Brokers may not like it, but this is the reality of the industry today.
A man largely viewed as a vision has moved to deepen his commitment to rate sites, with the purchase of RateSupermarket to bring alongside his other mortgage holdings Kanetix and Comparasave.
Kanetix has taken a giant leap in the online mortgage market, buying RateSupermarket.ca and placing itself on the first page of any Google “best mortgage rate” search.
“It made sense to them and it made sense to us,” said Yousry Bissada, president and CEO of Kanetix. “The travel industry has been conquered by online, as has music with iTunes and movies with Netflix. The insurance and mortgage industry is going that way too.”
Bissada told MortgageBrokerNews.ca in an exclusive interview that adding RateSupermarket.ca will “lay the foundation” for an online offering of insurance, credit card and mortgage services that includes Comparasave.com, Insurance Hotline.com and Kanetix.
“These online services are just in the early stages here in Canada,” said Bissada. “It is much more substantial in the U.S. and Europe. All the numbers point to 70 per cent of mortgage holders shopping online now.”
Kelvin Mangaroo will be staying on as president of RateSupermarket, largely viewed as one of the top three lead-generation sites in Canada.
“I’m delighted the entire team is staying on,” said Bissada, “and very glad that Kelvin will be leading the team.”
For Bissada, he sees websites like Kanetix and RateSupermarket growing business for mortgage brokers.
“We are very big at feeding brokers business at Kanetix,” he pointed out. “I expect those numbers to grow for brokers – but the websites aren’t designed to replace banks; they are here to show people ‘how to deal’ with those institutions.”
Bissada, has a reputation for being on the leading edge of where the mortgage industry is headed, and some brokers are already viewing his latest purchase as strong indication comparison sites are here to stay.
“Everybody should sit up and take notice,” says Ron Butler
, the owner of Verico
Butler Mortgage. “Brokers need to stop whining about these sites and move into the future. Rate sites are not going away – they are here to stay.”
Butler points to the 25 years of experience Bissada has in the industry, and an impressive track record of choosing the right horse to bet on every time.
“He’s (Bissada) been doing this within our industry since 1988 when he started at FirstLine,” says Butler. “He’s had nothing but success in his career, knowing where the trends will be coming. He knew he couldn’t get where he wanted to be fast enough with Kanetix, so he went and purchased the guy on Page One (of a Google search).”
Butler also has high praise for Mangaroo, whom he credits with developing and nurturing RateSupermarket into the success it is today. He sees the marriage of the two companies as a good fit, as RateSupermarket will continue with its independent website and business partners, while Kanetix would continue its current arrangement with Invis/MI on its website.