Indeed, no publicity is bad publicity, with mortgage brokers welcoming a well-placed article in the National Post that’s all about them – more specifically, their willingness to buy down rate.
“Mortgage brokers are once again undercutting the banks and some are willing to buy down your rate — eating part of their commission in the process — to gain customers,” reads the first sentence of Garry Marr’s article, “Brokers undercut banks,” in Monday’s Financial Post. “Steep mortgage discounts from the major banks have all but disappeared from the market, leading mortgage brokers to make sacrifices for market share amid new rumours that another major Canadian bank is going to bring its business completely in-house.”
The article gives consumers a heads-up about the possible benefits of today’s rate wars, chief among them, the increased willingness of mortgage professionals to do what it takes to retain clients.
That eagerness may have increased following BMO’s move to withdraw its most special of special offers -- a 2.99 per cent five-year fixed -- late last month.
Today’s higher rates being offered by all lenders means brokers are having to buy down their rates in order to gain a competitive edge over the big banks outside the broker channel.
Brokers have traditionally been bashful about broadcasting that last ditch option to consumers, fearful that would foster expectations they’re simply unprepared to meet.
That reluctance is starting to weaken, as brokers fight to maintain market share.
“I don’t think (consumers) have to be told to ask for a buy-down these days, and if they don’t know it and this article encourages them to call a mortgage broker, that’s a good thing,” said Grant King, president and principal broker for Ottawa-Carleton Mortgage Inc. “You got to do what you got to do.”
Even with its emphasis on buy-downs, the news story should help to drive new business to brokers, said Ranjit Dhillon, principal broker at Centum Mortgage Smart in the GTA.
“When it comes to competing with the banks, it shows that brokers are being more flexible,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I think the exposure will undoubtedly help to bring that to the attention of consumers who would otherwise have gone straight to the bank.”