015-05-15 12:56:37 PM

    NBC managers had approached several of my team in the past to do their declined deals. These managers wanted at least a 50% referral fee (not disclosed off course).
    So, they hire staff that obviously need to make extra money and now they are enticing realtors to take business away from mortgage professionals. Interesting? Scavenger business tactics.
    As for crybaby, this is a forum, not an immature person's excuse to try and participate.

  • AGENT on 2015-05-15 1:20:38 PM

    One of my realtors, told me NBC pays him 50bps on all deals, pays for his cocktail parties etc...I told him I will not pay you- and as a result no more business
    If brokers are smart- cut them off completely !

  • agent on 2015-05-15 2:40:31 PM

    How is this any different from other monoline lenders going to the public directly. Look at what Street is doing

  • Ad Lakhanpal,Mortgage Alliance on 2015-05-15 3:11:45 PM

    We are part of a free economy and should not begrudge competitors for targeting our potential clients. The main concern I have ,as I am sure many brokers have, is that by not dealing with brokers,the consumers will not be getting the best advice on what is probably the biggest investment of their lives. Banks don't explain the risks of collateral mortgage or the downside of registering at an inflated level. Banks push fixed rate mortgages because they are more profitable but don't disclose the astronomical penalties they will have to pay for early discharge.

    If we highlight this issue as one of consumer protection, we might get some govt. regulatory body to pay attention.

  • mtge guy on 2015-05-15 5:33:46 PM

    For those of you who rely on realtors for your business should rethink your strategy. With realtors it used to be you were only as good as your last deal. Today, you are as good as long as you give them 50bps comp back. I personally have no use for them and do not deal with them.

  • mtge guy on 2015-05-15 5:33:58 PM

    For those of you who rely on realtors for your business should rethink your strategy. With realtors it used to be you were only as good as your last deal. Today, you are as good as long as you give them 50bps comp back. I personally have no use for them and do not deal with them.

  • Anthony on 2015-05-15 8:56:06 PM

    Brokers are lazy uneducated pathetic individuals who are dying profession I am a millennial and can shop a rate get a life

  • Get a life on 2015-05-15 9:43:32 PM

    @Anthony: You are a disgrace to the human race.

    @CMP: How many times do you have to cover the same topic? You wrote about National Bank's realtor referral fees in Jun 2012, Feb 2013, May 2014, April 2015. You will do anything to stir the pot. May I suggest you try a new concept in writing? It's called "professional journalism." Look it up.

  • Bob on 2015-05-15 10:08:03 PM

    Anthony clearly isn't a self employed, new to Canada, declared income, multi-unit, acreage, rural, damaged credit kind of guy. Just damaged.

  • Fidgett on 2015-05-17 1:20:13 PM

    This 'straight to consumer' is practiced often in many industries. That said, having just built a home, you typically have different pricing ie, your builder pricing vs your retail pricing (from same supplier). As long as that 'reward for business' pricing stays, absolutely target whomever you like. But offer my client as good as you're offering me, then I ain't supporting you. Of course, many is always better than one, in terms of impact. And yes, like a viral video or post that you saw last month, someone just posted it again today. Get over it...or should I say 'Get a Life' ;-)

  • Ross Kay on 2015-05-19 9:12:30 AM

    REALTORS cannot accept ANY KIND of referral for anything attached to their clients, without full written and advance disclosure taking place. In all fairness to do this legally is a practical impossibility for most registrants as even being educated enough in how to present this to a client without looking greedy ( hey you are going to make $15,000 commission and you still want more) is non-existent.

    RECO is a complaints based investigative body who will not investigate unless a formal complaint is issued. This is why Zoocasa and TheRedPin are running Ads provincially that break several REBBA requirements, without fear.

    There are RECO allowable ways for REALTORS to get access to the same value as the referral fees from Banks or MBs but neither has attacked this business generation tool from a RECO legal perspective.

  • Don't be fooled on 2015-05-19 9:46:37 AM

    How bout this, yes Mr & Mrs buyer I'm going to make $15,000, but if you allow me to be your buyers agent and let N/B facilitate your mortgage, I will 'reward' you with $2500. Great way to discount without discounting their own commission. They basically just discounted your steak dinner #Justsaying

  • Ross Kay on 2015-05-19 9:57:22 AM

    Sorry, in recommending N/B the REALTOR immediately becomes attached to the terms the mortgage is completed under. That means as "referral" the REALTOR is accountable for interest rates, term selected, discharge fees, app fees, renewal provisions etc etc.
    Unless the REALTOR gives 3 options/choices as has been legally required for decades, the REALTOR is now tied to the referral.
    This is why REALTORS cannot recommend home inspectors, stagers, appraisers, MBs, Banks, lawyers etc, without providing a list of 3 choices as a minimum with a full disclaimer the REALTOR is not implying these names are better than others.

    Look a REALTOR cannot even say he/she is a better choice than another REALTOR. All the REALTOR can do is explain their service and never address what other REALTORS can or cannot do in comparison.

    One call to RECO ends any confusion.

  • Steve on 2015-05-19 2:54:35 PM

    Love to see an audit of the referral fees paid out so clients can see if their realtor "sold them" or not.
    I see all kinds of bribing by major banks to get realtors to refer... just would like to see it disclosed.

  • Steve on 2015-05-19 2:56:00 PM

    Love to see a follow up article asking the realtor associations about the ethics of referral fees, professional obligations and conflicts of interest. Can we get that?

  • robg on 2015-08-25 10:49:10 AM


    I doubt it. This is CMP after all. I doubt they have the capability/skills to handle a real news story.

    What this industry needs is real magazine and not just an industry specific version of TMZ....

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