CanWise Financial hasn’t been around long, but it’s already joined the summit of the Canadian mortgage industry.
Led by President and Broker of Record James Laird, CanWise won its second Canadian Mortgage Award in as many years. Winner of Best New Brokerage last year, the firm won the coveted Brokerage of the Year (More Than 25 Employees) last month.
“The secret is to always to listen to the consumer,” said Laird. “Think about what they want, how they want to work with you, what their pain points are, and deliver back to them what they’re looking for, and your brokerage will have success.”
Laird spent six years growing True North Mortgage, but even before that he began building Rate Hub, which is arguably the most successful out of the myriad rate sites that have popped up in recent years.
“The experience, both with another brokerage and also with Canada’s busiest rate comparison site, was very helpful when I launched CanWise four years ago in helping me understand what business models work in this industry, what various stakeholders are looking for, and what lenders and consumers are looking for,” said Laird.
Understanding lenders’ and consumers’ expectations in an era of yet more regulatory change is imperative. The former expect efficient filing from brokers, not to mention dependability; the latter, however, are more reliant on brokers than ever before, and, according to Laird, therein is opportunity.
“The businesses that can quickly understand the changes and help the consumers work in a new environment actually have an opportunity to do better than how they were doing before the changes came out. I actually see the additional complexity that has come out in the last couple of years as a net benefit to our industry because the mortgage vertical is so complex now that a good professional can really add a lot of value to the Canadian homebuyer, whereas in other industries, where the products are more commodified, the broker’s role could erode.”
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