Three industry insiders give their views on this contentious issue.
Gord McCallum, President/broker, First Foundation:
“I’d say the key ingredients [to building a united voice] are personal and organizational leadership. Personal because we need someone who can share the vision with so much passion that brokers are compelled to follow, and organizational because we need someone who unites the regional membership organizations with the national organization, rather than sowing division and hostility. While I do believe the entire industry is often served by competitive ideas, standards and practices, it is also an administrative and marketing burden that does not benefit from economies of scale. I’d like to see us eliminate as much waste and duplication as possible while ensuring that regional voices are heard.”
James Loewen, Owner/broker, Loewen Group Mortgages:
“I think back to a conversation I had with Boris Bozic – we hypothesized what the results would be if every mortgage deal paid had one basis point contributed to a collaborative ‘pot,’ and those funds were allocated to marketing and consumer awareness regarding the benefit of using mortgage brokers, and what an impact that would have on the penetration of the use of brokers over banks. The direct impact to the broker would be minimal, as many brokers are giving up far more at 20 to 50 points to ‘win’ deals in competition amongst themselves. If this one point was able to double our penetration via education and awareness, we could see reduced buy-downs and a far greater return.”
Ron Alphonso, Mortgage agent, MortgageBrokerStore:
“The internet is breaking down provincial and national barriers to financial services, and it is starting to have a disruptive impact on the Canadian mortgage industry. A broker in Ontario can be arranging a mortgage for an owner who lives in Quebec, with property in Alberta and a lender in British Columbia. Even worse, a broker in Ohio can be arranging an Ontario mortgage with a lender in Texas. If we do not have one strong national organization representing our interest, what happens when large online lenders enter the Canadian market? Consumers will go to the lowest-cost provider regardless of regulations. Do we want to be in the same situation as the taxicab industry fighting Uber? I think not!”