Big banks may offer competitive rates, but where borrowers and brokers are concerned, monolines are a safer bet.
“When you look at the penalties with monolines, we’re transparent,” said Doreen Walsh, First National’s regional sales manager for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. “The rate we have is the rate we offer. If you take today’s monoline rate with a bank. That penalty can be up to a $10,000 difference because we’re not using a posted rate.”
The inherent risk of using big banks is that they fortify the client with their products, and if successful, the mortgage broker isn’t the only loser.
“Monolines do one line of business: we do mortgages,” said Walsh. “Let’s say you’re working with an investment planner and you send their referral to a bank, that exposes their business, their client, because banks today want to build that fence around the client with the multiple product offerings whereas monolines are just dealing in mortgages.”
As a niche lender, CMLS Financial hasn’t the resources to open itself up to the entire broker channel, however, it has a select group with whom it’s established robust relationships and for whose clients it proffers top-notch service.
“CMLS Financial originates residential mortgages exclusively through the mortgage broker channel. We partner with brokers that originate quality business and have good efficiencies, and in return we offer unparalleled service along with a full product suite including both prime and near-prime mortgage products at competitive rates,” said Dan Putnam, CMLS’s senior vice president of business development.
Service level is, indeed, important to the non-bank lender. While it isn’t uncommon for lenders to outsource everything from funding to client care, CMLS prefers to do everything in-house.
“When a borrower calls into CMLS Financial and wants to know their mortgage balance or has questions regarding their prepayment privileges, they’re actually talking to a CMLS Financial employee,” said Putnam. “For borrowers who prefer to manage their mortgage online, we also offer a secure customer portal. We really focus on relationship and service with both our broker partners and the borrowers they refer to us
“Another unique offering at CMLS Financial is we offer both an upfront compensation program, as well as a renewal program,” said Putnam. “Brokers can select the compensation model they want on a per-deal basis.”
First National offers borrowers a home warranty that secures against home insurance, too.
“We pay for that as a thank you to the client for the first year and if anything happens with the utilities in your house, we send somebody out so you don’t have to expose your home insurance,” said Walsh.