Lifestyle and income potential are helping the industry attract an increasing number of university grads fresh out of school, despite a slowing real estate market, growing bank dominance and a decline in mortgage-specialist defections, according to RMAI CEO Ron De Silva, hitting on the trend during the company’s aggressive recruitment campaign.
“It’s definitely what we’re seeing and it’s encouraging for the future of our industry,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It’s evident from our numbers that more are considering our industry as a career option immediately after graduating from university or college. They are pointing to the way the industry meshes with their lifestyle preferences in terms of flexible work schedules, the ability to work from home and, in this day and age of social media, the ability to work within and serve their own social networks.”
The observations come as the company ramps up a recruitment campaign focused on identifying prospective new mortgage agents for Real Mortgage Associates (RMA) and its existing team of 245 mortgage professionals. Those Ontario hopefuls, largely drawn from outside banking and financial services, then undergo a REMIC mortgage agent course, arranged by RMA, before applying for an agent’s license and committing to further training with the company. That program, led by a regional manager, is focused not only on imparting brokering fundamentals but the ins and outs of a new D+H API, now being developed for RMAI.
The first of those recruitment classes graduated from the REMIC course last month, with projected enrolment for the second – slated for later this month – set to more than double that earlier number. All graduates, once licensed, are placed with a mentor of sorts in the underwriting unit to help guide them through their first 30 deals.
The interest the program has generated among Generation-Y twenty- and thirtysomethings may bode well for an industry grappling to maintain, if not grow market share in the face of increased competition from the banks and the growing importance of the Internet and other technologies to generate leads.
“Some of the same reasons that these young people are being attracted to the industry also position them to help our industry grow market share,” De Silva told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
“This group grew up with technology in the home and in the classroom. An industry that gives them the ability to access homebuyers, clients and their workplace through technology is an attractive proposition.”
The social aspect of a job focused on sales is also a lure.
“The Gen-Ys rely heavily on social proof in making buying decisions,” De Silva said, touching on that phenomenon of peer persuasion. “The growth of social media and its impact on our business is further evidence of the direction our industry is taking. Our industry requires that new blood, new thinking, we need new people who are prepared to engage people socially in order to win their business. That’s not necessarily someone who is already doing mortgages at a bank branch and is ready to retire.”