Broker tests market limits

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An aggressive agent is now embarking on an experiment, which, if it works, could inspire a sea-change in the way brokers position themselves in – or rather, outside – of their markets.

“I moved to Halifax a couple of months ago, but all of my business is in Toronto and it will continue to be my primary market,” Brad Compton, an Invis agent and principal at, told “My thinking was that as long as you’ve built up a solid business and reputation in a market and can continue to service those clients and referral sources then it should work. It has so far.”

The former financial analyst spent the last five years building a solid book of business now paying dividends in renewals, referrals, and switches.

Almost all of that business is now 1,792.6 km away from Compton’s current address. He returned home to Halifax this fall after 12 years in Toronto.

While brokers are increasingly working expanding markets using the Internet, Compton is one of the first to work his primary portfolio from a different province.

He is now relying on online lead generation through his own website as well as Skype and other Internet communication technologies to manage and, indeed, grow his Toronto portfolio. Still, he hasn’t entirely abandoned his on-the-ground presence in that market.

“I will be go back to Toronto each quarter to meet face-to-face with clients where necessary and I also maintain offices there and have colleagues to meet with clients also when necessary,” he said. “But I will be doing most of communication with Toronto clients and referral sources from here in Halifax.

Compton will also focus on building a portfolio of business in his new market, although a price differential between the two markets means growing his Toronto business will remain a priority.

Regardless of the outcome of his experiment, brokers are already moving to capitalize on an internal trade agreement making it easier for brokers to get licensed in another province. Nova Scotia is not part of that agreement, although Compton is dually licensed.

Still, most Ontario brokers now seeking additional licensing outside the province are looking to Alberta, not Atlantic Canada. And unlike Compton, they’re looking to stay put in the GTA physically and figuratively, according to numbers from Ontario’s regulator.

That might change if more are prepared to harness Internet tools to gain mobility, said Compton.

  • Mark Piers, Mortgage Edge on 2011-12-09 4:43:46 AM

    I have done exactly the same thing. I relocated earlier this year to Fredericton, NB. My business is 50% GTA and 50% rest of Canada. I strongly utilize referral marketing, online lead generation, financial planners and realtors.

  • Debbie Forbes, DLC Cornerstone on 2011-12-10 4:45:33 AM

    I moved from Edmonton to Langley,BC six years ago. 95% of my business is still in Edmonton, with about 75% coming from my existing client base, and the balance coming from loyal realtor referrals. I am liscened in both provinces, but havent had to market BC yet..

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