CAAMP incentives for super brokers draw concerns

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CAAMP is now offering the country’s largest broker networks a “20-per cent administrative incentive” for collecting membership dues on behalf of the association, MortgageBrokerNews.ca has learned, but only if all their brokers and agents join up.

“Sharing the cost of operating an association is by no means a simple task,” writes CAAMP CEO Jim Murphy, in an offer letter sent to broker network heads Nov. 9. “As you know, (our) bylaw states that if a brokerage is a member (of CAAMP) all of its agents, sub-brokers or associates must also be members. Over the past year the board of directors has discussed in detail the aforementioned bylaw.

“We appreciate the time and effort it takes to collect and remit member dues on behalf of a large number of offices and people. With this in mind, the board has passed for 2012 a resolution that we feel will reimburse those firms that take on the effort of collecting and remitting membership. We have implemented a program, which provides you with a 20 per cent rebate on total member dues paid for 2012 (net of tax) in the form of a CAAMP credit.”

There are conditions attached to that offer: The administrative incentive cannot be redeemed in cash, but only in the form of CAAMP products and services such as education credits, AMP dues, event registration or sponsorship. The rebate cannot be applied to CAAMP membership dues. The dues the broker network does collect must also be submitted to the association on one cheque, a way of reducing administrative costs for CAAMP.

Also, the board is only making the offer to super brokers and networks that have a minimum of 500 members, and each organization must be compliant with the bylaw Murphy cites in his letter – namely all of its agents and brokers must be CAAMP members.

That last condition has raised eyebrows among brokerage heads and agents, alike, concerned it may place broker networks in the position of having to encourage all of their franchisees and agents to become members.

Others have told MortgageBrokerNews.ca that they’re concerned none of the incentive will trickle down to the agents and brokers actually paying the membership dues if the networks decide to use the rebate to promote their respective brands at CAAMP events and through CAAMP publications and sponsorship.

Yet others have suggested the offer should have been made to large brokerages with less than 500 members, a way of ensuring fairness.

That cut-off number reflects the reason for the offer, Murphy told MortgageBrokerNews.ca Wednesday.

“We have five people doing membership, so clearly receiving one cheque from a network instead of 150 individual cheques from (franchises or brokerages in that network) is a real assistance to us administratively, and that’s where the cost savings would come for CAAMP,” he said.

The CAAMP offer does, indeed, make good business sense for an association grappling to manage administrative costs at the same time stay connected to the networks that support it, said one broker. He is nonetheless concerned about a possible lack of transparency.

“I understand why CAAMP is doing it: it’s easier to collect from one rather than from hundreds of individual brokerages and agents in a network; and this incentive has the potential to help keep the super brokers and networks happy,” said Ron Butler, AMP, with Verico Homeguard Funding Ltd. “But what is potentially problematic is a situation where the brokers and agents actually paying the dues don’t receive any of the benefits of the rebate, and they are effectively underwriting a benefit for head office. Mr. Murphy, there must be transparency here.”

At least, one broker network has decided not to take up the CAAMP offer, although remains very supportive of an organization that continues to successfully lobby regulators and government on behalf of its members and the industry, as a whole.

“We are a franchise organization,” Paul Therien, director of business development for Centum Financial Group, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Our primary role is to provide systems and tools to our members, our franchisees. It really is not our role as an independent for-profit franchisor to mandate membership in any association or to collect for that association.”

The head of Ontario’s provincial association, IMBA, offered the same concerns.

“I don’t think that brokerages should be in the position of collecting dues for an association,” Albert Collu, also head of broker network Argentum, said Wednesday. “It’s up to an association to demonstrate the value of its membership, and membership in any association should be the choice of the individual – we don’t need to insert broker networks into that dialogue.”
 

  • Toronto broker on 2011-12-02 9:32:16 AM

    You gotta give it to 'em...(CAAMP)......when new agents take the mortgage agent course thru them they make it seem as though you MUST have a CAAMP membership...you party for it then realize that its not mandatory according to FSCO....NOW this...I think a call to the competition bureau is warranted...what have they done lately for the industry other than hold over priced seminars and charge overpriced membership fees

  • Alberta broker on 2011-12-02 12:34:41 PM

    I have no choice to be a member, I am not allowed to work at my company without Caamp. I personally find it the biggest waste of my money. They have done nothing for me and to see their emails humiliating someone not disclosing personal information that has nothing to do with in how they work makes me dislike them even more. In all my years being an agent I have found CAAMP the biggest waste of my money

  • Jeremy on 2011-12-02 1:30:04 PM

    Ron, well said and I agree with you. It's the boys club and they all need to go, if true reform is to happen! What do you suggest? I'll start the movement!

    Alberta broker, you have a choice. Not all brokerages are members of CAAMP. Is your brokerage really a great fit if your philosophies are not in alignment?

  • Ontario Broker on 2011-12-02 4:34:36 PM

    I applaud Centum for the position that they are taking with this. I believe that it takes courage to take a stance that is different than what the majority are doing mi also whole heartily agree... It is not their role to force membership or to collect payments. Kudos to Paul Therien and all of the management at Centum.

  • Mississauga Broker on 2011-12-02 4:38:04 PM

    Ive been a part of the Centum organization for some time now, and one of the reasons that I made the decision to join is because they do not, and have never, made it mandatory to belong to CAAMP. I think that CAAMP has forgotten what it means to be a member association. I take heart knowing that Centum, Argentum, others have not.

  • Jason on 2011-12-02 4:42:55 PM

    When I joined my current brokerage I was given no choice but to join CAAMP, it part of the rules, when a brokerage belongs all of their sub broker must join. This, is, a stupid rule. I joined them because I thought that they were doing more than anyone else, but if they are getting a kick back from CAAMP, well then maybe I need to join a brand that does not force this on their networks and line their pockets at the same time.

  • Christina, Ontario on 2011-12-02 4:53:05 PM

    I think that CAAMP has real value, but only when and if it remembers what it's role really is in the industry and that is to support its members. They seem to have forgotten all of this and that it is all about the AMP and membership to them. These things are important, but not at the expense of their membership.

    Also... SHAME on the super brands that signed up for this underhanded move for a kickback. What, is this a mob run organization or something? To the few that stood up and said no... Nice to see not everyone has lost their integrity for a few bucks.

  • Cathy on 2011-12-02 4:55:54 PM

    This whole situation stinks, totally and completely. I am not sure who I should be more disappointed in, CAAMP or the leadership at the brands that agreed to this. I thought that Gary, Colin, Micheal and the rest had more integrity. I guess I was wrong.

  • Re: Ron Butler on 2011-12-02 5:01:33 PM

    Ron, just because CAAMP is the largest and richest association does not make it the best, nor the one that we should be supporting. Using that logic, then there are a lot of organizations in the world that do not deserve support... Because they are not the largest or richest.

  • Shocked Broker on 2011-12-02 5:27:03 PM

    So... Let's see if we have this right... CAAMP wants membership to be mandatory, but they do not want to collect their own dues. No... Instead they want the brands it be the bad guys. What's worse... They agreed to it! I'd like to know how CAAMP thinks that they are saving money by giving the big guys a 20% credit. Maybe Jim Murphy needs to go back to school?

    I am saddened at the rapid decay in CAAMP, this is the final straw for me. I'll not be remaining a member.

  • DO NOT RENEW WITH CAAMP!!!! on 2011-12-02 5:52:14 PM

    This is just proof. The regional broker organizations are better... Well except MBABC who just claimed into bed with CAAMP.

  • Ontario Broker on 2011-12-03 3:42:58 AM

    RE Ron Butler:
    CAAMP is the largest & the richest organization because:
    1)National Brokers (after this fiasco I refuse to call them "super"anything)compel their agents/brokers to belong...hard to justify independent contractor status when you compel people to pay to belong to a non-mandatory association.
    2)Banks pay for their road reps CAAMP dues, as well as paying significant adverting & sponsors fees.
    3)Your tax dollars, indirectly, pay for the CAAMP dues of the hundreds of CMHC employees.

    Would members of any of these groups pay to belong to CAAMP if a) it wasn't mandatory or b) someone else wasn't paying for it?

    There is an old Irish saying, "If you take the devil's penny, you must dance to the devil's tune" and we have seen who CAAMP really represents and it is not the average agent/broker, who are, according to Ontario provincial stats, the large majority of the industry.
    Advertising & sponsorship revenue & membership dues at CAAMP are paying for, in my opinion, a bloated, "do nothing" bureaucracy & huge "executive" salaries & travel expenses. For what? The Howie Mandel Show? Scotch & Cigar Night? A joke of an agent education program in Ontario? Free continuing education course (sorry, Ontario members only!)?....feel free to add to the list.

    Go ahead, be "proud" of that AMP. To me, & thousands of other new & seasoned members of this industry, it just means you will join anything for a party (as long as somebody else pays) & don't know the true value of a hard earned dollar.

  • Blair Anderson on 2011-12-03 4:01:06 AM

    Well said, Ontario Broker. I'll say it again... the time has come for mortgage brokers to get organized on a national level, and I don’t think CAAMP will ever be the best option; too many interest groups. Like our provincial associations, we need one at the national level, with exclusive representation for the broker channel. Perhaps we don’t need to look any further than the model used by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. They represent a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. I would like to propose the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association. And there needs to be equal representation between regions, and small and large brokerages. Once we have established a unified front, only then we can tackle the problems like imposed minimum volume requirements, an advertising fund, exclusivity contracts, etc... No one will fight harder for brokers than brokers. We just need to get organized.

  • Ron Butler on 2011-12-03 5:43:58 AM

    Let me make this clear: I do NOT support the way CAAMP works today. It needs to change completely to focus on the mortgage brokers and agents who make up the vast bulk of the membership.

    To those who say "Blow it up and start over" you may be absolutley right. Maybe CAAMP cannot change, maybe it is possible to unite provincial associations and create a great new national association just for us: the brokers and agents.

    But please hear this: it won't be easy. Most provinacial associations have nothing near the infrastructure of CAAMP and the provincial boards and executives change every year. Getting 4 or 5 associations with different people at the top, different agendas and different regional issues to band together to create a single entity is a huge task. Working with mortgage brokers and agents is like herding cats, not easy at all.

    All I am suggesting is that a concerted effort to change the rich, well established association that is already there should be considered. If it is unfixable, so be it, but I doubt an effective group of us has even taken a shot at changing things at CAAMP.

  • John Bargis, Mortgage Edge on 2011-12-03 7:59:35 AM

    It's good to see that the voice of the feet on the street is finally getting louder...The problem is that the calls are falling on deaf ears with CAAMP, and decisive action needs to be taken....It's time for the people who count, (the agents), to start putting the pressure on their broker houses, and in particular the super brokers.....We all have a choice, it's a question of whether or not we want to exercise it.....This latest announcement is a further realization that the industry sees through the lack of performance by CAAMP to elevate the industry in the eyes of the consumer, and people are tired of it....This offer is just another example of how.....Good for them!!!

  • John Dearin on 2011-12-03 8:30:07 AM

    Were there not just elections held for representation on the BOD of CAAMP? Anyone here offer themselves so the change can start?

  • Re: John Dearin on 2011-12-03 10:08:23 AM

    There were people who offered themselves up, but you have to understand that most people do not want to run because they know that they will be run over if they dissent. History shows this to be true. The old dogs that run the show do not like it when they are questioned. They after all do think that they are the "god fathers" of our industry.

  • Kim on 2011-12-03 10:11:09 AM

    I've read a couple of comments that bash "all" of the super brokers for supporting this. Remember, there was at least one of the big seven brands that stood up and said no to this. The trick now... will others have the courage to say no to it as well?

  • re: Ron Butler on 2011-12-03 10:14:34 AM

    I think that the infrastructure at the top of CAAMP might be the reason why there are so many issues. It would be a lot easier to change CAAMP then people think. Get rid of the current executive, bring in some people who are not stuck in the past and are forward thinking. Better yet, before the board passes major resolutions - get the membership to vote on it. In the days of electronic voting, its not all that complicated.

  • Toronto Broker on 2011-12-03 10:20:01 AM

    CAAMP needs to either be dismantled or totally overhauled. Either way, get rid of the top brass first and bring in some younger blood. Experience does not always translate into knowing better, sometimes it also equals tunnel vision. CAAMP is supposed to be guiding us into the future as an industry. Not sure how they think they can do that when they don't even know what they are doing in the present. OH, and this might shock some of you... but does CAAMP know that there are brokers outside of Ontario? They sure don't act like they do.

  • GTA Broker on 2011-12-06 2:10:30 AM

    You need to start supporting your provincial Associations. IMBA works for the Broker/Agents and need support of all Ontario Agents.

  • Chris on 2011-12-02 5:18:19 AM

    It's been mandatory with my Super Broker as long as I've been around, and I've always wondered why they were so intent on it. Now I think I know why...

  • Steve on 2011-12-02 6:26:59 AM

    I've been a memeber of CAAMP, CIMBL and OMBA (for those can remember) since 1989... So now I'll pay less of a fee if I join a super broker? where's my incentive for paying 22 yrs worth of fees? does anyone else see a problem with this?

  • AB Broker on 2011-12-02 6:32:00 AM

    A 20% discount offsets any "administrative" costs to CAAMP several times over. This is just a vain attempt by CAAMP to sell more memberships. This move is CAAMP admitting that they can't gain broker memberships by poviding valueable enough services to mortgage brokers for them to join willingly.

  • Bill from Burlington on 2011-12-02 6:32:58 AM

    1) And did all those "Super Brokers" disclose the discount to their brokers/agents or did they just pocket the 20%?
    2) If anyone ever doubted whose butt CAAMP is kissing, you sure know now.
    3) If you are a broker/agent who does not work for a "super brokerage", run, don' t walk, to join your provincial/regional association!

  • Ont Broker on 2011-12-02 7:04:23 AM

    Pitiful attempt by CAAMP to force member retention. Get the "big guys"to be the bully collectors! & screw the little guy by not giving him/her the discount!
    Members are sick of seeing their hard earned money piddled away on the likes of
    " The Howie Mandel Forum" & any benefits aleays go to the big guys.It's like standing back & watching a plane crash & burn.

  • Ontario South West Broker on 2011-12-02 7:43:27 AM

    I'm curious to find out what "perk" does CAAMP provide Banks with if all of their mortgage specialist, in branch and mobile, are members of CAAMP...

  • Ottawa broker on 2011-12-02 7:52:48 AM

    Once again, CAAMP shows how ridiculously inefficient and educated they are, and i am a super broker agent. Still, seems like a decision that did not take into effect the repercussions.

  • Jeremy on 2011-12-02 8:54:11 AM

    For those who have commented before me and those how will comment after me, I would encourage you to STOP paying your CAAMP dues! Collectively, lets stop commenting because clearly CAAMP is not listening to their membership. Their concern is not ethics, professionalism or education in our industry, it's raising money!

    DO NOT RENEW YOUR CAAMP MEMBERSHIP.

    For those whose E&O is tied to the membership, gather the other associates and ask your brokerage to source it elsewhere (there are companies that will offer the coverage cheaper, trust me).

    Sounds like CAAMP just shaved their Mo and left themselves naked! haha

    I challenge ALL my fellow hard working colleagues to put your wallet where your mouth is and stop feeding CAAMP!!

    On with the Mortgage Revolution!

  • Ron Butler on 2011-12-02 9:07:44 AM

    CAAMP is still the largest, richest association mortgage brokers have with the best governmental connections. We need to change CAAMP fundementally. We need to force change and make CAAMP an association that is broker focused. CAAMP must embrace the grass roots of the association: the mortgage professionals who deal with the public every day. The last Mortgage Forum was a total failure. Not one single broker was represented in any presentation, once again this year

    Many changes have to be made but don't give up on CAAMP, work to fix it.

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