CAAMP acquires Canadian Mortgage Trends

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The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) announced Thursday it has acquired Canadian Mortgage Trends.
 
“Timely, credible and accurate information is one of the strengths of our organization and we are excited by the opportunity of offering added value to our members,” CAAMP president and CEO, Jim Murphy said in the official release.

The mortgage news source has recorded 2.6 million visitors and 10 million page views since incpetion, according to Rob McLister, its founder and editor.
 
It remains to be seen what – if any – influence CAAMP will have on the website’s content and how brokers receive the new partnership. One broker network head, however, is displeased with CAAMP’s decision to keep McLister on as editor.
 
“I am surprised to hear that CAAMP has purchased Canadian Mortgage Trends and Rob McLister will remain on as Editor,” Gary Mauris, president of Dominion Lending Centres said in an email to Jim Murphy, a number of mortgage leaders and MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “He has never been an advocate for mortgage brokers and promotes direct to consumer rate sites.”
 
Referencing a Globe and Mail article published Thursday about McLister’s business ventures, Mauris called into question a potential conflict of interest.
 
“We support consumer awareness, best practice, and a competitive landscape,” Mauris said. “We also strongly believe that consumers are best served by working with experienced mortgage professionals in conjunction with the information that the internet provides knowledge hungry Canadians.”
 
And while Mauris commends McLister’s contributions to the news website, he has called for CAAMP to reconsider its choice of editor.
 
“Rob, is a very smart, engaging individual who I admire for much of what he contributes but do not support him as the editor for our National Association when his model (intellimortgage.com and ratespy.com) (is) so clearly … in direct competition to the industry that the majority of CAAMP’s membership support,” Mauris said. “I feel that CAAMP should reconsider who the editor will be going forward.”
 
  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-28 1:27:18 PM

    With all due respect to Gary who I think is one of the smartest most dynamic people in this business: many DLC offices offer mortgages on Rate Sites so there is some kind of a disconnect here.

    If Gary is referring just to IntelliMortgage as a lending brand he has a point to make but DLC offices promote themselves with low, discounted rate offers direct to the public on the web through rates sites every day.

  • Frank on 2014-03-28 2:21:27 PM

    I hope that they can keep the integrity of CMT. It is a good second source after mortgagebrokernews.ca However, I use to be a reader of CAAMP's magazine, but it has really gone downhill. Also, is CMT not a consumer site? I would agree with Gary, CAAMP seems to be playing both sides on this one.

  • brucedavison@rogers.com on 2014-03-28 2:53:00 PM

    I am a strong supporter of Rob and his efforts to educate and inform consumers, (and us as brokers), of topics concerning our industry. He has tried to run a fine ( fair) line in his commentaries. Having said that, I am not sure what my Caamp dollars are doing in paying for a site that I have for free, and what added value will espouse from this union. But then I am prepared to wait and see, and perhaps as Rob has mentioned, his site can be even more effective. I find Gary's comments strange ( for him) as I am sure he is not threatened by a more informed consumer. His "normal" thoughts over time seem to suggest he supports greater broker and consumer education. The trick will actually be whether Rob can not only be impartial, and independent as he has suggested, but whether his comments and site will be perceived as such as well. Bigger is not always better, but then staying pat is never a good idea

  • Kent Farnsworth on 2014-03-28 3:23:32 PM

    Not sure how I feel about this one..

  • Alex on 2014-03-28 4:33:04 PM

    I think this is stupid and irresponsible of CAAMP and Jim Murphy to use Mortgage brokers’ money to acquire an entity that competes with brokers on daily basis! CAAMP also let all their members know why they acquired and how much they paid for it!

  • New Broker on 2014-03-28 4:40:32 PM

    I’m not sure if our CAAMP dues are being well used, I hope they got a great deal? Doesn't CAAMP have the wherewithal to produce and invest in their own technology and produce their/our own News source web site, after all we are stakeholders? I highlighted I am a “new broker” as of this afternoon having just completed the Broker course in Toronto attended also by an Intellimortgage.com Principal. I have been in this great business for 10 years. From our open discussions at the course I now understand what Gary Mauris is saying, the Globe article was brought up and the Principal espoused the virtues of their on line site and it’s attributes and it’s salability going forward much like CMT. I think for the most part Rob is unbiased in his approach but the jury is out on this one!

  • New Name for CMT on 2014-03-28 4:55:37 PM

    Why don't you rename this the "Ron Butler opinion news" Not a day goes by without multiple Ron Butler comments. Maybe Ron, you should be the editor

  • New Broker on 2014-03-28 4:58:21 PM

    Not nice, Ron has commented in the past about his disdain for anonymous comments, and I prefer to be anonymous, my choice, no need for this, uncalled for!

  • New Name for CMT on 2014-03-28 5:32:40 PM

    Not nice?? He has the time, opinions and experience. He comments on everything. Why not? Who are you to be critical of a change in favour of a new editor.

  • walid@hypotheca.ca on 2014-03-28 9:04:37 PM

    This is Bad news. We need to get ourselves organized and go with a National Mortgage Association in form or shape.
    CAAMP is not suited to help our profession, I don't see them doing anything about that.

    They will try to get mortgagebrokernews.ca eventually. If they do, we might need to act fast and try thinking about alternatives.

  • Walid Hammami on 2014-03-28 9:05:17 PM

    This is Bad news. We need to get ourselves organized and go with a National Mortgage Association in form or shape.
    CAAMP is not suited to help our profession, I don't see them doing anything about that.

    They will try to get mortgagebrokernews.ca eventually. If they do, we might need to act fast and try thinking about alternatives.

  • Gary Mauris on 2014-03-28 9:11:08 PM

    Dear Ron,
    Thanks for the kind words. As I stated in the article, "I admire much of the work and contributions Rob has made to our Industry over the years". We are friends and I have had him as a guest on our monthly network call in the past as he is a great source of mortgage information and always seems to have a pulse on the mortgage community. Having said that, in my opinion, and I have had many offline conversations with Rob, he firmly believes that the future of the mortgage Industry is not the broker channel, but rather the direct to consumer channel. (His new site, www.intellimortgage.com) makes his position around our industry clear. I am not concerned with this site, with rate sites,with this model, or with anyone buying down rates. Every Industry is made up of multiple models and competitive structures. The market will determine which model is most effective and most valuable to the consumer long-term.

    My concern is that CAAMP is made up of thousands of hard working mortgage professionals who have helped build our Industry and the vast majority of those individuals do not support the CUT OUT THE BROKER, DIRECT TO CONSUMER, LOWEST RATE AT ALL COST MENTALITY OR ADVICE TO THE CONSUMER that this, and many other direct to consumer models promote.

    My concern is only that the Editor of Canadian Mortgage Trends now owned by our Industry Association (CAAMP) thinks starkly differently than the majority of the long term paying members who have supported CAAMP over the years. Somehow this one just doesn't feel right to me?

  • Rob McLister on 2014-03-29 3:36:55 AM

    Sorry all. Late to this party. Comments forthcoming...

  • Bruce davison on 2014-03-29 9:13:43 AM

    Thanks for your clarification, Gary. Perhaps buying the site is Caamp s way of removing Rob's opinions from the public....
    I am confused by caamp's comment that this was done to improve member communications while Rob's comments suggest that things are to remain the same. Hard to see rob being independent in thought with full disclosure of ownership by members?

  • Michael Lloyd on 2014-03-29 1:12:59 PM

    My colleagues & I stopped being members of CAAMP 3 years due to what we felt is an organization more interested in building a bigger bureaucracy than looking after the needs of it's members. This move strengthens our beliefs.

    Communicating with Brokers has never been a problem with CAAMP, communicating with the public, which should be it's #1 objective, has been. How does spending money on CMT somehow improve that? While there are obviously a few people who are non-brokers or non-industry that follow the blog, that is not going to make any difference in getting the message about the alternative Brokers offer out to the public.

    I think Rob has done an amazing job of being very effective at showing more than one side to a story and nobody on here would disagree with that...going forward will be tough though considering what appear to be divergent thoughts on the future of our industry, between himself and the vast majority of CAAMP members (& non-members!).

  • Brad Currie on 2014-03-29 1:49:16 PM

    Time will tell if this was a good decision by CAAMP to see if they can leverage this acquisition into something positive for the broker and consumer. As far as Rob McLister continuing being the editor and his support of Rate Sites....who cares? I like the fact there are sites which news is reported about all channels, competitive and otherwise. We always need to consider the source of our information providers, let's face it ... we all have agendas. I am more concerned about CAAMP and what I consider is their identity crisis. I cancelled my membership years ago when I learn BMO, after not seeing value in the broker channel pulled out. A few years later I noticed CAAMP had members from BMO, as well as RBC and other non broker channel supporting financial institutions. Effectively, non-brokers could be elected to the Board and/or sit on committees and affect policy and decisions CAAMP. From afar the move to purchase CMT by CAAMP is an attempt to buy hits and readership. Something I do not think CAAMP has been able to achieve on their own site. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a good move for CAAMP. In the meantime, trying to control editorial content is not the answer.

  • Blair Anderson on 2014-03-29 4:59:54 PM

    I agree with Brad, from a consumer’s perspective, why would you limit yourself to one channel to get your information. In fact, I modeled my social network, www.MortgageResource.ca, by that very standard. It’s an open forum where all mortgage professionals, from every channel, have equal opportunity to educate the public. As Gary so aptly stated, the market will determine which model is most effective in the long run.

    Make sure you are doing your part to help educate the consumer by taking an active role in social media. Whether you work exclusively from your own site, or with a social network like mine, the point is to get involved. Don’t rely on others, with no experience in our industry to educate the consumer. There is no better source of education than what you will learn from active professionals in the field, with actual hands on experience.

  • Lior on 2014-03-31 10:28:06 AM

    At the end of the day this business is all about entrepreneurship and this means using different strategies to get business. I don't understand what the fuss is all about... Intellimortgage, Butler Mortgage, TNM, they all cater to a certain segment and at the end of the day not every consumer is comfortable arranging their mortgage online and not every consumer will qualify for what these websites offer online. In anything new KYC disclosures required by FSCO will make things quite interesting for brokerages dealing in the online space.

    The direct to consumer channel does have a place in our industry. Does this mean every customer will be arranging a mortgage through these websites, the answer is no. Just look at ING Direct. They were a direct to consumer lender long before TNM, Butler, and Intellimortgage and yet 80% of their mortgage volume came from brokers. And ING always competed on offering better rates than the competition. At the end of the day succeeding in this business is about building relationships and thinking niche.

  • Elfie Hayes on 2014-04-01 11:20:00 AM

    I'm trying to figure out why we the Mortgage Professionals and the Consumer all had access to Rob's wonderful site and now CAAMP paid money from our membership dues to buy what we accessed for free. I think Rob does a great job on CMT and I follow it regularly. If Rob was hosting the site and posting information that we could all access without cost, why did we need to buy it to get the information. Jim Murphy needs to get his head read. Just once I want to read that CAAMP did something meaningful to assist the membership.

  • Elfie Hayes on 2014-04-01 11:21:52 AM

    I'm trying to figure out why we the Mortgage Professionals and the Consumer all had access to Rob's wonderful site and now CAAMP paid money from our membership dues to buy what we accessed for free. I think Rob does a great job on CMT and I follow it regularly. If Rob was hosting the site and posting information that we could all access without cost, why did we need to buy it to get the information. Jim Murphy needs to get his head read. Just once I want to read that CAAMP did something meaningful to assist the membership.

  • . on 2014-04-01 4:03:48 PM

    I imagine CAAMP now gets CMT's ad revenue and saves the expense of reinventing the wheel. CAAMP has not been the best communicator and communication is its mandate. This seems like a big feather in their cap in that department.

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 12:31:44 PM

    The acquisition of the CMT site by CAAMP will simply serve as another mode for communicating biased propaganda, without effectively addressing the real issues concerning our industry. Mr. McLister stated in his press release that there won’t be any censors, or filters, and that the site will maintain an independent voice. How insulting that he thinks the industry will buy into this ludicrous statement…..This changes nothing, it’s just more smoke and mirrors by those promoting their own self-interests at the expense of our industry’s progress.

  • Rob McLister on 2014-04-02 2:52:35 PM

    Thank you John for that level-headed unprejudiced assessment. It's curious that you’d make such charges in public without the professionalism and courtesy of hearing the other side. You could have easily picked up the phone, shared your concerns and then proceeded with the attacks if you didn't like my answers. You're refusal to do that says a lot about your true intentions.

    Please, if anyone has concerns about anything related to editorial policy or positioning of issues in the industry, call me any time day/night.

    Rob McLister
    Editor, CMT
    778-838-7420

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 4:30:59 PM

    Rob.....My comments are not a simple assessment of the statements posted. They represent the sentiments of many who are fed up with the nonsense, and are based on plain old common sense. You can choose to ignore the very challenges our industry faces, or you can participate in real positive change and offer praise where it's deserved, rather than expressing a one sided perspective.

    I have been in the industry for a long time, and have a solid understanding of the space we're in. If contrary opinions offend you when you choose to participate in a public forum, then I suggest you refrain from engaging in it, rather than questioning one's level of professionalism based on they way you may choose to define the term.

  • Fellow Broker on 2014-04-02 5:08:22 PM

    Bargis you're making yourself look bad.

    Stick to the issues.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-02 5:17:38 PM

    @ John, not everyone feels that way about Rob, I know I don't and it's not just because he shares my interest in a DTC model. I have read his site every day for these many years and he is relentlessly honest, accurate and even handed. Seriously, he has been diligent and fair and more to point he gives extremely detailed, well researched info and analysis. I do not believe anyone could possibly deny that. CAAMP made an offer and Rob accepted, that is the way business works; if you don't like CAAMP's choice it makes more sense to take it out on CAAMP than Rob.

  • brucedavison@rogers.com on 2014-04-02 5:26:26 PM

    You have no reason to apologize Rob.
    John's comments about "smoke and mirrors" and "promoting through self interest at the expense of our industry's progress" suggest he has never been to your web site and are out of line, despite his years of experience.
    Your web site has done more for our industry by allowing agents/ brokers to voice opinions on relevant topics, while providing a face to those consumers who have dropped by as to what our industry participants deal with and what their hopes are in dealing with consumers. Your comments have always been topical, well researched, objective, and provided in a fun communicative and interesting manner.
    My previous ( negative) comments on this topic dealt with the why and how of caamp's involvement as I was confused as to how this merger was to meet the stated goal of "improving communications". I had no reservations about the WHO - in fact I suggested, because of your involvement, i was prepared to wait and see.
    I would like to congratulate and thank you for your past efforts on our behalf and wish you every success in whatever you choose to do in the future. Since you have never failed to respond to others who have been either positive and negative to your views, you need not prove yourself by giving John any credence to his general and spacious comments by replying.

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 5:34:03 PM

    Dear Fellow Broker - I don't have a lot of time for those who chose to hide behind alias. So if you'd like to engage in a discussion about my postings, you are welcome to call me at 905-707-6702. It would be nice to know who I'm responding to.

    Ron, I completely agree that Rob has done a good job at building the CMT site, and congratulate him on his business transaction. As a business man myself, I completely understand where he's coming from, and I don't dispute his success. What I am saying is that uncensored reporting on contentious topics that criticize CAAMP (and we know they exist), are highly unlikely with their new ownership. So lets call it what it is.

  • Jake on 2014-04-02 5:59:18 PM

    How does Ron Butler find the time to meander on these websites all the time, comment on them, and yet, run a $500M+ business and truly know his client that well? Oh wait... maybe he doesn't...

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-02 6:07:52 PM

    Hello again Mystery Jake, you can find the time to comment between polishing your action figures and making sure you update Facebook every 10 minutes so I can find the time between lender and client emails.

  • Jake on 2014-04-02 6:16:08 PM

    Hello "again"? I'm sorry, have we met here before? This was my first comment in this thread. As for your idiotic reply about action figures, it truly shows how shallow you are when needing to resort to such comments. I guess it goes with the territory being such a smug "most hated broker" making you so defensive, yeah?

    I want to know: If the newest re-licencing initiative focused so much on knowing my client, how the hell do you get away with doing everything via email and most likely spending very little time with yours? Besides best rate, what kind of value can you truly provide to the customer when engaging in this type of business model?

    Curious, is all.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-02 6:30:19 PM

    Come on Anonymous Jake, we both know you take Han Solo out of the showcase every month or so for another coat of shellac. You have come up from the basement to post from Mom's computer before, I recognise you. I think we all know what shop you are from as well.

    Always the same song: FSCO will change the KYC rules and online rate sites are done. Seriously now, it gets a little old. So you think sitting with clients and sending them a fridge magnet on closing gives you the right to maximize your commissions and push the highest rate on consumers? Sorry, it will work less and less every year. The future is low, discounted rates, fast, efficient service and solid advice. We deliver that every day.

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 6:35:16 PM

    The regulator initiative Jake makes reference to is very real, and is a step in the right direction in order head off the adverse effects to consumers that rate sites may have on consumers, that were somehow not at all addressed in Carrick's Globe and Mail article/ad about intellimortgage.

    Consumers are already filing complaints in record numbers about non-disclosure issues from both banks and brokers, and the disclaimers on rate sites don't absolve our industry form the responsibility we have to properly advise clients on their options, which does take more than 15 minutes.

    Should this stricter "know your client" initiative be imposed rather than suggested, the rate site model will certainly face it's challenges.

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 6:35:39 PM

    The regulator initiative Jake makes reference to is very real, and is a step in the right direction in order head off the adverse effects to consumers that rate sites may have on consumers, that were somehow not at all addressed in Carrick's Globe and Mail article/ad about intellimortgage.

    Consumers are already filing complaints in record numbers about non-disclosure issues from both banks and brokers, and the disclaimers on rate sites don't absolve our industry form the responsibility we have to properly advise clients on their options, which does take more than 15 minutes.

    Should this stricter "know your client" initiative be imposed rather than suggested, the rate site model will certainly face it's challenges.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-02 6:44:08 PM

    John, you always out your name on it so I am happy to give a respectful response. I have attended the FSCO meetings on suitability and KYC and while there will be some changes FSCO will not require every broker to personally meet with every client.

    We currently provide full disclosure to all clients about all aspects of the mortgage and we spend hours on the phone and by email answering questions in great detail. We do not take a back seat to any broker on disclosure, suitability and consultation. We just don't make you come to our office.

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-02 7:01:20 PM

    Good to hear Ron....Cheers

  • John Bargis on 2014-04-03 5:04:31 AM

    To Kettle Meat Pot...Really, that's the best you can do on the important topics that are addressed in this article?

    Your ignorance of the facts are an extension of the masked identity in which you choose to hide behind. How cowardly?...My reputation speaks for itself, and it's going to take much more than your incognito slanderous comments to change that.....I guess envy got the better of you. I'm flattered.

  • Vince Gaetano on 2014-04-07 9:12:26 AM

    Gentlemen, this discussion covers a number of hot issues ranging from the role of CAAMP, online direct to consumer models, continued unbiased coverage by CMT, etc which has prompted passionate dialogue.

    It's clear that this industry is changing and we all have the responsibility to ourselves to adapt to the changing dynamics of the customer.

    We all have our respective models and its these models that define us as brokerages. We should all be trying to figure out how to adapt to the changes of the day and ensure our different models can survive.

    The reality is when something is threatened, human nature is such that we defend them to ensure survival but businesses need to adapt or they will die.

    Hats off the Rob McLister on successfully monetizing his CMT entity. Not many in this industry can say they have achieved this stage in the business cycle. I hope your involvement with CAAMP can provide you insight that can be reported, critiqued and prompt them to be accountable to their membership. If Rob is able to continue the way he reports the issues of the day, we may be able to get more answers and insight on this organization many are questioning whether it provides value.

    It's a good opportunity to share with Rob your concerns about CAAMP and he can start his relationship with an "investigative report" story that addresses the key questions mortgage brokers have about CAAMP.

    Just my two cents....good luck with the spring market.


  • Vince Gaetano on 2014-04-07 9:12:32 AM

    Gentlemen, this discussion covers a number of hot issues ranging from the role of CAAMP, online direct to consumer models, continued unbiased coverage by CMT, etc which has prompted passionate dialogue.

    It's clear that this industry is changing and we all have the responsibility to ourselves to adapt to the changing dynamics of the customer.

    We all have our respective models and its these models that define us as brokerages. We should all be trying to figure out how to adapt to the changes of the day and ensure our different models can survive.

    The reality is when something is threatened, human nature is such that we defend them to ensure survival but businesses need to adapt or they will die.

    Hats off the Rob McLister on successfully monetizing his CMT entity. Not many in this industry can say they have achieved this stage in the business cycle. I hope your involvement with CAAMP can provide you insight that can be reported, critiqued and prompt them to be accountable to their membership. If Rob is able to continue the way he reports the issues of the day, we may be able to get more answers and insight on this organization many are questioning whether it provides value.

    It's a good opportunity to share with Rob your concerns about CAAMP and he can start his relationship with an "investigative report" story that addresses the key questions mortgage brokers have about CAAMP.

    Just my two cents....good luck with the spring market.


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