Major RateHub customer might pull support

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One of RateHub’s largest clients is set to decide today whether it will continue to do business with the popular rate site following the announcement that it is establishing a competing mortgage brokerage.

“We can invest our money in multiple ways and now to say 'do you want to invest it with a company that has murky motives,' maybe we should spend it somewhere else and that’s a better idea,” Dan Eisner, CEO of True North Mortgage said on Thursday’s Canadian Mortgage Hangout TV. “That’s something we’re going to discuss with the board of directors tomorrow.”

Like many brokers in the industry, Eisner views the move as a conflict of interest and worries that the number of leads that come from RateHub.ca will decline along with the quality.

“In my mind you have to choose – there is a door, either it’s opened or closed,” Eisner said. “Either you’re a rate comparison site or you’re a mortgage brokerage (and) you can’t keep that iron wall up.

“It’s one corporation; they’ll decide whichever pays them the best and in the end only one is going to win.”

Eisner’s company is currently seeking legal action against its former employee, James Laird – who has been tapped to manage RateHub’s brokerage --, for allegedly breaching a non-compete clause.

“We’re now weighing our options in terms of our legal options,” Eisner told MortgageBrokerNews.ca earlier this week. “We have retained counsel to pursue our options regarding James’ non-compete clause.”
 
  • J.M. on 2014-07-18 11:29:55 AM

    who cares

  • J.M. on 2014-07-18 11:30:30 AM

    Who cares

  • John Smith on 2014-07-18 11:30:35 AM

    Not an easy spot to be in for TNM, considering their business plan includes major investment in both online rate sites plus physical lease and employee costs which must not be very cheap. And now, the #1 rate site that they supported is going to start a brokerage. Previously, the #1 lender they supported (ING) was sold to Scotia and left the market.

    The term Schadenfreude comes to mind.

  • Not using rate hub on 2014-07-18 11:49:41 AM

    TNM will do fine without RateHub. In fact, removing RateHub as a middle man and focusing on building the TNM brand will probably be a benefit to the company.

  • John W on 2014-07-18 12:03:54 PM

    Rate sluts are rate sluts. Who cares.
    Oh sorry they have a business model that is based on extensive research. My research indicates that clients who are more interested in me taking a reduced commission are not worthy of being the cornerstone of my business. Just saying.

  • Deenu Patel on 2014-07-18 1:26:19 PM

    I agree with you John. There is so much market share out there, that brokerages competing against other brokerages makes no sense. Get your clients from where you want, but retaining them is one thing that will build a strong long term business. Quality trusting appreicative clients over quantity jump around business is my plan.

  • Gord McCallum on 2014-07-18 7:10:54 PM

    Thanks for the mention MBN! Feel free to link to the video if you'd like: www.canadianmortgagehangout.tv

  • Crap Detector on 2014-07-18 9:15:05 PM

    John W: Out of touch brokers who sling terms like "rate slut" deserve to go out of business. Name calling is a defensive technique because you're threatened. I get it. But crudely labelling brokers who serve customers honestly, but in a different way, is just juvenile. I’d say it’s the other way around. With your holier than thou attitude, YOU are not worthy of your customers.

    Deenu Patel: Are you kidding? You mean to tell me you wouldn't accept a client's deal if he was working with another broker? Or are you saying we can undercut banks but shouldn't undercut other brokers?

    Let's be real. Brokering isn't charity and it's not a team sport. Brokers owe no allegiance to other brokers. Their duty is to the customer, and then to the lender, and then to themselves.

    Defending "broker interests" is nothing more than a guise to keep your commissions inflated. Go on and live that lie, but know this. When you put broker interests before client interests, the clock starts ticking on your extinction. Polish up that resume.

    As for retention, try explaining to your renewal client why your rate is 20 basis points higher than a discounter and see how many of them you retain. The main reason you want trusting clients is so they don't question your rates. Pathetic.

  • John W on 2014-07-18 9:34:27 PM

    I've been in this business since the 80's, seen a lot of things and you don't have to offer the lowest rate to do business. My clients have so much loyalty to me because they value my expertise and professionalism. My holier than thou attitude was earned. I'm sure you can't say the same. Anyone who thinks they have to offer the lowest rate just doesn't understand the business.

  • Crap Detector on 2014-07-18 10:00:33 PM

    Why don't you ask your clients how professional your "rate slut" comments are. Why not explain to them what a rate slut is and see if they agree with your definition. Then watch 90% of them walk out your door in disbelief that they were ever loyal to you.

  • John W on 2014-07-18 10:07:00 PM

    Crap Detector, your showing your colours!

  • Newer Agent on 2014-07-19 1:20:21 PM

    @John...you are in a different phase of your business cycle. You said that you've been in the biz since the 80's and your clients are loyal. That's great, and I don't doubt that it's true for one second. However, how about those of us who don't have a loyal database of past clients...because we don't really have a DB at all? Your comments make it sound like you work almost exclusively with repeat customers...it makes sense that they are loyal and don't question you because in the past when you built this DB you had better rates than the bank and now your clients view you as "the guy". They don't actively search anymore. I bet they don't even know that they are not getting the best rate. Are you supremely confident their loyalty would remain if they did? Especially when the reason is simply "so I get paid more".

    @everyone...There is one overwhelming trend in this rate discounting discussion. With only a few exceptions, every broker who takes a negative stance on it has a nice meaty book of past biz they can rely on in this hyper competitive A market. The incredible irony that they miss is that they BUILT that book by being a rate discounter. For so many years you could take any client from the bank on rate alone...and you did it...you all did it. The ONLY difference now is that other lenders are far more competitive and there is a cost to winning on rate. That, and the fact that today a savvy client can find out in 1 google search whether they are getting the best rate or not.

    So please, all this anger and defensiveness is simply because you are not winning brand new business with the same frequency you once did. The discounters are starting to pick your pocket and that upsets you. None of you would care for even a second if you weren't being personally affected by this change but you are. You get angry, call people names and insult their business acumen all because YOUR business is suffering. There is literally no other psychological reason for the reaction. You're very fortunate to have an existing book, as for those of us starting out, having the best rate AND receiving top comp will rarely happen. You should be grateful you entered the biz when you did and should immediately stop pretending you built yours in a radically different fashion.

    For the record I discount around 15% of my biz at the moment but see that trending higher in the future as the client continues to evolve. With 15% of my clients I need rate to win...that's just a reality in my biz and at this stage in my biz cycle (3.5yrs) I won't be turning them away. If anyone out there has the blueprint to locking that 15% down without discounting or lying to the client, please share.

  • Newer Agent on 2014-07-19 1:20:51 PM

    Yikes...sorry for the wall of text. :-)

  • Kyvin on 2014-07-20 3:05:01 AM

    Rate hub was always a indirect part of Eisner's brokerage .Dan Eisner funded rate hub and was the biggest share holder(can be confirmed from ratehub's corporation docs).When all other brokerages were buying leads seldom did they know that they were helping their competitor grow his alternative business. What difference does it make now if another partner moves away and start another brokerage with Ratehub? Only difference is that now everything is known and earlier it was not

  • Deenu Patel on 2014-07-21 4:04:08 PM

    Dear Mr. or Ms. Detector,
    I have to honestly say, yes, I do happily turn a person who comes to me from working with another broker, looking for a better rate, back to their broker. I'll also find out who their broker is, so I can let them know, what their client is up to. I did this for a fellow Victoria broker about a month ago. The only time where this is not the case, is when they are completely upset by their relationship, and they are truly shopping for a better broker, and not a better rate. It's only fair. We are in this together to grow this industry. To fight dollars and commissions for work that you and I both know is worth the energy and time we put into education, continued licensing, and time that we invest into ourselves professionally, I want to let my clients know that I am worth it. If I decided to play this game, I could just put my entire commission into buying down the rate (so could anyone for that matter, just to win that client). Who wins? No one.

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