When Matrix Mortgage Global launched in 2008, the world was in the throes of the Great Recession and the mortgage landscape was far from propitious, but that didn’t matter to the brokerage’s founder, president and CEO.
“The recession didn’t affect us because we weren’t necessarily catering to homebuyers,” said Shawn Allen. “There were more homeowners in most markets than homebuyers, so we did a lot of refinancing. At the time, there were slightly fewer than 13 million residents in Ontario and a large chunk of them were homeowners. How many were buying homes at that time? Not many, but when I saw the statistics of how many people owned homes, I focused Matrix on the refinancing side of the business.”
Allen, whose background is in database administration, also realized early on that hyper-focused marketing is crucial in the digital age. He began tracking all facets of his team’s online presence, determining which streams yielded the most promising leads and which were to be jettisoned. As he explains it, mortgage professionals aren’t merely in the business of home financing.
“It’s a full-time job and what people in the mortgage business have to realize is this has less to do with mortgages than it does with marketing,” he said. “The sooner they realize they’re in the marketing business, the more effective they’ll be in generating leads and retaining them long-term.”
Yet, despite Matrix Mortgage Global’s larger-than-life digital presence, the company carved itself a niche nearly from its inception and has become one of the B and C spaces’ most prominent players. In the years before B-20, many brokers almost exclusively worked with A lenders, searching for the best interest rates. That well has dried up and they have since begun forging the kinds of relationships Matrix Mortgage Global has built its business on. To that end, B-20 has been something of a blessing in disguise for the company.
“One-hundred percent it’s been good for us because a lot of these institutions cannot finance the same people they would have a couple of years ago—good people with great credit and great incomes, but because of the dynamics of how they’re qualified and approved for mortgages, it makes them non-bankabke,” said Allen. “It’s been a game-changer, especially for us because it’s provided an influx of people into a space we’ve consistently mined since 2008. Now it’s hard for other brokerages to catch up to what we’re doing because we’ve concentrated on it for so long through advertising, not to mention our product knowledge and the central underwriting team we have, and our relationships with BDMs across Canada.”