Merix head Boris Bozic has joined the growing number of mortgage professionals endorsing the idea of a national advertising campaign, specifically focused on hawking broker wares to the largely uninformed consumer. That’s even as others look to mono-lines themselves to foot the bill.
“If every broker was to contribute one basis point that would equate to $5.5 million to $6 million a year,” he told brokers Thursday, as part of “Winning the Rate Wars,” a webinar hosted by industry trainer Greg Williamson.
That “every broker” is the more than 15,000 mortgage professionals plying their trade across both regulated and unregulated Canadian jurisdictions. That “1 bp” would come off of each and every deal a broker submits and closes.
Those collective funds would get funnelled into a marketing campaign both paid by and focused on promoting mortgage brokers. That idea continues to gain traction as the industry grapples with increased competition from the banks and a slowing real estate market. Some have also argued CAAMP advertising around the AMP designation isn't focused enough on promoting brokers.
“I agree with Boris that mortgage brokers need to pay for this initiative,” said Williamson, head of 180 Degrees Coaching. “The great people at Dominion Lending pay to promote their brand nationally and I suspect they are happy with the results they are getting. We all pay to have the AMP designation promoted nationally why should we not promote the concept of using a mortgage broker and more importantly what we do.”
The Calgary broker envisions a foundation, with a cross-section of brokers serving as board directors. Their own real job would be to “steward the money gathered from the 1-bp fund.”
This summer, brokers in Alberta were among the first to bandy about the idea of a national fund.
“We discussed the possibility of taking one basis point per deal to allocate to a broker awareness campaign,” said Mike Cameron, managing partner of Axiom Mortgage and head of the Mortgage Revolution, a grassroots effort to deepen broker professionalism. “I think it is a positive concept, but we need to improve the product before we advertise it.”
Still, more recently, agents and brokers have begun to call for Merix and other mono-lines to help in marketing the broker channel to consumers.
“Indeed, I think that there needs to be a push to educate consumers on just what a monoline lender is,” Dustan Woodhouse, broker with Dominion Lending Centres Canadian Mortgage Experts on B.C.’s Lower Mainland, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “They are pretty much invisible to the consumer currently.
“The non-bank lenders do not do any significant advertising promoting the channel that brings them business or even of themselves. Thus in the minds of most consumers, when they hear names MCAP, Street, First National, etc., they lump them in with the heavily advertised local B lenders.”
Brokers, now fighting to maintain their revenue streams, may not have the time to wait on lender participation, said Williamson.
“Simply put, I think there are many lenders who have a conflict and would not want to pay to enhance the awareness of mortgage brokers,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “If we wait for lenders to pay for this, then this initiative will never get off the ground.”