Broker proposes overhaul of AMP marketing

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A seasoned mortgage broker has hit upon a better way for CAAMP to market the AMP to Canadians, asking the association to transfer responsibility for promoting the designation to AMPs themselves and, more importantly, to pay them.

“I think the best way for CAAMP to promote the AMP designation with its small advertising budget is to reward individual AMPs for writing articles on mortgage matters and getting published,” Greg Stanley, head of Home n Work Mortgages in Victoria, told “They would also be rewarded when they give public or trade talks to groups of 75 or more, or go on radio or television programs that put the AMP designation in front of the public.”

The suggestion would effectively see CAAMP follow the lead of several other professional organizations, representing memberships both in- and out-side financial services. They underwrite, if not directly pay members for, any academic or professional writing that elevates the stature of their respective certifications. They also sponsor presentations to community and professional groups outside of their own memberships. Many relied on the strategy in the early days of their development, when advertising budgets were simply too meagre to get the job done.

Stanley’s plan would leverage CAAMP’s own modest advertising budget by putting cash rewards in the hands of AMPs whose ambassadorial work gets their designation out before the public.

“The reward could be small, a token amount like a $50 gift coupon, with a letter of thanks, for example, from CAAMP Chair Joe Pinheiro,” the broker head, also one of the industry’s few CFPs, said. “The AMP name recognition will build faster when a broker takes 'ownership' of the designation, promotes it and is recognized by his or her peers with doing so.”

Only 17 per cent of consumers from across the country recognize the AMP designation, according to a recent Maritz survey commissioned by CAAMP. That’s considerably less than the 50 per cent of respondents who’d heard of the CFP. It, too, relied on the same kind of grassroots marketing campaign Stanley is now asking CAAMP to embrace.

His suggestion comes as brokers air concerns about the designation and CAAMP efforts to elevate its profile among consumers.

Of the $641,830 in AMP dues collected for the year ended April 30, 2011, $607,269, or 94.6 per cent, was spent on advertising. In April, the association readied to launch the largest AMP radio campaign in its history. That commercial aired on English and French stations across the country for six weeks. AMP print ads began running in late March with additional ads appearing in special Mortgage sections of local and national newspapers in April.

Still, “the reality is that that is still a pretty small sum in terms of promoting the AMP nationally,” said CAAMP Chair Pinheiro, at the same time pointing to the AMP awards, which recognize the efforts of both individuals and organizations to promote the designation.

Any move to adopt Stanley’s suggestion, however, could increase CAAMP`s bang for the buck, said another B.C. broker.

“I think it would be a wonderful strategy because what they’re doing now isn’t working,” Dave Lytton, with Dominion Lending Centres White House Mortgages, told, suggesting as little as five per cent of consumers in his Kelowna home market are familiar with the brand.  “Maybe CAAMP is doing a good job in Toronto, but here that hasn’t translated into extra business. I’ve known dozens of brokers who’ve carried the designation and all say that it hasn’t brought them any business in and of itself.”

CAAMP President & CEO Jim Murphy, in fact, welcomes suggestions that would encourage brokers to take a more active role in growing awareness around the designation.

“Our research shows that where consumers hear about the AMP the most is from the AMP themselves – those that tell the borrower what the AMP is about and why they got it,” he told “CAAMP encourages all AMPs to use the designation in their local markets.  We are open to reviewing plans that place the AMP front and centre.”

Stanley has embraced that role for years. The broker/CFP recently returned from Las Vegas where he spoke to 278 Canadian financial planners at a national advisor conference. He said his suggestion has the potential to further amplify that public relations work.

“Imagine 1,000 AMPs all trying to promote the AMP branding, getting recognized by their peers for doing so,” he told “The brand will get noticed faster and for a much lower cost than general advertising.”

  • Wane Davis on 2011-09-22 3:03:29 AM

    AMP’s should be wearing their lapel pin proudly and using it as an opportunity to promote their own level of competency and professionalism. Any entrepreneur worth his salt uses an opportunity to promote himself, his services and his unique value proposition through any and all available media within his or her local community. The idea of wanting to be compensated for doing that by the professional organization you belong to and support is absurd.

    As with the mortgage industry, advertising professionals are trusted advisors to their clients and have skills and knowledge based on years of experience. I have been in marketing in senior roles for over 3O years, a large part of that supporting mortgage channel professionals as well as some of the major Canadian Financial Institutions. Under no circumstance would I assume that I could give comprehensive, quality mortgage advice. I can speak to the subject intelligently from a strategic positioning perspective and from the position of an “informed opinion” but would still leave it to the professionals…an AMP.

    To suggest turning the keys of the AMP brand over to mortgage professionals would result in inconsistent and confusing brand messaging. Leave the professional marketing to the professionals and move to a more enhanced value proposition than one solely based on rate.

    If the members want better brand recognition, then task the agency to do it within the budget or get another agency.

    In the mean time, wear your AMP pin and as a member promote the professional designation at every opportunity…for free and as a member of an industry whose members consider themselves professionals.

  • Another Broker on 2011-09-22 3:15:25 AM

    Somewhat of a lame idea to pay these guys, especially to write articles and give talks when the majority of them don't know their you know what from a hole in the ground. Best thing is to disband this misleading designation of knowledge and professionalism and start over with a 5 year time period designation with relevant university and Appraisal Institute courses. Time to start raising our standards and get those who don't and won't out of the business once and for all.

  • MP on 2011-09-22 4:01:02 AM

    I agree with "another broker" Who would check these articles to ensure that they are accurate? Stupid idea in my opinion.

    What bugs me is people who hang their license for years, never do any deals and then after doing their time can call themselves an AMP. How smart is that? I think people should earn an AMP status by actually "working" in the field and not just hanging a license.

  • Yet another Broker on 2011-09-22 5:01:03 AM

    Cecil Singh..... You are correct AMP is useless no one knows it the ease of entry is to low to matter or warrant pride and at the end of the day it's a pathetic cash grab wake up people.

  • alberta on 2011-09-22 7:31:30 AM

    here is the problem with AMP it is AMP- why did we choose such a terrible name?- why did we thought we had to reinvent the wheel. it should have been from the start Certified mortgage professional. it is something that everybody uses and it makes sense to client. we would not have to explain what AMP stands for.

    CMP- simply and I can say with pride certified Mortgage professional. what does this mean? I am certified just like certified financial planners, they did the work for us so why not take advantage of this. CRA- certified residential appraiser. Do you see the trend. we need to close the AMP and go with CMP

  • Angela Wong-Liao, Invis Inc on 2011-09-22 7:33:20 AM

    I think the AMP designation should be restricted to full time mortgage professional, not the part timers because most of these part timers do not have sufficient knowledge and professionalism to promote this designation. In other words, AMP designation should be used to distinguish a full time mortgage professional and a part time mortgage professional. I believe this will elevate the professional status of AMP.

  • Yet Another on 2011-09-22 8:27:40 AM

    That would concern me with everyone getting out and advertising the AMP - would the message be the same, what would they be saying, would they stretch the truth about the AMP qualifications which in turn can mislead consumers.

  • John Dearin on 2011-09-26 12:14:03 AM

    We have been promoting the AMP, and CAAMP for over 1.5 years in a TV commercial we run on the local real estate channel, along with four other ads. they rotate over a two hour period. We have our certificates and wall hangers all over the office. I can't recall the time a client came in and asked us what that was all about. Rates and renewals...rates and renewals, don't seem to care about the AMP or CAAMP...rates and renewals

    John Dearin

  • Cecil Singh on 2011-09-22 2:58:01 AM

    I think paying for AMP is a cash grab, AMP does nothing to help Broker and Mortgage agent, the public don't have a clue what is Amp means.

    i think we as agents and brokers to get AMP to educate the public about Accredited Mortgage Professional.

    Now take a look where they advertise in some high end magazine or TV where the minatory of the public watch, i personnel would like to see them advertise on Tv channel like CP24, CTV and some multicultural TV where we have the majority of the public looking and people will have the good idea how Mortgage Broker work.

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