Acquisitions are on the table for the DLC Group of companies in 2020, but they’re more focused on better training for brokers and building their existing networks.
In a recent “State of the Union” call, Co-founder and CEO of the DLC Group of Companies Gary Mauris shared with agents, owners, and lenders his perspectives on 2019 as well as ideas and goals for 2020.
At this point last year, many mortgage professionals and executives were expecting a fairly neutral year ahead for the mortgage and housing industry, and DLC was hoping for flat or moderate growth. However, Mauris said that the numbers for 2019 have far exceeded their expectations: mortgage originations rose by around $3 billion; they experienced 5% agent growth; and Q3 was the best quarter the group has had in several years. Mauris also added that the group hit 40% market share across Canada.
Today, many real estate markets are humming along, the rate environment is stable, and Mauris said they don’t expect much further government intervention. (He even gave Evan Siddall a pat on the back, agreeing that the more complicated the government makes the process, the better the landscape becomes for brokers.) Going forward, DLC’s leadership team has set very definitive goals, ones that they think are reachable in the next 12-18 months.
“We’re not going to do the same ol’ same ol’,” Mauris said. “We made a commitment to have an additional $10 billion in origination over the next 18 months and double the size of origination in the next five years.” They expect to do this by helping each broker close an extra six deals per year.
Besides a new volume target, Mauris said that this next year is going to be spent ensuring that agents, owners, and lender partners are completely aligned, calling 2020 their “biggest year for training ever.” They’re going to be more in front of their brokers and agents with a focus on best practices, business building, product review, and ways to build a high-performance mortgage team. From there, he continued, “we focus on making sure that our owners are equipped with all the tools so that they continue to build market share.”
In particular, this means spending a lot of time, energy, and resources on their mobile app: My Mortgage Toolbox.
“Everything we do going forward is going to be built around the app,” Mauris said. In early 2020, their integration with Velocity is going to be complete, and DLC plans to stop sending rate sheets altogether because all the information will be available via the app.
Dong Lee, COO of DLG Group added that a lot of time is now being spent behind the scenes, working with presidents and leadership teams of all three companies: Dominion Lending Centres, Mortgage Centre Canada and Mortgage Architects.
“A lot of what we’re doing right now is about integration of working together,” Lee said, adding that the ideas that are being generated are “absolutely incredible.”
Mauris also outlined the four key opportunities that DLC has recognized for growth.
The first is immigrant minorities; 50-60% of the Group’s top agents in the country represent first-or second-generation immigrant minorities.
“They’ve worked so hard and they came here with no opportunities and no connections and sometimes not even a great early grasp of language, and there’s so much we can learn from interviewing them and celebrating them and sharing what they have done to overcome those challenges, and leapfrogging people who have been here their whole lives,” Mauris said later. “As a training mechanism, I’m using it a ton because they’re just so engaged and they’re so committed and they work so hard, so that’s a huge foundation, to honour and celebrate them as we go to train our people.”
The second is the female demographic, who are heavily influential decision-makers when it comes to homebuying and general consumer household spending. Hiring, focusing on, and marketing to women is going to be a “huge driver” for the group.
“If you’re growing your company and you’re hiring more staff and you have a choice between two like-minded candidates and you can hire a bad-ass woman, then you should be doing that.”
Another focus will be keeping their owners on “high alert” for talent that may be coming from other companies and ensuring that they understand the opportunities they present. Lastly, the Group is going to focus will be on millennials, who Mauris said are still in the early stages of the mortgage life cycle. Mortgage professionals are just starting to catch on in terms of developing processes that allow these consumers to be as efficient as possible in the process.
In January, both Mauris and co-founder Chris Kayat stepped back and stayed out of the way of the leadership team, not wanting to “compress their spirit and free will.” They shifted their leadership team in order to find the roles that best suited individual strengths, and in September, Mauris began to reengage with the business. From here on out, everyone should expect to see more of him, not less.
“I’m so fortunate because, maybe for the first time in 14 years, I get to do what I really want to do,” he said. That includes working with teams, owners, and agents to create critical pathways and strategies to build their businesses.
The DLC Group of Companies is also making “substantial investments” on their new agent program because, Mauris said, the company that has the most training is the company that wins. Brokers should get better after joining the group, he said, and that serves to build the industry instead of trading bodies going forward.
“Our next five years are going to be our best five years . . . Hang on to your hats.”