Probably 75 per cent of brokerages are operated by unsuccessful mortgage professionals, and that can be laid at the feet of FSCO, says one broker.
“If you really want to protect the consumer, get stricter on who can open a brokerage,” says Paul Mangion, principal broker with The Mortgage Centre MortgageOne Solutions. “FSCO is all about protecting the consumer; but if you can become a broker after only two years of being a mortgage agent, you end up with what we have – about 75 per cent of brokerages that are operated by (what were) unsuccessful agents.”
Mangion argues that there’s simply insufficient screening of individuals coming into the broker channel, where only their knowledge of product is tested, not their aptitude or passion for the job.
“Some people need to punch a clock to work, they should not be in the industry,” says Mangion. “And there are all sorts of excuses – the TV is calling, the fridge is calling, the kids are calling – and they blame everyone else. You need self-discipline and drive to succeed.”
Mangion’s comments come on the heels of Market Regulation Branch Director Anatol Monid’s announcement to some 400 brokers at the recent IMBA
conference that FSCO will be cracking down on procedures and requirements among brokerages.
Mangion, whose brokerage has 50 to 60 agents at any one time, routinely hires new agents and puts them through his own in-house training program.
“We do take on new agents, and we give them one year of proper sales training,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Nobody has any proper training when they enter the channel. A lot of the agents are lazy, and they think it is easy money. I’ve been training agents for almost 13 years now, and I see this happening time and again.”
Mangion wants FSCO to step up and canvass agents who are moving from brokerage to brokerage.
“I’d like to see FSCO take a more proactive approach on this,” he says. “It should ask, ‘Why did someone leave an office?’”
Compounding the problem are part-time brokers, says Mangion, who no longer hires part-time agents at his brokerage.
“The worst of the damage done to this industry is from a lot of these part-timers,” he says. “You are making the single biggest purchase of your life, and you want a guy who drives a taxi for a living doing the deal? Let’s face it – they are only in it for the quick cash, not serving the client.”