AMBA’s new president is pledging to grow consumer awareness of broker services at the same time strengthen the organization’s ties to industry players outside Alberta – both ways of overcoming stagnant broker market share.
“As brokers, we have a penetration rate that seems to be stalled,” said Paul Bojakli, in his first blog after assuming the head of the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association. “Only by making the consumer more aware of the value we bring, can we increase our numbers in Alberta. This is not an easy task, and one that needs to involve all organizations within our industry. AMBA will continue working hard to raise consumer awareness throughout Alberta. We must continue to make the consumer aware of the broker industry and what exactly a broker does. Let the consumer know that they can talk to us.”
The veteran broker, a partner with Quantus Mortgage Solutions, is also a real estate agent and formally took up the post early this month at the annual meeting. He follows on the heels of Dean Koeller.
While Bojakli’s agenda is still being shaped, the focus on upping the profile of brokers in his province is a top priority for AMBA members facing a slowing market at the same time prices in key centres such as Edmonton and Calgary slip.
While origination opportunities for brokers erode, their collective share of the mortgage market has remained steady over the last two years, according to the 2011 CMHC consumer survey, released last week. Moving his members beyond that barrier is another priority, said Bojakli.
“We are missing important issues,” he said. “We need to stay ahead of the curve. Our industry seems to always be in a reactive position. I would like to see us in a proactive position. Individually, we all need to take a bigger role in communication. There are many things we can do in our day-to-day businesses to make working together a better environment. We need to talk more about what’s happening in our industry and how we can contribute positively. We need to start listening and working more closely with each other.”
Part of that involves the launch of AMBA’s new website, with both social media feeds and a chat zone for members as well as a consumers’ section focused on offering Albertans specific information and tools to navigate themselves through an increasingly complex mortgage process.