It’s the kind of advertising mortgage professionals just can’t buy -- and wouldn’t agree on who should pay for it, if they could. But a Globe and Mail article focused on giving consumers the rundown on mortgage brokers has the industry buzzing on Twitter, Facebook and every social media platform in between.
“I’ve already tweeted it and sent out it to my Facebook friends and connections on LinkedIn, across a network of 700 people or so,” Sean Smith, a Toronto agent with Dominion Lending Centres YBM, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I think that it’s great when a respected publication writes something like this about brokers. It lends credibility to the industry.”
He’s not the only one: Tweets and Retweets linking to Thursday's Globe Investor article “Why use a mortgage broker?” numbered in the thousands Friday as mortgage professionals basked in its positive message. More than 90 readers had also weighed in with comments about their own experiences with brokers within 24 hours of the article being posted to globeandmail.com.
The article also highlighted the personall stories of consumers who've used mortgage professionals.
“It was the best because it was so personal,” says one broker client, sharing her first experience working with one of the more than 15,000 brokers plying their trade across the country. “It was like someone was holding your hand all the way through the process.”
The article’s endorsements didn’t stop there, with a T.O. certified financial planner also weighing in with the advice she hands “all her clients.”
“It’s the most efficient way to get the best-priced and best-structured mortgage,” says CFP Rona Birenbaum in the article. “Bottom line.”
“So rather than shopping at multiple financial institutions and negotiating with each financial institution and arm wrestling them to give you the best deal, it’s one phone call and they do the rest for you.”
The story offered brokers a pat on the back, said CAAMP CEO Jim Murphy, one of the many tweeting the good news Friday. But it also helped efforts to promote the AMP. designation
“In addition to the benefits of using a mortgage broker, the article references using an Accredited Mortgage Professional,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It also points people to the CAAMP website to find an AMP closest to them. Brokers need to promote the AMP so that borrowers/consumers become aware -- always good to see in the media.”
The article comes as the industry debates about how best to market the broker channel grows.
Last month, Merix head Boris Bozic joined the growing number of mortgage professionals endorsing the idea of a national advertising campaign, specifically focused on hawking broker wares to the largely uninformed consumer. That’s even as others look to mono-lines themselves to foot the bill.
“If every broker was to contribute one basis point that would equate to $5.5 million to $6 million a year,” he said, as part of “Winning the Rate Wars,” a webinar hosted by industry trainer Greg Williamson.
That contribution is proposed as “1 bp” from each and every deal a broker submits and closes.
Those collective funds would get funnelled into a marketing campaign both paid by and focused on promoting mortgage brokers. That idea continues to gain traction as the industry grapples with increased competition from the banks and a slowing real estate market. Some have also argued CAAMP advertising around the AMP designation isn't focused enough on promoting brokers.
Consumers should, in fact, be looking for that designation come time to select a broker, Vancouver AMP Jessi Johnson says in the Globe article.
He also asks consumers to look for someone with several years’ experience.
Other industry veterans reading the article suggest that recommendation could have been tweaked a bit.
“Definitely the length of time can measure one’s expertise,” Michael Mullis, with The Mortgage Teacher in London, Ont., told MortgageBrokerNews.ca, “but that’s not saying someone couldn’t in one year gain the same amount of experience as someone who’s been in the business for seven years. Consumers shouldn’t be afraid to ask about a broker’s funded volume as well.”