Brokers use Flaherty to promote low rate

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With tongue firmly planted in cheek, one brokerage is using a photo of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to help promote its 2.79 per cent 5-year fixed mortgage with the caption “This rate is too low for the Canadian people.”
“We were distributing the flyer at the Home Show to promote our special rate,” says Sean Binkley, a broker with Your Home Team. “We are having a pretty good chuckle about it at the office and it received lots of laughs from the Home Show, great conversations.” 
The flyer, distributed at the Kingston home show by Your Home Team @ Dominion Lending Centres, shows Flaherty cautioning Canadians about the “too low” rate, with words in larger type above: “He may not want you to save… BUT WE DO.”
The finance minister has gone on the record several times admonishing the lending community about engaging in a rate war, following BMO’s decision to post its 5-year fixed mortgage at 2.99 per cent. Since BMO’s posted rate on March 4, several banks have countered with their own matching or lower rates – the most notorious being Manulife’s drop from 3.09 to 2.89 per cent, which it summarily reversed following a phone call from the finance minister’s office.
The promotional rate offered by Your Home Team was specifically keyed to the finance minister’s comments.
“Our special rate is through Lendwise 50 bps. I normally don’t sell rate, but I was piggybacking for a short period based on Flaherty’s comments,” he told
As for the dangers of low rates for clients, Binkley does explain that there is a difference between qualifying to pay and being able to pay.
“We counsel our clients to pay more right away – that is pay ‘as if’ you had taken a 10-year rate, we show them how much more they can save, advise them about the rate increasing in 5 years, etc. ,” says Binkley. “There’re lots of clients I will ask to reconsider buying if they are close to qualifying; to me, qualification does NOT mean affordability.”
  • Ken Lankin on 2013-03-25 9:40:12 AM

    Why are you buying down rates ?? 50 bps commision Sean ? By the time your broker owner grabs his piece and DLC the same - whats left for my ol buddy Sean ?

  • Sean Binkley on 2013-03-25 9:47:56 AM

    Ken, Great to "hear" from you...
    An ad campaign would have cost way more that buying down a rate this far. It was a "weekend" promotion - figured there'd be an uproar from my old friends about giving the farm away, realty is it got way more traction than many other campaigns I've run (not because of the rate, but because of the humour). Oh and no need to remind me of my marketing fee and splits, Loving DLC and the amazing marketing, support and vision they provide - happy to pay more than what we are now. We even got a commercial on the SuperBowl - incredible (sorry buddy, you opened the DLC debate....) - love yah Man!

  • Ken Lankin on 2013-03-25 9:55:18 AM

    As long as you are Ok brother - all is then good . Look forward to hookin up one day soon. Keep er rockin - all the best !

  • Ken Lankin on 2013-03-25 9:55:19 AM

    As long as you are Ok brother - all is then good . Look forward to hookin up one day soon. Keep er rockin - all the best !

  • Derek Rowley on 2013-03-25 10:40:06 AM

    My concern here is buying down. I am adamant that I will not and do not do buy downs. I work very hard for my commission and why shoulkd I have to part with my paycheque. To each their own.

  • Sean Binkley on 2013-03-25 11:03:14 AM

    Hey Derrek, Great point! Again, it was a WEEKEND Promo for fun (and it worked). Main idea was to get laughs and press (I guess it paid off!) 80 bps of nothing is still nothing.

  • Leonidas on 2013-03-25 12:42:50 PM

    Anyone who refuses to "buy down" just cannot stay competitive in todays market. But like you said to each their own.

  • Derek Rowley on 2013-03-25 8:48:07 PM

    To Sean and Leonidas

    Thank you Sean. Leonidas, well I guess if myself or others who value our pay cheque by not compromising, there is a solution. Can always drive taxi and turn passengers into mortgage prospects. But like we both agree, to each thei own.

    All the best to both of you

    Derek Rowley

  • Sean Binkley on 2013-03-26 6:11:32 AM

    And I thought I've explored every marketing idea available! This is what I miss the most about these forums, great best practice sharing! Gotta go and apply for my taxi license!!

  • Bryan Jaskolka on 2013-03-26 4:48:40 PM

    That's hysterical! What a truly great marketing idea and hopefully, it teaches Mr. Flaherty a lesson. I have all due respect for the man, and usually agree with his policies and choices. But calling up banks and telling them to lower their rates? Inexcusable. What a great idea, and yes, definitely worth a chuckle!

  • Sean Binkley on 2013-03-25 9:06:52 AM

    FYI, thanks to the team for taking this idea and running with it! We had some great laughs with referral sources and potential clients. We figured instead of complaining about what the Min. of Fin. does and doesn't do, we were prompted to act on the opportunity his comments presented. Humour in advertising always works well!

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