Brokers prepare for agent drop-off

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A softer housing market is poised to cull the number of renewing brokers in even the country’s most optimistic province, argue brokers in oil-rich Alberta, days ahead of a key deadline.

“Alberta has been definitely better off than other provinces, but our housing market has relatively been softer compared to previous years,” said Gerry Orr, broker for Alberta Mortgages. “I foresee the re-licensing numbers to drop off a bit this year.”

As the September 30 deadline for broker’s license renewal in the province approaches, only 6 per cent of mortgage brokers have renewed, according to a recent report from the Real Estate Council of Alberta. That’s less than the 15 per cent of real estate brokers who have already resigned.

“Across the board, those numbers are all lower than renewal percentages from the same date last year,” the licensing body said earlier this month. “Currently renewal stats are trending lower than at this point last year and RECA is hopeful that industry professionals won’t leave their renewal – or their education – until the last minute.”

In Ontario, mortgage professionals are attributing a massive 15 per cent reduction in broker re-licensing to the mortgage rules revamp made by the federal government. The slowing real estate market has caused thousands of brokers to walk away from the industry.

Orr, however, is more optimistic about Alberta’s prospects. It’s a province that has seen the largest in-migration of out-of- province brokers looking to become dually licensed.

“Oil drilling has hit a slow patch these last three months and our business shadows that industry,” he said. “But in the long term prospects for mortgage brokers here are very, very good because the province remains the strongest in Canada.”

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