Torstar joins rate-site business

Torstar joins rate-site business

The country’s largest newspaper publisher is taking on RateSupermarket and other online lead generators, launching its own rate comparison site, largely based on broker buy-downs.

ComparaSave, owned by Insurance Hotline – a Torstar company – launched last month and offers the same kind of rate comparison features as more-established players RateHub and RateSupermarket.

It also hawks the same service for rate shoppers looking for insurance of all stripes.

Still, its mortgage offerings are grabbing broker attention, signalling the increased willingness of many industry professionals to use rate sites to generate leads.

“I’ve been up a very short time, so I can’t really say how effective it is yet,” said Manzeel Patel, a broker with Everything Mortgages, now using the Torstar site to offer 2.69 per cent on a three-year fixed. “I’ll have to give it more time.”

Other brokers on the site are now offering 2.75 per cent on a five-year fixed.

The site has already won editorial coverage in the Toronto Star, a media connection expected to handthe site a competitive edge over an increasingly wide field.

Those sites as a whole continue to act as a lightning rod for mortgage brokers concerned other professionals are undercutting the value proposition of all mortgage brokers at the same time erode commission expectations.

Most rates are effected through broker buy-downs, with an increase in volumes meant to compensate for the loss in compensation on any one individual deal.

  • Rob Campbell | 2012-08-08 10:36:58 PM
    80/20 rule here. 80% of your work will be trying to fund the deal right up until the day of closing as these types of clients will leave you in a heartbeat if a shinier bike rolls by.
    A very slippery slope.
    But if you can make it work for you and sustain a good business from it, than good on you.
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  • Ron Butler 2012-08-09 2:01:03 AM
    There will always be a place for an advice and service driven mortgage broker. That will never change. The question is: what share of the market will the "advisor" mortgage broker have?

    I do not claim to know that answer. I do know that the "commoditizer" mortgage broker train is starting to leave the station. I think it will continue to gain steam and although it is a very tough train to be on; it may be the growth side of our business.

    I know many brokers simply hate this trend with every fibre of their being but look around your house and try to find a Yellow Pages book. Sometimes technology makes the change for you.
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