Brokers: Industry job satisfaction to take a beating

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It’s time for CAAMP’s annual polling of mortgage professionals, with some brokers suggesting heightened competition with the banks, more specifically road reps, will likely double, triple – or even, quadruple! – traditionally low job dissatisfaction numbers.

“The competition between the broker origination and the bank origination is growing very intense in 2011 as some banks have increased their mortgage sales force substantially,” Angela Wong-Liao, a veteran Invis agent in the GTA told, pointing to several other factors. “My thoughts are that the dissatisfaction range this year will be between 25 per cent and 30 per cent.”

That’s three to four times last October’s figures, when only 8 per cent of the more than 1,100 industry workers surveyed for the Annual Industry Survey said they disagreed with the statement “Overall, I’m completely satisfied with my job.” It was even lower in 2009, when on 7 per cent indicated the same.

Wong-Liao, a mortgage professional for the last ten years – in addition to 28 years with the banks – argues those low levels are likely to skyrocket this year as CAAMP begins its polling.

She’s not alone.

Alberta brokerage head Gord McCallum is pegging dissatisfaction numbers at twice those of 2010.

“Based on the percentage of Ontario brokers and agents who didn't renew their licenses, which I think was 15 per cent, I think we’ll see about 15 per cent,” the principal broker and owner of First Foundation Residential Mortgages told “My honest answer is that the number will probably increase simply because of the more recent focus on things like shrinking broker market share, additional competition from the banks, tighter lending policies and an economy that is still struggling in certain markets.”

Another likely factor, John Bargis, of Mortgage Edge told, is broker dissatisfaction with the industry’s marketing to consumers, even as the banks push the services of their mobile specialists.

“It's time CAAMP embraces the term ‘Mortgage Broker’ rather than trying to avoid it by pushing the AMP,” he said. “We are what we are, and the only thing that needs to be done is to properly educate the public about our value … being an independent unbiased source of option and choice, and not a source of last resort, which is what the banks would like us to be known as in the public eye.”

Still, there are other factors outside of the broker channel’s control, said Wong-Liao, pointing to the growing gap between the products and pricing banks offer through their mortgage sales force and that through brokers.

TD Canada Trust offers a secured line of credit and split mortgage to their sales force, but not to the mortgage broker channel,” she said. “There are many uncertainties in regards to the global economy, which directly affected the consumer confidence and in view that purchasing a house is a big ticket item, potential clients may have tendency to sit on the fence.”

Brokers are increasingly having to contend with clients also discouraged by new mortgage rules and escalating prices in key markets, including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Still, even with all those potential downsides, McCallum and others are pointing to their own rock-solid job satisfaction.

“I love what I do,” tweeted Drew Donaldson, a high-volume agent with Verico Safebridge Mortgage Solutions. “That (survey satisfaction number) will go up substantially. Having the right people in your organization makes it a very rewarding career.”

CAAMP will reveal the results of this year’s survey at November's Mortgage Forum in Toronto.


  • mortgage AMP advocate on 2011-11-01 5:09:04 AM

    i couldnt disagree more with these comments. as long as the banks are calling their sales forces "mortgage specialists" which implies a strong element of customer advocacy and advice, the term Mortgage " Broker" weighs in much less. Brokering a deal, does NOT imply customer advice , which is what consumers are asking for. If your world is only about brokering and getting a fee, feel free to call yourself just that.
    But if its about providing the advice and service levels consumers demand and you want to compete with the big brands....step it up, improve your professional position in the market.
    AMP will assist on that front. Its not enough, but its better than not evolving and standing still. its no longer the 80's! our customers want and deserve more.

  • Jeremy on 2011-11-01 7:03:24 AM

    Re: mortgage AMP advocate

    Really?? What does AMP mean to the average consumer...NOTHING! A CFP designation would mean more than an AMP. I'll make one up...ABCLMNOP means the same to a customer as the AMP does.

    Time to stop throwing away good money and listen to your members, CAAMP!

    On with the Mortgage Revolution!

  • John Bargis, Mortgage Edge on 2011-11-01 7:41:40 AM

    Since you've chosen to identify yourself only as an AMP advocate, I will assume that you don't want to put your name behind what you supposedly stand for?...Your anonymous response makes me highly suspect about the title you advertise to your clients, and whether or not you are actually complying with the Ontario "BROKER'S" act, assuming of course you are registered in Ontario...Clearly you are ashamed of the title the regulators have mandated for our industry, and rather than embracing it, much like the insurance and real estate industries have, and successfully I might add, you've chosen to hide behind a designation that has not succeeded in elevating the status of our industry since it's inception in 2004....I suggest you get your facts straight before commenting in future....The titles of broker and agent, can actually be very successfully marketed to the consumer, we just need to get everyone behind the idea, including you....Try it, you might like it.

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