Time for brokers to choose: Mortgage Summit panelists

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It’s a message that reverberated from one end of the Mortgage Summit to the next Thursday, with speaker after speaker calling on brokers to choose sides – are you focused on service or rates?

"You can't be a rates person and a service person," Top 50 broker Calum Ross told delegates on the first-day of the Toronto event, drawing 500 industry players from across the country. "Doing both probably isn't going to work."

The comments came during one of 25-plus sessions over the two-day event focused on bringing brokers together to help each other, but also to map out solutions to some of the challenges facing their industry.

Veterans, including Ron Swift, of Pacific Mortgage Group, Michael Beckette from Mortgage Alliance Canada, Paul Therien from Centum Financial and Rob McLister contributed to Summit discussion. The event was presented by Home Trust and hosted by CMP.

As topics, collateral charges, stewardship of young agents and Internet sales kicked off active debate between panelists and delegates, but the challenge of fighting and winning the rate wars, said one broker "was always the elephant in the room.”

A model almost entirely focused on rate and the buy-downs often used to win high volumes is a viable one, said Ross, and other brokers taking to two stages at downtown's Carlu. But professionals centering their offerings on high-level service are less susceptible to the vagaries of today's interest rates.

"If all you have is the ability to get rates done," said Ross, you're no different from the other guy who can do the same."


  • Louie Bettio, Brand Champion, Mortgage Alliance on 2012-06-02 3:45:15 AM

    A quick congrats to everyone at CMP. This has been a great Inaugural conference. Kudos to all involved. See you next year.

  • Wes on 2012-06-02 7:32:45 AM

    This is a very short article. Am i missing something? Why can I not have great rates and provide amazing, professional, personal service?

  • Jim T.....Advent mortgage on 2012-06-03 7:10:54 AM

    I totally disagree. I provide the lowest rates and fantastic service. This is evidenced by the fact that 40% of my business is repeat clients and referrals from past clients. You can provide both fantasic service and greats. Don't let others tell you otherwise.

  • Ron Butler on 2012-06-05 2:39:31 AM

    I think that a very brief outline of Calum's remarks does a great diservice because there was so much more to what Calum said on several occasions at the meeting. In fact Calum stated several times that rate focus was a completely viable business model, he just did not do it and he presented ideas about a completely different approach with a very specific definition of service that is not what most of us use.

    I concur with Jim that great advice and great service can come attached to highly competitive rates but it is not right to define Calum's very thoughtful presentations in overly narrow terms.

  • Roy G. on 2012-06-05 9:41:15 AM

    I attended the summit and loved it! The discussions were great. The focus that Calum is talking about is in regards to differentiating yourself on service by providing strategies and showing clients that there is more than just rate. Those of you who are so focused on buying down rates are simply a Walmart Broker. Once all you do is buy down rates, you have to do it for everyone because that's what you become known for. You pigeon hole yourself. To each his/her own though. I offer great rates without needing to buy down because I take the time to educate my clients and show them strategies that their bank won't show them, and teaching them to think outside the box. They become loyal because they appreciate learning what others simply won't teach or show them.

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