Alberta-based First Foundation has struck a deal with the University of Alberta Alumni Association and launched an affinity program.
The program will give the mortgage brokerage access to about 280,000 alumni across the nation—which, according to First Foundation’s founder and CEO, will boost the firm’s bottom line.
“We think it will have a measurable impact on our sales, and we think this opportunity to do this with the university over the long-term is fantastic,” said Gord McCallum. “Each mortgage sold goes to benefit the alumni service and scholarship programs, and the hiring of U of A alumni and co-op students. It’s a benefit to the associations because there are a lot of alumni out there.
“We’re not going to reach everybody, but the alumni association has had a very long relationship to other affinity partnerships who offer insurance and other services, and the success of those programs we think we can replicate with mortgages.”
The courtship between University of Alberta and First Foundation was a long time in the making. After submitting its proposal, the Edmonton-based firm was rewarded. Given the stiff competition First Foundation was up against, it is no small feat.
“The first conversation we had was about three years ago,” said McCallum. “Then there was a request for proposals they put and solicited a number of bids. We competed against numerous banks, including several of the Big Six, a couple of broker channel lenders and a couple of bigger brokerages, as well.”
University of Alberta alumni will get access to discounted legal, appraisal and mortgage rates, and receive priority service.
On a personal note, the partnership means a lot to McCallum.
“As an alumnus myself, I know how popular programs like this have become with U of A grads, and it’s a real honour for First Foundation to have been chosen as the official mortgage partner of the U of A Alumni Association.”
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