Broker: Retention will decide course success

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The only real measure of success for CAAMP’s new  broker education course will be how many of those students actually remain in the channel and for how long, argues an industry vet and advocate for more-effective training.

“We’ve seen too many of what I call ‘Five-day Wonders,’ come into the business and disappear just as quickly, because they simply are not cut out for the business,” says David O’Gorman, president and principal broker at MortgageLand. “It is a shame that a lot of these agents rise or fall on whether they had a decent trainer, and most times the training isn’t there.”

CAAMP was chosen to be the sole accredited course provider administer Ontario's broker training course, with a start date later this month. It is O’Gorman’s hope that the course will be a boot camp of top-notch drill instructors, weeding out those not fit to be brokers.

“I sincerely hope they don’t screw up as badly as the community colleges have,” says O’Gorman.

Registration for the mortgage broker education program is $345 (tax included), and is broken down into two phases. Phase 1 (the virtual phase) is good for six months, and allows access to the virtual study group, e-textbook and reading materials, case studies and finishes with an online assessment.

“In order to become a licensed mortgage broker, you must first have been a licensed mortgage agent for two years,” Alison Cousland manager of marketing and communications for CAAMP, said to

Phase 2 is a five-day, in-class workshop with an in-person assessment. Upon successful completion, the student receives a Certificate of Completion and completion status reporting to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).

But for O’Gorman, what he’s seen in the past isn’t encouraging for broker and, indeed, agent training.

“If it was done right, we would not have so many disappearing from the channel only months after they’ve passed the five-day course,” he says. “Real Estate agents are trained right. They spend 100 hours learning the trade, then another 120 hours dealing with the public, and then there are three more courses before they obtain a probationary license.

“A new mortgage agent may have the knowledge and even the street smarts, but they don’t know how to approach a client, how to deal with people,” says O’Gorman. “You could be the smartest guy in the room, but just not cut out to be a broker.”


  • Ingrid Meninga on 2013-02-20 6:09:57 AM

    Hi David,
    Since I service both the Mortgage and Real Estate industries (with marketing/training) I would politely say many REALTORS feel their training is not done right either. I do agree with you that it's one thing to know the regulations inside and out, and another on how to "do" business.When I took my Mortgage Broker course I don't recall anything on "how to run a Mortgage Broker business" or "how to get clients", or "How much start-up money you need when you launch your career" which is why there will continue to be so many people coming into and quickly departing the industry, unless they seek training from their Brokerages, or selected training programs. It's nearly impossible to make a living as a Broker if you don't know how to capture, nurture & close leads or understand in depth that you're running an actual business - not just offering a service.

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2013-02-20 6:11:22 AM

    First, Real Estate has pretty high 2-year dropoff rate, despite the length/cost of the course. The fact is that not everyone is cut out for a self-motivated saled-based industry. And that's ok - unfortunately, it takes them a couple of years in the industry to figure it out.

    Second, the better indicator of success would be increased mix of broker-originated deals vs. bank-originated deals. Than, and an overall improved reputation/recognition of brokers as a whole.

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