When Collin Bruce won his first Canadian Mortgage Award
in 2012, he had no idea just how much business was about to boom.
“Winning a CMA is huge in the industry,” said Bruce, a mortgage broker and franchise owner at Dominion Lending Centres
Mortgage Mentors. “It’s like the Oscars or Emmys of the mortgage world. For us to be able to advertise that is huge—and I still advertise that; it’s in my email signature, on my Facebook page, my website, everything.
“Even with the lenders, especially underwriters and lenders, it’s another level of respect that they have with you, but also with customers, for sure, it’s huge.”
Just as he had three years earlier, Bruce won the 2015 Mortgage Broker of the Year award, and again in 2016. His team also won the 2015 Mortgage Brokerage of the Year Award.
Bruce says he’s gearing up for the 12th annual Canadian Mortgage Awards
“Really, I don’t know if there’s anything bigger than to win the Broker and Brokerage awards, apart from the lifetime award, from the CMAs,” he said.
Bruce described the awards gala as great fun, but also as an opportunity to rub shoulders with peers, many of whom he, and other industry players scattered about the country, only has a chance to meet at the CMAs.
“I find the relationships you build with the lenders at an event like this huge, because you’re meeting higher-ups,” he said. “There’s the before dinner and after party, and a lot of people are in the night before too, so there’s usually a get together. With our brokers, whether it’s Dominion or non-Dominion, I met a lot of people there I still keep in contact with today.”
Shane Bruce, founder of the ACME Group of Companies, says winning a CMA resonated instantly in his local market of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
“When you’re from a small market, you can be a little fish in a pond, but when you get a national nod like that, it goes to show what you do beyond just brokering mortgages,” said S. Bruce. “As a broker-owner, you have a lot more on your plate than underwriting customers, you’re running a business. The local precedent from getting a national nod helped because it showed our business acumen and that we’re more than just brokers.”
ACME won the 2015 Marketing Campaign of the Year and the 2011 Business Excellence Award.
Being that Newfoundland is rather isolated from the country’s larger centres where most of the activity occurs, being an award-winning company certainly boosts credentials.
“Those industry events are in bigger centres, which are great because we’re out in the middle of nowhere and we get to see a lot of banking industry people, lenders and all the other people we don’t get to see out in Newfoundland,” said S. Bruce. “The other thing is when you network with peers from across the country, it’s always nice to get ideas about what they’re doing and to see how they’re being successful. We get to problem solve together. There’s really no down side to these things.”
Troy Resvick, British Columbia president of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, was a presenter at the 2017 CMAs and says, as an industry veteran, he was heartened to see his colleagues from years past cement their reputations as industry leaders by taking home a slew of awards.
“During my 17 years in the industry, I’ve met a lot of great people, and any time you get to attend an event like the CMAs, it’s special because people are being recognized for their accomplishments,” he said. “I think it’s great to join and celebrate with colleagues in the industry. We learn from each other and catch up on things, which we don’t normally get to do because we’re too busy putting deals together.”
Collin Bruce says it’s also just a night to let loose and have fun.
“The gala is super high-class,” he said. “You’re mingling with some of the best colleagues in the industry, and lenders, and they do such a great job of hosting a first-class event. It’s the elite class of brokers and lenders, and always a fun time.”
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