It’s undoubtedly – undeniably! – the biggest event on Canada’s mortgage calendar, with more than 1,600 industry professionals now gathered in Toronto.
The CAAMP Mortgage Forum officially opened Monday, with a roster of speakers -- from a former prime minister to a leading comic – all highlighting the growing importance of a conference many consider a must for mortgage brokers.
“We’ve never had such an illustrious lineup,” said Michael Ellenzweig, CAAMP’s VP of member services. We’ve really gone all out to bring in the best speakers,”
But some brokers are opting to pass on this year’s festivities, offering reasons from time and budget constraints to scheduling conflicts.
In the words of brokers themselves, here’s a sampling of the reasons why you might not see some of your colleagues at this year’s extravaganza, although all bets are off for 2012.
“I would actually love to be at CAAMP, but won't be making it until late on Monday due to a prior family commitment” – Dave W. Butler, Ontario broker, Verico Butler Mortgage
“I get far more value from the one on one interaction with the lenders at the office, than in a conference setting ...Working with lenders in a business setting I find is very productive in comparison to wondering around from booth to booth ... Too busy to invest the time ... The social settings in the evenings with the lenders are another story altogether.” – John S. Bargis, Ontario broker, Mortgage Edge
“I am flying to Bangkok for a couple of weeks.” – Chris Dopp, Ontario broker, The Mortgage Centre - Elite Mortgage Group
“Although I greatly value the opportunities CAAMP presents to learn about the lenders products and to meet others in the industry I would be good with attending a Western CDN CAAMP every second year. The next plane I get on that takes me away from the office needs to land in Maui and have my family on it as well.” – Dustan Woodhouse, B.C. broker, Dominion Lending Centres Canadian Mortgage Experts
“It’s expensive, and I don't encourage agents to go because all the brokerages are trying to recruit everybody else's agents. They should not allow brokers to have booths there!” – Paul Mangion, Ontario broker, The Mortgage Centre in Mississauga
“Unfortunately, I won’t be attending the CAAMP conference this year. Basically, it’s due to the opportunity costs associated with the time away from the office. Being out of province it requires more of a commitment to attend the conference compared to living and working in the area where the conference is happening. There’s the opportunity cost of being away from the office for three or four days when you have to leave your province for it. Of course some will say knowledge is power and it’s a great networking event, and I’m not saying it’s not worth it, but maybe not every year.” – Leslie Penney, Newfoundland broker, Mortgage Alliance APlus Mortgage Group