There's still work to do

There's still work to do

Canadian Mortgage Award recipient Brian Matthey says the industry has come a long way, but that it still needs to raise the bar to ensure the Canadian public sees brokers as professional

Standing on the stage at the Canadian Mortgage Awards I couldn’t help but reflect on the past and look to the future of our industry as I stared out at so many young men and women that have the future of our industry in their hands.

It was 22 years ago that our industry was in its infancy and mortgage brokers were considered lenders of last resort. Our share of the residential mortgage market was pretty slim. Two decades later we have a lot to be thankful for. We think we are doing pretty well, but how much have we really evolved? I think we still have a lot to do.

The latest survey tells us the Canadian public still doesn’t really understand what we do and how we do it and it really is our own fault. We haven’t set the bar high enough in our industry yet.
A Royal Bank employee tried to paint a rather unflattering picture of our industry. While we can claim her ignorance of the true facts, we are still to blame for her attitude. We have not set the bar high enough in our industry yet.

I truly believe that our future share of the mortgage market will be directly dependent on raising the bar of professionalism, maintaining an ethical standard that has no compromise and taking responsibility for differentiating ourselves in the eyes of the Canadian public as mortgage professionals.

It starts with our lending partners. You have a responsibility to your client and to your lending partner to represent their respective interests. Your reputation means everything in this industry. Cherish it, protect it and grow the right one. Handle your relationship with your lending partner with respect, professionalism and unwavering ethics. It will pay big dividends as you progress through your career and your lending partners will enhance the value and reputation of the broker channel in the eyes of the public.

The next step takes place with your peers and associates. Be an example of the professional. Be the man or woman who makes no departure from an ethical decision. Be responsible for your actions and decisions and let your peers and associates know that you are on a journey they need to take with you. We should not tolerate or accept anything less from ourselves and those around us.

Be responsible in your hiring practices. You are not only putting a sales representative on the street that will reflect on you. That person will reflect on the whole industry.

Last but not the least, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, ethics and responsibility with your clients and prospective clients. Always take the high road when faced with a dilemma. While your pride and your wallet may suffer, your reputation and our reputation as an industry will grow exponentially in the eyes of the public.

So here is the challenge for all of you who are the future of our profession. Start your next day with a new attitude and dedicate yourself to this profession and to protecting its reputation.

The next time that somebody tries to paint a somewhat unflattering characterization of what brokers do, it won’t be our industry that is jumping up and down and raising our hands and screaming “That’s not us!”

It will be the Canadian public saying “No you are wrong. I deal with my mortgage broker because they are more than just a mortgage broker, they’re a mortgage professional and there is a difference.”