“A lot of larger brokers have the ability to advertise on a broader (scale), which is great,” Phil Edwards of GTA-based MorCan Direct told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “As a smaller brokerage here we actually benefit from that because it opens the public’s eyes to actually using a broker and we kind of thrive (on) that public awareness of using a broker.”
In his “Forecast for the industry in 2014” portion of CMP’s Hot List, Dominion Lending Centres
’ number one broker by volume, Collin Bruce, expressed a worry that smaller brokerages will struggle in the year ahead if they don’t diversity their business models.
“With the lenders continuing to tighten lending guidelines, I do worry a bit about smaller offices being able to survive with less diversification of mortgage products,” Bruce said.
However, Edwards disagrees with the assessment.
“(Mortgage brokering is) our strength and what we’ve been doing to stay strong as a smaller company and going forward we’re going to continue to do that," he said. "In terms of diversifying to other products, it’s not really our strong suit; we know mortgages and … that’s where our home is.”
And when it comes to the inevitable cull of brokers following the re-licensing deadline, Edwards believes it’s the smaller players that will come away unscathed.
“We have, obviously, a smaller team so it’s easier for us to maintain our brokers,” Edwards said. “It’s not as big an issue for us as, I guess, a larger organization to retain brokers because there are so many they have on their rosters that some might (fall off).”
One local player -- who expects indirect help from the big networks -- is optimistic about the year ahead, despite a forecast that smaller brokerages will struggle in 2014.