A veteran broker and former CAAMP chair is among those challenging the results of a new poll suggesting client satisfaction may be higher for AMP brokers than for those without the accreditation.
“I am questioning the results and the methodology of any poll indicating consumers were more ‘very satisfied with’ an AMP broker as opposed to one without that designation, particularly if you look at the limited number of brokers that actually hold the AMP,” John Bargis, VP at Mortgage Edge, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The overwhelming majority of brokers simply don’t have the designation, yet they’re the ones who are successfully bringing in the majority of business for the industry.”
The comments echoed those of other mortgage professionals Wednesday, many taking umbrage with the results, but also the question that yielded it.
Some of the results of the Maritz survey, commissioned by CAAMP, were presented by the pollster’s Managing Director Rob Daniel.
He consulted both consumers and brokers, along with other industry participants. When mortgage consumers were asked about their satisfaction in dealing with mortgage brokers, 52 per cent said they were “satisfied,” while 38 per cent were “very satisfied.” However, if the broker they dealt with was an AMP, the very satisfied category jumped to 46 per cent.
Maritz will furnish a final report in the coming weeks, and specific methodology wasn't immediately available to brokers at the CAAMP forum.
Still, Bargis thinks the question aiming to draw comparisons between brokers on the basis of AMP designation may be premature.
“I don’t know that it’s a fair question to ask at this point in the development of the AMP designation and its professional standards,” said the former CAAMP chairman. "Besides, it's not the designation that CAAMP needs to be concerned about at this time, it's the well-overdue awareness campaign direct to the consumer of the value of a mortgage broker that needs to be aggressively pursued. This will eliminate any confusion about the benefit of dealing with the broker channel."
The association’s immediate-past chair recently addressed broker concerns about qualifying standards for the AMP, which many brokers hope will set the industry on track for greater market penetration.
“This discussion about the AMP is great because it shows how much the industry is engaged,” Joe Pinheiro told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The bar has increased over the last year based on input from the AMP taskforce and it makes sense to continually raise that bar. We are moving ahead with a plan to do that, to improve the designation. While I understand criticism about the pace of that process, the truth is that it can’t be done overnight.”
Substantive changes were, in fact, introduced last year and were meant to ensure a higher level of broker know-how and professionalism. Chief among them was the move to mandate four of the 12 continuing education units required for annual AMP renewal.
Broker beefs aside, CAAMP realized a whopping 10 per cent jump in AMP memberships during its last fiscal year, according to data released in October.
“Our AMP membership grew to over 3,800, representing an increase of over ten percent,” said Jim Murphy, CEO and president for the non-profit association, in its 2010/2011 annual report. “Members value the AMP and support professionalism. The changes we implemented earlier in the year were well received and will continue to be an area of focus.”