Market distorts broker 'seasons'

Market distorts broker 'seasons'

Market distorts broker

The current housing market has thrown the longstanding broker calendar out of whack, charge mortgage professionals grappling with the disruption.

“The business cycles we’ve known have gone out the window,” said Kelly Kozar, an agent at Mortgage Intelligence Oshawa. “Even the law offices I normally work with report that the tail-end of August, a usually busy period, has been unseasonably quiet.”

Even weekly business patterns have been altered, she told, echoing the observations of other brokers.

“Mondays through Wednesday used to be busy because buyers often shop on the weekend and then Realtors send us the papers when the week starts,” Kozar said. “Now documents can come in any day of the week.”

While the recent mortgage rule changes have put the brakes on the hyperactive housing market, they’ve also helped to alter the traditional ebbs and flows of property buying.

“The new mortgage rules and the anticipated market corrections are probably having an effect on the consumers’ home buying behaviour,” said Kozar, pointing to her own slow March, April and May – what are normally the industry’s peak season.

Other brokers are pointing to the same upended seasonality as the market shifts to a buyer’s one and the urgency many house hunters previously felt is lost.

Many are now perennial searches prepared to buy only when they find that “right and perfect” property. It means that brokers are left hanging for that discovery as they sit on a mountain of preapprovals. It also suggests that the line between Canada’s traditionally slow and busy cycles will further blur, caution analysts.

Many brokerages are scrambling to hold on to the dwindling revenue in a variety of ways. Some have gone the “diversification route” by expanding client offerings to include insurance products. Others are redoubling their networking efforts to win new referrals.

Mortgage Intelligence Oshawa has been focusing on the Internet

“We find we are relying less on Realtors and generating leads through our Internet presence,” said Kozar. “We find a lot of people find us through the Web.”