Brokers primed to grow market share, says poll

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A slowing and more competitive market aside, brokers believe they can and will grow market share by as much as 10 percentage points in five years, suggests the latest Maritz industry poll.

While the CAAMP-sponsored report pegs the actual broker share of orginations at 33 per cent, the majority of mortgage professionals surveyed last month predicted that share would jump to 39 per cent of the overall market by 2016.

They were even more optimistic about growth in refinances, a market where the industry has struggled to make inroads. While actual market share is 20 per cent, brokers believe they can grow that piece of the refi pie to 30 per cent in the next five years.

Those estimates comes as the industry redouble its efforts to compete with the Big Five, which have beefed up their collective mobile mortgage sales force this year as a way of capturing more of a shrinking market.

RBC, alone, took on 1,000 new sales employees in the last 14 months – a large percentage of them mortgage specialists and five times as many as it took on the previous year. And, BMO, which left the channel in 2007, added 1,000 frontline workers of its own in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. They helped drive sales, with the bank bumping up the value of its residential mortgages by $2 billion, year-over-year.

 Bank want ads calling for those specialists now crowd online headhunting sites, indicating the banks remain focused on adding to their numbers.

The increasingly crowded field of competitors means brokers have had little choice but to match their flexibility, argue mortgage professionals, in order to make the market share gains.

“In the last year alone, I’ve seen a 20 per cent rise in the number of clients asking me to come out to their homes and businesses to arrange their mortgages instead of agreeing to come to my office,” said Kelvin Seepersad, a 12-year veteran broker with Mortgage Intelligence. “I think that growing demand is because of the growing number of bank road reps who are meeting clients where the client wants to meet. Brokers are having to adapt to be competitive.”

Still, reaching into the refi business may be harder, although an increasing number of broker channel lenders are moving to expand their product offerings to help mortgage professionals increase their penetration.

While ING’s new HELOC available through the channel remains in the pilot phase, it should be available to all brokers early in the new year, said the lender’s Amanda Petriglia.

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