CMA winner offers crucial advice to new brokers

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Lifetime Achievement award-winner at this year’s CMAs has one piece of advice for new agents or anyone else looking to tap into his experience.

“In today’s environment a new broker must focus on the changing regulatory guidelines that financial institutions are implementing from the B20 accord,”  Douglas Farmer, the Calgary branch manager for First National Financial, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca on the heels of his acceptance speech Friday. “That is what I would tell a new broker just starting out in business today.”

The rapid pace of change for financial institutions courtesy of the new B20 regulations make it critical for new brokers to get up to speed on the intricacies of new underwriting guidelines, he said.

“Financial institutions are adopting these guidelines with different timetables,” Farmer told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The changes to guidelines surrounding how mortgages are qualified are being amended so rapidly that a new broker would not survive the critical period that builds credibility in the marketplace, without being thoroughly educated.”

Farmer, who was awarded the CMA’s coveted lifetime achievement award at the annual gala in Toronto, reflected on a career that began in 2000 when First National was tenth in the market share. It has now has ascended to second spot.

As gracious as ever, he told those gathered at the Friday night ceremony “I would not take any recognition for that, but I know that the Prairies have been a big part of that.”

Learning the intricacies of underwriting and meeting the needs of insurers may be the greatest advantage any broker can win for themselves, Farmer pointed out.

“Treatment of calculating ratios with secured and unsecured revolving lines of credit and treatment of rental income alone are changing quickly,” he said. “In addition, the mortgage insurers will be subject to their own accord, which has yet to be rolled out to the financial marketplace

“I believe a new broker will be wise to focus on understanding these evolving guidelines if they want to make a positive impact in the marketplace. Anything less will hamper their career progression.”

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