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."