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Brokers positive about year ahead

2012 is sure to be another year of challenges for mortgage brokers as they face a flat real estate market, international economic uncertainty and increased pressue from banks and the accompanying low rates. MortgageBrokerNewsTV recently spoke to some brokers at the Mortgage Alliance 2012 Kick-Off Rally in Toronto, including Dan Balfour, Lisette Amalfi, Scott Ede, and Walter and Karen Monteiro to find out how they're going to meet these industry challenges head-on.

Find out on MortgageBrokerNewsTV, your home for the industry’s best news, opinion and analysis.


Video transcript below:


John Tenpenny, Mortgage Brokers News TV
John Tenpenny:  Hi, I’m John Tenpenny, Editor of CMP Magazine and welcome to the Big Story on Mortgage Broker News TV.
This week Mortgage Broker News TV spoke to some brokers attending Mortgage Alliance Canada’s 2012 Kick-Off Rally in Toronto.  Despite the fact that 2012 is shaping up as a challenging year to say the least, brokers say opportunities exist by emphasizing service and customer education, brokers say they can overcome the competition banks are fostering with their low rates.  Uncertainty and pessimism about economic conditions notwithstanding, brokers feel 2012 is going to be a great year for the industry.
Dan Balfour, Broker, Mortgage Alliance
Dan Balfour:  John, 2012 I see as being another excellent year.  Interest rates have never been lower and that creates a huge opportunity for me and for my clients to take advantage of these all time low rates, they can break their existing mortgages, refinance, pay out their debts, so there’s a huge market there, that I can go after.  And on the real estate side, because the rates are so low home buying power has never been higher.  So people who want to buy a home, they need to take advantage of it now because 2 or 3 years from now, those rates are going to be much higher and they may not qualify anymore.  So it’s going to be another great year, despite the doom and gloom, south of the border and across in Europe there are all problems, no question about it.  But those problems actually translate into opportunities for us because of the interest rate climate being the way it is.
Lisette Amalfi, Broker, Mortgage Alliance, OAC Mortgages
Lisette Amalfi:  Well definitely we have challenge, the last couple of years have posed challenge for us in our business.  I do think though that the public is becoming more aware of who we are, what we are doing, the magazine definitely helps us.  I think that we have now the opportunity to start looking at not just what we offer in comparison to for example the bank.  We have to start looking at what we offer as a value to our client base and I think 2012 is going to really have mortgage brokers, mortgage agents looking at what value add do they have other than just a mortgage product to offer our consumer.
Scott Ede, Sr. Mortgage Consultant, Mortgage Alliance, S&R Mortgage Group
Scott Ede:  Well I think from my perspective out in Calgary, we’ve got I think generally in the marketplace right now, we have got the banks fighting against us, with interest rates and trying to do different things.  I think our challenge right now is the market is starting to change again, which is fun.  The toughest part is that the interest rates, we are beating each other up on a daily basis by cutting our nets interestwise.  So I think what we have got to do, going forward is make sure that we are telling the public what we do, throwing making sure they understand what an AMP is, making sure that we are better than what the banks are doing, which isn’t very hard.  So I think going forward, that’s our biggest challenge as a collective group, making sure that the public knows who we are.
Walter & Karen Monteiro, Mortgage Alliance, Maximum Results Financial Services
Walter Monteiro:  I think definitely the challenges of the big banks are really squeezing on interest rates and offering some pretty low rates at the moment.  I think one of the things that we definitely have to focus on is not being so interest rate driven and focus more on actually showing the client how they can actually eliminate debt as opposed to just managing it.
Karen Monteiro:  We are really focusing on education for our clients a lot this year.  We believe that it’s not all about rate and the clients, that’s all they really know what to talk about, they really don’t know the moving parts of mortgage and what’s important and what can impact them at the end of the day.  So that’s going to be something we focus on.  We are also focusing on value added services with our particular company, we are developing a benefits program for all of our clients that will give them cost savings across the board, anything to do with home ownership.  So that’s where we are going to focus a lot of our attention for 2012.