Competitors join forces to form association

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They may be competitors, but a number of lender and insurer BDMs in one market are working together to better serve brokers.

A number of lender BDMs, insurers and appraisers in the Ottawa/Kingston area formed the Eastern Ontario Lending Association (EOLA) in a bid to collectively work together to better serve the mortgage broker industry.

“The association is a great intelligence source; we talk about what’s going on in the industry,” Stephanie Guistini, account manager, client relations for CMHC, told “There’s a great partnership between lenders, even though they’re competitors.

“It’s helped for gaining intel."

According to Guistini – who acts as the association’s treasurer -- the association grew from a series of events that were hosted for brokers.

However, it’s evolved to include a total of 24 members – from various lenders, insurers and appraisers – who actively work to help brokers and further the channel.

“The goal is to become more effective as BDMs and become more effective for our brokers,” Andrea Haines, regional manager, eastern Ontario for Magenta Investment told “We communicate with each other and share info on getting deals done; it empowers us to be better for brokers.

“Membership includes BDMs from ever lender, all three insurers, and appraiser. Anyone who reaches out can join.”

Members meet regularly; they host events for brokers, as well as a Christmas event for EOLA members and an annual summer event in Kingston.

And many fruitful partnerships have emerged from the association.

“A lot of lenders will recommend each other if they can’t get a deal done,” Guistini said.

She hopes other markets will see what EOLA has been able to accomplish and form similar alliances.

“I hope so. If we’re able to do it, I don’t know why other markets can’t,” Guistini said. “There are no negatives that have come from it.”
  • Gary Meger on 2016-03-28 10:32:51 AM

    There has been a northern lender's association, north of Toronto, for many years, it has worked extremely well.

  • Carlo on 2016-03-28 10:56:16 AM

    Great start to fixing a broken industry..
    -MLS system that is meaningless
    - firm offers only
    - checklist lending, not personalized quality underwriting
    - quality borrowers forced down the lending solution order
    - all channel issue
    - bidding wars with multiple one day only offers
    - All of the repercussions of all of the above... And..Lots more...Shameful..
    Your group with the right intentions and mandate is a start..You have a big job..Good Luck!!..

  • Vince Agozzino on 2016-03-28 10:58:22 AM

    Love this initiative!!

  • Sam Samadi on 2016-03-28 11:23:00 AM

    Way to go guys! We have adopted a similar mentality in the prairies.

  • Bev Gay on 2016-03-28 12:32:22 PM

    I ran one of these localy with CMHC back in the day when we all worked for banks..its an excellent idea...

  • Andrew Ramdeholl on 2016-03-28 1:59:03 PM

    Great idea for innovation and enhanced efficiencies.

  • Claire Drage on 2016-03-28 5:57:48 PM

    This is an amazing initiative... way to go... so invaluable to join forces like this... I support this whole heartedly

  • Darlene Hinton on 2016-03-28 6:39:57 PM

    It certainly goes to show it's more effective to work with each other as opposed to against each other. Keep up the great work!

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