Who gets the bill for broker ad campaign?

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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.”

  • Rob Campbell on 2011-10-15 6:02:07 AM

    I think the overall idea of bringing awareness is a great idea.
    I do, however, feel that the medium needs to be chosen with care. Television ads are skipped through with the use of PVR, billboards are ignored, etc.
    These are all big ticket items that will drain such a fund quickly.
    I think an effective social media campaign would work well via Youtube or Facebook, however that in itself needs to proceed with caution as these could be view as pushy and sales-like as opposed to an eye opener and informative.
    But the 1BPS seems like a great idea.
    I'd love to be involved in such a campaign, as well as have some input on how it should be rolled out.

  • Clayton B. Carby AMP on 2011-10-15 12:51:44 PM

    As a broker with DLC I have seen the effects of the advertizing budget. IT works, however I do think the non bank lenders need to advertize their existence to the public and let the public know they can only deal with them through the broker channel.
    However the 1bp may have come from our commissions through them.@cbcarby

  • Carlo on 2011-10-16 6:07:20 AM

    The most effective advertising the monoline lenders could support would be to work with brokers to develop a differentiating experience for clients through process and product features..Once we have a differentating experience, brokers themselves will promote and advetise for monolines for free..Lets be creative and innovative..not reliant on a cliche filled advetising campaign as our answer to broker channel awareness.

  • Rebecca Awram on 2011-10-16 6:46:11 AM

    As a mortgage broker, I am repeatedly amazed at the people I encounter that, after asking what I do for a living, either have no idea what it is, or think that I only cater to people with borrowing problems. Clearly, the industry as a whole has dropped the ball on awareness raising with the general public when huge segments don't even know what our profession entails.

    I would be ALL FOR a national campaign with a 1 bp contribution. I think the mono-lines should contribute. I don't think the AMP should be promoted at any level of this, as it only serves to heighten divisions among our industry. We need to promote ourselves cohesively, not as separate factions. Our competitors are the banks, not each other.

  • John Dearin on 2011-10-17 2:00:00 AM

    I love the fact that the monoline guys are now suggesting that us brokers pay to support and promote them. I didn't attend the webinar so my comments may be unjust because I am sure Boris was talking about at least matching our contributions??!! If so, what about the brokerages that will not contribute but will benefit from these ads? Answer these two questions and I will be in. I currently spend just short of $100,000.00 a year in advertising here in NL. That is in addition to the DLC advertising fund and it works.

  • Vittorio on 2011-10-18 12:41:56 PM

    I have Been promoting brokers for over 5 years, I did a radio campaign in lethbridge where I paid for it but never told people to call me but to call their mortgage Broker. I agree we need to do this to let everybody know who we are. It needs to be on regular campaign not just the big city. We need broker education in small city and towns. We need to let everybody know! We are mortgage brokers and we work our ass off to make sure we do right for our clients and it is time that everybody knows. I always said mortgage broker are not my competition banks are.

  • AMP broker on 2011-10-19 5:03:43 AM

    Everyone should send a thank you card to their local DLC office. They've been paying a 150 bucks a month for years to promote brokers.

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