Challenges abound for small town brokerages

Challenges abound for small town brokerages

Challenges abound for small town brokerages

Operating a brokerage is challenging at the best of times, but it’s especially daunting in smaller markets.

“I’m in Midland, Ontario, and our average mortgage amount was $248,000, so we don’t have the volume to satisfy every lender. It’s not a big problem with Centum because we can use their funding desk, but there are a couple of lenders I’d like to sign up with but can’t because we don’t meet their minimum requirements,” said Kevin King, broker-owner of Centum King Mortgages Inc.

“I have conquered our little area, to speak, but I have to venture outside our area and grow my brokerage. That’s the focus right now—we’re looking at Barrie and Wasaga Beach.”

Midland is about 45 minutes out of Barrie, and while Centum King Mortgages doesn’t have trouble convincing Barrie-based BDMs to trek out its way, his competitors do. While King is a consistent top-10 Centum producer, he credits his team for the brokerage’s success.

“If I were on my own, I’d have struggled a lot, but recruiting wasn’t much trouble. We advertise a lot up here and when you share the cost and pool your advertising, it works well for all of us. That’s helped us become the number one brokerage in the area. I’m usually ranked in Centum’s top-10 Canada-wide, so we have to be doing something right if we’re in a small area where the average mortgage amount is also quite small. That said, with where I’m at, I have to grow the business a little bigger to help offset the cost incurred of running a business here.”

King already has agents as far as Perry Sound and Collingwood, so there’s little doubt his plans for expansion will succeed. In Centum King Mortgages’ five years of operation, he’s grown it to a 17-strong team and still recruiting.

“I’m llooking for experienced agents. They don’t have to be big producers, but they have to have some experience and I want to show them how to grow their books like I’ve managed to.”

As small brokerage operator, King credits the Centum model for not burying it in extra fees.

“I like working with the Centum brand because it does get you into a super brokerage and they provide me with all the backend tools I need to run my business successfully and without monthly fees to me or my agents.”