Thirteen years ago, Gary Mauris co-founded what would become the most transformative company the Canadian mortgage space has ever seen. Never one to mince words, he has spent the better part of 2019 quietly working behind the scenes to prepare the company for the decade ahead by increasing its bench strength.
Having recruited luminaries from all corners of the industry to Dominion Lending Centres —including Dustan Woodhouse, author of the Be the Better Broker series and president of Mortgage Architects; Doreen Walsh, formerly of First National, who will heading network-wide training for DLC; Rich Spence, who’s bringing over two decades in the financial services industry to Mortgage Centre Canada; Eddy Cocciollo as DLC’s new president; and Dong Lee as COO of DLC Group of Companies—Mauris has a new vision for DLC, one he promises will empower his agents and owners to blow their rivals out of the water. As Mauris tells it, the next five years will be the most pivotal in DLC’s history.
MBN: You’re usually brash and outspoken, but we haven’t heard from you in a while. Where have you been?
GM: DLC Group of companies have been perennial top performers for many years and we have a very deep experienced group of owners and agents who are very successful in their own right. When we decided to deepen our bench strength by moving Eddy Cocciollo into role of DLC’s president and adding Rich Spence (MCC) and Dustan Woodhouse (MA), we recognized how important it would be to give them a very wide berth to earn the trust and respect of our agents and owners. Having me meddle and get in the way of their fresh ideas and perspectives before they found their way would be counterproductive and disruptive to these very capable individuals. Now that everyone is settled into their new roles, you will see much more of me.
MBN: The last time we spoke, you chuckled over M3 promoting themselves as “The undisputed number one” mortgage originator in Canada. Has anything changed there?
GM: The only thing that M3 is “The undisputed number one at” is lying. The DLC Group has been number one since 2009 in mortgage originations and has never relinquished that position. If you want the truth about mortgage originations, ask the lenders. They are transparent. I am happy to approve the top 10 lenders in Canada posting our funded annual volumes for our group, and would ask M3 to approve the same to bury this rhetoric once and for all.
MBN: A new year is nearly upon us. What is DLC planning on doing to blow its competition out of the water?
GM: Despite the more difficult housing market in some regions like BC, The DLC Group of Companies has had an excellent 2019 and expects 2020 to be even better. We will be double- down on our agent training and have gotten back to our roots with Multiday Owner Universities, and will continue our ‘direct to consumer’ brand awareness campaigns. I can guarantee you one thing, and let me be clear: we are not tired of being number one! I won’t publicly lay out our strategies, as the competitors love to follow us, but hang onto your hat because there is a storm coming.
MBN: Consumers appear to have acclimated to the near-two-year-old qualification rules and the market has picked across the country. How is DLC planning on helping its brokers take advantage of that?
GM: Listen, the only thing constant in life is change. Life is not fair and life is not easy. Our agents and owners are resilient, seasoned and in most cases long-term professionals. We find a way to navigate and adapt to every rule change, every new mortgage guideline, and headwinds in each market. We will continue to curate and organize the ever changing landscape and educate and help our team members find alternatives to these changes and thrive.
MBN: How closely will DLC be monitoring the federal election, and what concerns might you have before Oct. 21?
GM: Obviously we are very interested in the upcoming federal election. The federal Liberals under Justin Trudeau have been very disruptive to our industry and to the economic prosperity of most Canadians. No Government is perfect but this one in particular has mismanaged Canada more than most. We would love to see a government change this fall, but truthfully, as I said above, we will adapt and adjust regardless of the outcome. People still want to own homes and need help with financial transactions under any government.
MBN: Tech is the name of the game these days, but the Canadian mortgage space has been a slow adopter. What are you guys doing to rectify that?
GM: We have led in tech for many years. The investment that we made three years ago in Marlborough Stirling (Velocity) is finally paying off. Velocity has many of the largest teams in the country now using it exclusively and the feedback has been extraordinary. We continue to invest millions of dollars into this system because the norm for so long when it came to deal submission was so underwhelming and archaic. Velocity, at no cost to the agents will become the gold standard with dynamic applications, mobile app with push notification, instant decisioning, and complete end-to-end communication between the lender, broker and consumer.