Concerns about a cooling market haven’t affected broker appetite for warm-weather conferences, with broker networks and associations reporting what in many cases is unprecedented demand for their annual getaways.
“We sold out very early and continue to have interest with a long waiting list,” Eddy Cocciollo, president of Mortgage Centre Canada, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Our brokers see this conference as an opportunity to improve their business; it’s about value, this is not a fun in the sun reward, every attendee pays their own way and views it as an investment in their businesses.”
MCC agents and brokers will make their way to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 15 for a four-day conference full of the kind of networking and professional development opportunities broker networks are increasingly focused on providing their members.
In addition to meetings with broker channel lenders, MCC mortgage professionals will also receive an update on the Canadian economy from CIBC’s Chief Economist Avery Shenfield and hear from an expert on deepening client relationships at a time when fewer Canadians are expected to enter the housing market. That’s despite the low-interest rate environment.
Those leaner times may have helped drive interest, with IMBA Executive Director Joe Rosati pointing to the Ontario association’s own success in attracting attendees for its upcoming Winterfest in Mexico.
“We’ve more than met our expectations – in fact, we’ve sold out in terms of what we were committed to and people can still sign up,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca, pointing to the provincial organization's event in Puerto Vallarta, from Feb. 4 - 11. “It’s a longstanding event and our members see real value in attending.”
Like MCC’s conference, Winterfest is centered on an itinerary of meeting and professional development sessions meant to bolster broker business in 2012.
At least one other national broker network is pointing to the same kind of interest for its own tropical retreat next month, with several of its members expected to bring their families in tow.
The winter events follow several others late last year, with Las Vegas instead of Mexico and the Caribbean attracting much of that business.