Page 1

Matters Your Broker


Are You Involved? AMBA’s 36th AGM Showcases Change ALSO INSIDE AMBA Launches New Interactive Website




The ON L workin Y NET WORK g to pr omote Yo

ur Bus Your B iness. rand. Your W ay.

Jane Smith

John Smith Sample Real Estate Corp

Sample Mortgage Corp 555.555.5555

Agent Name 1, AMP

www.sample.comCompany Name 1.888.555.5555 Company Name 1.888.555.5555

Agent Name 1, AMP


Agent Name 2

Company Name


Agent Name 2

Company List Price:Name $450,000 1.888.555.5555 45B Street, Citytown


Our Rates: Minimum Downpayment Required


Your Savings:


$450,000 Rates effective as of: June, 30th, 2010 #3302 Jervis Street, Vancouver 35 Years

Purchase Price: Amortization: VERICO Mortgage Rate:


Loan = 5.35%

MLS#: VLS10001

Current Listing Price:


Down Payment Options

Bank Posted Rates Down Payment:

3 Year Term 5 Year Term 7 Year Term 10 Year Term

Mortgage Insurance Fee:


1 Year Term

Total Mortgage and Insurance Fee:


Mortgage Payment:


Property Taxes: Condo Fees: Utilities:

10.00% 10.00%


3 YearRates Term Bank $2,308 5 Year Term


7 Year Term Monthly 10 YearPayment: Term

OpenMonthly Shelter Expenses: Total


$100 Open $2,558

1 Year Term

10.00% 10.00%

1 Year Term Other at Maturity: Balance

$2,421 -

Mortgage Term: $360,000 $382,500 Closed $8,224 $0 $ 100,000 $390,724 $360,000 $ 100,000 $2,045 $1,884 $ 100,000 $150 $150 $ 100,000 $0 $0 Monthly Payment: $ 100,000 $100 $100 Open $2,295 Monthly Difference: $2,134

$90,777 10.00% 10.00%

$86,067 Annual Difference: $80,037 $ 100,000 Difference over Terms: $ 100,000

10.00% $342,000.88

$ 100,000 Balance at Maturity:

$405,000 $9,720 10.00% $414,720 10.00% $2,171 10.00% $150 10.00% $0 $2,000.59 10.00% $100


Our Rates

Total Savings: 速


Downpayment: Amortization: Mortgage 15% Insurance Fee: 20%

SavingsTotal Mortgage Amount: $67,500 $90,000


$427,500 Closed $13,466

Income Required: 6 Month Term Annual Gross10.00% 6 Month Term $95,929



Our Rates$22,500

Mortgage Amount: Closed

1 Year Term

#Amort #Rate #PropTax #Fees #mortTerm

3.79% $2,000.59 $1,000.23 $1,000.56 $10,000.89 $342,000.88


The above information is believed to be correct but is not guaranteed and therefore should not be relied on

without verification. Please contact your VERICO Mortgage Broker for more information. Each VERICO Broker is

Call now to shop for a better rate. MORTGAGE BROKERS NETWORK

an independent owner and operator.



Agent Mobile App

VERICO Corporate Customization Program

The above information is believed to be correct but is not guaranteed and therefore should not be relied on without verification. Please contact your VERICO Mortgage Broker for more information. Each VERICO Broker is an independent owner and operator.

The above information is believed to be correct but is not guaranteed and therefore should not be relied on without verification. Please contact your VERICO Mortgage Broker for more information. Each VERICO Broker is an independent owner and operator.

VERICO Marketing Tools


The Best Brokers. The Best Network.

Join VERICO Today.

Please visit or e-mail to find out more.


SUMMER 2011 contents 16

A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ADVERTISERS... Verico �������������������������������� 2 Equitable Trust ����������������� 4 Bridgewater Bank ������������ 6 MERIX Financial ��������������� 9 Optimum Mortgage �������� 9 Romspen ��������������������������10 LMS ProLink ���������������������11 Lanyard �����������������������������14 Home Trust ����������������������17 Dominion Lending ��������� 22 TD Financial �������������������� 24 Caplink ���������������������������� 25 Richard I. John ���������������� 26 Capital Direct ����������������� 27 Alta West Mortgage ����� 28 Fisgard ���������������������������� 29 Shaelynn Capital ������������ 32 Cedar Peaks ������������������� 33 VWR Capital Corp.��������� 34 J.E. Fletcher �������������������� 36 First National ������������������ 37 National Bank ����������������� 39 Urban Mortgage ������������ 40

Matters is a quarterly magazine which provides fundamental information to members of the provincial association, offering an opportunity for the industry members to be educated, updated and entertained. Toll Free: 1.888.452.2652 Phone: 403.685.9652 Fax: 403.685.9682 Email: Web: 207, 4954 Richard Rd SW Calgary, AB T3E 6L1


8 11 12 15 15 16 18 20 30 31



Amba 2011



How Social Media can Generate more Exposure 36th

mastering digital documentation

New website launch information and Guide

terra Association EVent: Promising Futures


Social Media & Privacy: blogging privacy

conference preview Annual general meeting highlights

amba continuing education

new errors & omissions insurance program

REGULAR FEATURES... President’s Report 5 Executive Director’s Report 7 Industry News 26 AMBA Community Member Briefs 32 Know Your Neighbours: Update 34 Member Profile of Gord Ross 35 AMBA Calendar 38

Board of Directors President Paul Bojakli Quantus Financial

Past President Dean Koeller Calvert Home Mortgage Investment Corp.

Treasurer Frank Hickey Concord Mortgage Group Ltd.

Director Ken Kirkpatrick Axiom Wise Mortgage

Director Kristen Linde-Ferrier Street Capital Financial Corp.

Director Gord McCallum First Foundation Residential Mortgages

Director Jill Paish Merix Financial

Director Ron McClenaghan Invis

Director Todd Fralic Quantus Financial

Director Phil McDowell Mortgages Are Marvellous

Director Ryan Spence Davis + Henderson

Director Nadeem Jiwa MCAP Service Corporation

AMBA/RECA REP Gary Siegle Invis Inc.

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association Suite 207, 4954 Richard Road SW Calgary, AB T3E 6L1 SUMMER 2011


It’s about more than just a great rate. And you know it! “Service” wins the deal! Lending Excellence, by people who care. Experience the Equitable approach. Open conversation. Partnership success. Equitable Teams take the time to see & hear what’s often missed . . .

......Client Circumstance. Got a Client Circumstance that wants Lending Excellence? Let’s talk today. Call:

403.440.1200 1.866.940.1201

PAST President’s message

Dean Koeller foundations of amba As my term as president of the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) comes to a close, I am reminded at how my term began with a celebration of 35 years as an association. In my opening remarks, I thanked all the past directors, employees and volunteers who have supported AMBA through the years. Truly, it is the vision and the hard work of so many amazing individuals that has created a foundation for our association. This year, the directors, staff and all of the volunteers have worked tremendously hard to develop, create and continue to improve on a number of initiatives that build on the successes of the past, make a better present, and create opportunities for the future. I have had the privilege of being able to work with so many passionate individuals who care about their community and the business we are in. It is this enthusiasm and love for our industry that continues to set us apart and raise the bar. The following are some highlights of the year, and some important information for our members to be aware of: As always, the board of directors would like to encourage our membership to provide feedback on any areas of interest or concern.

Insurance It is important for all industry members to be aware of the recent changes that have been made by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) with respect to insurance:

As of September 1, 2011, all mortgage brokers in the province of Alberta will be required to have professional errors and omission liability insurance through a compulsory program approved by Council. In light of these and a number of other insurance industry changes, AMBA has established a new partnership with Liberty International Underwriters through LMS Prolink to provide a competitively priced option for our members. I would encourage all of our members to consider this program for your insurance needs. It is strategically imperative that the mortgage broker industry have competitive options when it comes to insurance products to ensure fair long term pricing. For more information, go to

Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) Recently, RECA went through an extensive public and industrywide consultation process in the development of their new strategic plan. The plan takes an industry-wide approach of strengthening the real estate industry and raising the professional standards. I believe this will allow the real estate industry to act as a more cohesive body and assist in improving standards in our province. I would like to congratulate them for their work and leadership.

Dual Licensing Over the last year, there have been a number of conversations with respect to dual licensing in our industry. I would like to encourage any of our members who hold dual licenses, of any kind, to disclose their roles and relationships with their clients. AMBA is currently working on ‘best practices’ to further assist members in protecting themselves from both a legal and ethical standpoint. You can expect more information in the coming months.

Private Lenders Forum It is important for AMBA members to be aware of recent changes with respect to the legislation of private lending as it applies to Alberta. As of March 31, 2011, all mortgage syndication and private lending (subject to certain exemptions) are now regulated by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC). It is recommended, if you are using the services of a private lender that you inquire as to their compliance with the ASC. Failure to comply may put your clients in difficult circumstances. For more information or to participate in the private lenders forum, please contact the AMBA office.

Interprovincial Associations Over the last several months, AMBA has been in communication with a number of mortgage brokers in other jurisdictions who have communicated an interest in building their own provincial mortgage brokers association. The board believes that it is important that we support our industry and do our part to build resources for other provinces. A new position has been created on the board to specifically work and assist other provincial associations in their growth and development. continued on next page ...



PAST President’s Message Education AMBA continues to develop our new Mortgage Associate Program (MAP), and while we have experienced some short-term delays in launching the new course, we are confident that this new course will bring a new standard to the mortgage brokerage industry, through practical knowledge and experience for new members of the industry. AMBA is now offering pre-licensing education for mortgage brokers in Saskatchewan. For more information, please visit our website

Congratulations to AMBA Member Winners I would like to congratulate two AMBA members for their success in winning awards at the CMP, Canadian Mortgage Awards:

Tom Lam, Urban Mortgage, for winning Mortgage Broker of the Year (less than 25 employees); and

Gordon McCallum, First Foundations Residential Mortgages, for winning Best Internet Presence. I would like to thank the AMBA board of directors for all their support and great work over the last year. I am so pleased to have had an opportunity to work with such an amazing group of individuals.

I would also like to thank the team at AMBA’s office for all their great work. AMBA is so blessed to have such an amazing team of professional and ambitious individuals to assist in the day-today operations of the association. Thank-you Julia, Amanda and Samantha. Special thanks to Judy Martin for her leadership and commitment to bringing all the events, activities and strategic plans together. Our association is strong and better positioned for new opportunity thanks to the efforts of Judy. And to all the AMBA members, thank-you for your support, commitment and being able to continuously bring your best to every deal and transaction you perform in our industry. It is only through our professional standards and continuous drive for excellence that we will continue to thrive in this industry.


Dean Koeller

Dean Koeller AMBA President

We’ll work harder for you

This season, look for Team Bridgewater to deliver an even better product offering and even greater service to provide the unique solutions for your customers’ unique needs.


Personal. Efficient. Committed.


SUMMER 2011 AMBA002 06/01/11


Report Spring 2011 Judy Martin AMBA Executive Director

Success — who’s responsible for it? I was in attendance at the Mortgage Brokers Association of BC (MBABC) awards ceremony in February and Hali Strandlund from Fisgard Capital Corporation was one of the recipients of an award. In listening to her acceptance speech, she stressed the value of education, the availability of professional development from the associations, and how each industry member should take advantage of the seminars, courses, and conferences offered. Ongoing learning is a key to your success … and who would know better than Hali Strandlund? A young woman who achieved a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’ Congratulations Hali on such a prestigious award and thanks for the very powerful statement of reminding the attendees that if we want to succeed, we can’t sit idle and wait for it to happen … we have to take responsibility for our own success! That was such an insightful moment for me … I pondered over the words that had just been spoken … thinking about the number of AMBA members or non-members who say, “What does AMBA do for me?” I’ve always been perplexed by this statement … consequently, I have made it my mission to meet with every Alberta brokerage, broker and associate in the province. It will take me a couple of years to complete this task, but I will do it!

AMBA can give you a formula for success, but can’t give you success … AMBA’S Vision is: “AMBA is a leader in developing excellence in the mortgage brokerage industry.” We take this statement seriously and work diligently on the association goals to ensure we cultivate a community by providing the members with opportunities to learn, grow and succeed. Enhance your network, broaden your knowledge, take charge of your career … it is, after all, your career! On another note, I would like to say congratulations to Paul Bojakli on his new role as AMBA president, I look forward to working with Paul this year. I also want to thank Dean Koeller for his successful year as president - it has been a great experience working with you. Dave McKitrick and Renee Stribbell both leave the board this year. Their participation, experience and hard work have assisted in leveraging the association to new heights … Dave will continue leading the Lenders Forum and Renee will be enjoying a brand new bundle of joy! Well, Paul has already cracked the whip. As one board finishes, a new one begins …



How Different Social Media Apps can Generate more Exposure With LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter available to you, why not take advantage of all they have to offer. Each social media site offers several different applications and functions to help you market your business and get more exposure. The following are top apps you can leverage to get more leads, traffic, product sales, brand awareness, ticket sales, investors, sponsors, consulting engagements and more:

your LinkedIn account

You will get as much or more interaction from your Twitter updates that sync to LinkedIn than those same updates on Twitter. Your messages don’t get lost in the feed as much on LinkedIn and they‘re threaded conversations similar to Facebook so you can continue the dialogue for days after.

Add your blog to your

Feature Events on LinkedIn and Facebook

If you have something to say and you’re going to spend time sharing it, make sure you’re getting it out to everyone you’re connected with and more. Failing to include your blog on your profile is a huge mistake because it can help you drive more traffic and shows those who come to your profile how to learn more about your expertise.

These apps allow you to see how many people have RSVP’d for your event, who’s interested and who’s attending.

linkedIn and Facebook accounts

When you blog, tweet it Again, take a few minutes after you blog to let your followers know you have something to say.

Autoplay a customized web video! Imagine someone lands on your profile and instead of seeing the same old boring profile, they hear a voice. This voice either comes from you or a raving fan giving a testimonial. This technique helps people connect with you and build a relationship with you before they meet you. You should add a video to your website, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Sync your Twitter account with


Networked Blogs App This Facebook application not only updates your profile feed with each new post, but it also is a place for blog owners to build a reader base. When you get enough readers to join your blog ‘page,’ it unlocks other features. You can ‘go pro,’ giving you the ability to message all readers.

MERIX Financial provide originators with the tools they need to succeed, including innovative lending products, support initiatives and an industryleading compensation program that builds a book of business with ongoing value. Find out how rewarding partnering with MERIX is. Call 1-877-637-4911, email or follow us online.

Can you spot the MERIX originator?

Tough deals wearing you down? Seeing more customers with challenging income and credit situations? Having difficulty with “out-of-the-box” applications? n Frustrated with restrictive lending criteria? n Ready to expand your client base beyond the traditional borrower?

n n

We are the home of Sensible Lending® and have mortgage options suitable for most borrowers. (TSX:CWB)

Serving brokers in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. 866.441.3775

Questions? Comments? Deals? Contact your regional business development manager or our underwriting centre at 866.441.3775




...when size matters




Condo Inventory Serviced Lot Inventory Edmonton, AB

Subdivision Servicing & Housing Construction Kelowna, BC

Office / Retail & Industrial Complex Toronto, ON




Residential Lot Inventory & Housing Construction Brampton, ON

Acquisition Financing 4 Season Resort Property Muskoka, ON




Purchase of a Commercial Mortgage Portfolio ON, QC, AB, BC

307 Room Hotel & 20 acre Res. Development Edmonton, AB

Office Building / Condo Redevelopment Site Toronto, ON

Romspen is a non-bank mortgage lender specializing in commercial real estate across Canada. We offer customized mor tgage solutions for term, bridge and construction financing from $2M to $60M. With over $750 million under administration, Romspen leads the industry in alternative commercial mortgage lending.

Blake Cassidy (Ext. 4868) 800.494.0389 or 416.966.1100

120,000 sq ft Office Building Calgary, AB

Mastering Digital Documentation Associates provide lots of documentation to lenders. Associates have lots of communication with consumers. Brokerages need to keep all of it. Learn the tools that are readily available and can help you save time and money as you handle client documentation.

Ryan Spence’s tips to get things done right Brokerages have lots of transactions. This means lots of stuff to keep. For a long time. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) - Records are defined very broadly to include all records created and received during a deal in mortgages. Record keeping requirements for mortgage brokers and mortgage associates are outlined in the Real Estate Act and the Real Estate Act Rules. [Real Estate Act, s.25(1)(9), s.25(9), Real Estate Act Rules s.1(1)(aa), s.13(2)(c), s.67(g)(i)(j), s.69(c), s.105(1)(2)].

The market has many versions of PDF merge and split software. Versions commonly used by local mortgage associates are PDF995 or CutePDF. If you are an Apple user you can try Preview or CombinePDF. These run from $20 – $50 for an ad-free license. Lastly, be aware of your physical workspace. As you convert your paper to digital documentation you will find great benefit by adding a second monitor to your computer. A second (or third) monitor allows you more screen space. This means you can keep a document open on one screen while completing an application or emailing your underwriter on another. The easier it is for you to see the documentation, the easier it is to work with the documentation.

There are several steps that will help you become better at handling digital documentation. Step 1: Use a common format – PDF

Step 2: Organize the documentation.

– that allows ease of management and distribution. As soon as practical, convert documentation to a PDF format. Convert your paper fax to a fax-to-email system as an example.

Keep a client folder where everything is clearly labeled and accessible. Don’t forget to protect your client’s information - ensure your computer is password protected or encrypted and remove personal client information when the transaction is complete.

Step 3: Obtain software that will allow you to merge or split PDF documents. This allows you to make many PDF documents into a single PDF document, or vice versa. The ability to merge or split documents quickly means that you can present the documentation package in the manner your intended target would like.



YOUR OWN MEMBERS ZONE LOGIN Click here to login to your secure member site. It’s a new member area for you to explore.

RECENT UPDATES EVENTS CALENDAR AMBA’s new events calendar makes it easy for you to stay up-to-date, explore our events and register through this portal.

These sliding updates will keep you informed of all AMBA news. AMBA’s most recent and important news can be found here.

AMBA HOMEPAGE The new homepage displays a clean professional look and is easy to navigate. It also gives browsers quick updates on news, events and messages from the president in his new blog.

12 SUMMER 2011

Welcome Home AMBA Members … New website designed with you in mind Welcome to AMBA’s new and improved website. Over the past several months, we’ve been working hard to develop this new site with you in mind. The new site is jam-packed with knowledge-based information to engage consumers and industry people. In the ‘members-only zone’, you’ll find all the important documents and updates you need. There are lots of exciting things to explore including daily national news updates, industry partner updates,

social media feeds and a chat zone, where you can ask questions and or share information with fellow members. You can also print off your member certificate at any time, register for events with ease, update your profile, browse e-newsletter, AMBA Matters and photo archives and much more. We encourage you to explore the new site and e-mail us at, if you have questions or feedback.

MEMBER CHAT Chat with fellow members. You can ask questions about industry issues and more.

KEEP UP-TO-DATE Follow AMBA’s Twitter posts, without logging into Twitter. Also, join us on Facebook and LinkedIn.



Read what your president has to say. Paul Bojakli will post regular blogs for you to explore and comment on.

Communicate with sure to answer our poll questions. Your will help us gather industry stats.

us. Be monthly answers relevant

AMBA Member Zone This secure area is designed specifically to serve you better. It includes several social interactive components, business tools and member communication.



Interest Rates Starting from an Incredible 5.75%

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Condo Inventory Loans: • • • •



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866-698-5388 Toll free

Call Brian Chelin or Mike Saba today Visit our website at:

Or contact us at: or

AMBA Supports Terra at their Annual ‘Promising Futures’ Breakfast On April 20, 2011, AMBA representatives attended Terra Association’s annual ‘Promising Futures’ breakfast in support of pregnant and parenting teens in Edmonton. In an effort to get more brokerages involved in our charity work with Terra, AMBA hosted a table in support of the association and invited several Edmonton and area members who hadn’t previously participated in Terra events. Terra has been serving youth in Edmonton since 1971. Each year, approximately 600 young families access their teenage pregnancy support services. They focus on encouraging pregnant and parenting teens to gain confidence, develop the skills required for success and to raise healthy, happy children. Terra seeks the involvement of individuals and groups through community partnerships to support young families in the community.

centre at Braemar School, prenatal classes and housing support. Their housing services include a 13 suite apartment building. In an effort to continue helping local teens and their children, Terra reached out to the community and launched the annual Baby Heroes Diaper drive.

They offer 12 programs, which include individual counselling, home visitation, parenting support, group activities, services for dads, clothing exchange, child development activities, a childcare

This year’s ‘Promising Futures’ breakfast was the seventh annual event and the most successful as it drew nearly 400 attendees who listened to the teens’ stories and love for Terra.

Erin Simpson (Terra Student) and Ryder

AMBA Board Director Has Spirit Sporting an adult diaper and a grin from cheek to cheek in front of media and spectators paid off for AMBA board director Gord McCallum as he was presented with the Terra Association’s first ever spirit award in Edmonton at their Annual General Meeting March 30, 2011. McCallum was awarded the honour for his sportsmanship in the friendly competition with the Edmonton REALTORS® Association during Terra’s annual Baby Heroes Diaper drive.

If AMBA won, REALTORS® Community Foundation board members were to wear bibs and dine on baby food: Creamed corn, beef broth, sweet potato custard and, for dessert, pureed prunes – all served cold! Well , we know what happened … McCallum sported his six-pack, oh, and a diaper. AMBA raised 23,692 diapers and the REALTORS® donated 25,403, but McCallum brought home the AMBA spirit.

AMBA wants to be the Diaper King! We need your help to dethrone the REALTORS® in this year’s diaper challenge. We need more brokerages to join in the fun and give back.

What’s in it for you? Gord McCallum

Last October, AMBA Edmonton and area members challenged the Edmonton REALTORS® Community Foundation to a diaper squareoff. Each organization set generous internal goals to 23,000 diapers and challenged each other to see who could raise the most by the campaign end date.

You will be contributing to a great local charity, meeting fellow AMBA members, raising awareness for the broker community and have the chance to receive some potential media exposure, all while having fun. If you’d like to participate in this year’s challenge, or to learn more, contact Gord McCallum at 780.702.7678, or by e-mail at



Social Media & Privacy: Can What I Blog be Used Against Me? Privacy Officer, AMBA Jane’s blog entry, May 1st: “Another crappy day at work! I wish Mr. “Stinkypants” would stop throwing his meds across the table ....” Jane’s blog entry, May 29th: “Finally! The old lady’s good-fornothing son comes to visit her. We haven’t seen him here for 6 months ... and he calls himself a servant of the people .... doesn’t even care about his own mother...” Jane’s blog entry, June 3rd: “Headnurse Know-it-all thinks she’s so great. Meanwhile, her incompetence astounds me....” Jane works at a nursing home on the east coast. She has always loved to gab and keeps friends and family posted with what’s happening in her work and her life through her blog. Now that she lives across the country, the blogging and social media stuff is great. Sometimes I add a comment onto her blog and we don’t lose the ability to share what’s happening day-to-day; the stuff that keeps a friendship current. Too bad I’m not the only one who reads Jane’s blog.

Privacy Expectations in the Social Media World Based on an actual case reported at the PIPA 2010 Privacy Conference, ‘Jane’s’ employer has legal grounds to use the information from the blog to investigate further, and perhaps dismiss Jane. In the actual case reported to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, a co-worker of Jane’s had read the blog and was able to identify some of the people unfavourably mentioned in the blog, even though Jane had not used the individuals’ actual names. One of the people in Jane’s blog was in fact a city councilman, which was clearly discernable by the co-worker from the unflattering description of the situation in Jane’s blog. The co-worker brought this information to the employer. The employer started investigative procedures against Jane. Jane was fired. She later filed a grievance against the company for wrongful dismissal. After all, the blog is her own site unrelated to her job, she blogs on her own time, not company time, and she did not use the individuals’ actual names.

The arbitrator found in favour of the company. It was found that the ability to identify the individuals in the blog violated the individuals’ privacy. Moreover, the unsecured nature of the blog left Jane’s comments open to all visitors on the Internet. (Reference: Alberta v. A.U.P.E. (2008), 174 L.A.C. (4th) 371.)

What Employers Can Do With more than 200 social network sites in existence today, and a Facebook following greater than the population of Poland (ref: PIPA Privacy Conference, 2010), clearly, social media is no longer a trend, but a mainstay. Employers today need to have online social networking policies that include provisions such as:

Requiring compliance with all existing codes of conduct and workplace policies.

• Asking employees to use disclaimers where appropriate. • Requiring adherence to confidentiality and non-disclose


Reminding employees not to let blogging interfere with their work or the workplace in general.

Privacy Legislation The Personal Information and Privacy Act (PIPA) is an Alberta/British Columbia legislation which “protects individual privacy by requiring, in most cases, private-sector organizations to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information and providing individuals with a right of access to their own personal information.” ( The Personal Information and Privacy Act (PIPEDA) is federal legislation. Provincially-regulated organizations in Alberta and BC are covered by PIPA, with the exception of those businesses that are federal works, federal undertakings or federal businesses. For provincially-regulated businesses that engage in inter-provincial personal information flows, those particular transactions would be regulated by PIPEDA. Stay tuned for more Privacy case studies in the next issue of AMBA Matters.

16 SUMMER 2011

Travel the World

with AMBA 2011 Conference Preview Keynote Speaker – Warren MacDonald Challenging times call for a shift in perspective. Warren MacDonald’s inspirational story and powerful message of hope deliver life-changing insight on not only navigating, but embracing change; with focus, energy and confidence. His unique perspective on change management will help foster a mind set in your team that seeks opportunities, not obstacles. Warren’s life’s boundaries were redefined in April 1997 with his accident on North Queensland’s (Australia) Hinchinbrook Island. Climbing to the Island’s tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton slab boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid-thigh. Just 10 months later, he climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,222 ft), and more recently, in a spectacular effort requiring more than 2,800 pull-ups over four days, created history once again in an ascent of America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan. He is also the only aboveknee amputee to make an ascent of Canada’s landmark frozen waterfall, the 600-ft ‘Weeping Wall’ in Alberta. Warren’s first book, A Test of Will is an Australian best seller and the subject of the “Trapped under a Boulder” episode

of the Discovery Channel series I Shouldn’t Be Alive. His film documenting the epic four-week journey to Federation Peak, Australia’s most challenging mountain summit, The Second Step, has been acclaimed worldwide, screening on National Geographic Television and winning eight international awards including grand prize at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival. Warren has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programs, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. He has written articles for CNN World Edition, Australian Geographic, Speaking of Impact and Professional Speaker. He recognizes change as a process, not an end result. His ability to manage transition, to create opportunity from any given situation, and his ability to share insights on how we can all live ‘larger than we dreamt possible,’ sees him increasingly in demand as a speaker and corporate motivator.

What would it mean if you could? •

Recognize and break through mental barriers to change

Turn change and challenge into catalysts for both business and personal growth

Gain a powerful shift in thinking that will put challenges into perspective

Foster a mind set that seeks solutions and looks for opportunities

To learn more go to

Economic Panel This year’s panel will focus on the Alberta real estate market and how the current (Sept. 2011) economic indicators are affecting the real estate market

18 SUMMER 2011

and mortgage interest rates. Various questions will be asked by the moderator, William Charlton. Todd Hirsch, ATB Financial, Lai Sing Louie, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Katherine White of Alberta Finance and Enterprise will make up the three-member panel. The audience will also have a chance to ask their questions during a Q&A.

© 2010 Brett Gilmour

Morning Business Seminar – Darren Jacklin For almost two decades, Darren Jacklin has been mentoring entrepreneurs and business owners on achievable specific and measurable strategies that they consistently use to increase their income, transform their obstacles into cash flow and turn their passion into profits. His uncanny ability to increase wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities has captured the attention and respect of NBC TV, CBS TV, Sharing Success TV, The Manifest-Station TV, international radio stations, magazines and newspapers, movie producers, bestselling authors, CEO’s and marketing experts world-wide. 

At AMBA’s conference Darren will share: •

A step-by-step system that will shift your mind set, increase your productivity and production so you will get more done in a single work day than most people do in a week. It’s a ‘Game Changer.’

A speed and execution strategy to fast-track your achievable specific and measurable results in your personal and professional life.

A daily delegation system that will create more freedom and ease in your life.

A step-by-step High Level accelerated social networking strategy that can double your recruiting numbers and your cash flow in 12 months or less.

After you attend this experiential training seminar, you will start to experience, see and hear achievable specific and measurable results within five days.

Another one of Darren’s passions is to connect with people to find out where they are, what their issues are and then help guide them through the peaks and valleys to get on track and be consistently improving. Within every crisis, there is a hidden blessing and within every setback, there is a new step forward. When we look at the events in our lives from a perspective of balance and order, we begin to see the underlying synchronicity and magnificence in our daily lives. There is never a scar without a star or a crisis without a blessing and every crisis can be turned into an opportunity. The events that occurred in our economy over the past few years could be perceived as ‘terrible challenges’ or ‘disasters,’ but then we would be allowing our incomplete perceptions to run our reactions. Every event has two sides, the so-called negative and its complementary opposite side, the positive. These can also be called the drawback and benefit or challenge and support. The key is not to wait until the other side is eventually realized as selfevident, it is to look immediately and find the other side that is ever-present. This will quell the emotion and bring the mind back into a balanced state. From his own experience, he defines success as ‘a series of wellmanaged failures.’ Throughout your career as a licensed mortgage broker, you will always experience ‘support’ and ‘challenge’. Whenever someone or something is challenging you, look where there is a hidden order or meaning to where someone or something is supporting you.  Darren also believes that 80% of success is showing up, or as he says, “putting some skin in the game.” So for those who show up at the conference, not only will he provide you with the real tools to use right away, he’ll make himself available to talk with you during the day.

see amba briefs on page 32 for registration information SUMMER 2011






AMBA’s 36th AGM Showcases Change June 9, 2011 at the Marriott River Cree Resort (Edmonton)

AMBA Annual General Meeting Banquet

Outgoing Directors

Outgoing President’s Award

New Board of Directors 2011

New AMBA Directors Oath

MPP Address

20 SUMMER 2011

Keynote Speaker Bill Johnson



New President Paul Bojakli Addresses 36 AMBA Membership for the First Time th

I would like to start by thanking Dean for serving as president this past year. His passion and involvement with all the executives has been amazing. Dean has done a great job establishing transparent initiatives and keeping the membership and board informed. Dean had a very busy term as president that involved some massive changes with both government and securities regulations. Dean tackled all the issues with composure and professionalism. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that he has made each of us feel appreciated and is always quick to recognize the hard work that has been done by not only the board but also many volunteers. I would not have taken on the role of president if I did not have the support that I do. I consider myself to be very fortunate … I would like to thank my team at Quantus for encouraging me to remain active on the board. Our associates realize that this is a position that requires a great deal of time, but they have the vision to see that a leadership team involved in our industry benefits everyone in the long run. I would like to thank the board. As most of you already know, they truly care about the membership and the industry. We have a unique and diverse group that is very resourceful and extremely talented. I believe we have one of the most dynamic boards in the country. I would also like to thank the amazing staff we have at AMBA. Judy, Julia, Amanda and Samantha are always one step ahead of us- they keep us organized and go beyond the call of duty every day. As for the upcoming year, it should be an interesting one. Lately, there have been many changes - it feels like we can’t catch a break with all the regulatory influences and the markets can’t make up their minds. We are seeing some of our peers facing adversity for the first time. Most of these changes are out of our control. However, we can control how we think! Although I believe we have a difficult year ahead of us, I am still very optimistic! I would like to think we are all very much alike and look at it as another challenge and keep moving forward.

Our industry is young and still has much to accomplish. Some of the objectives for the upcoming year are:

Consumer Awareness - One of our primary focuses has been educating our consumer. 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. As brokers, we have a penetration rate that seems to be stalled. 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. Education - Alberta is undoubtedly the leader for education in the country. AMBA is working very hard to elevate the standards of education not only in Alberta but across the country. We have spent a lot of money and invested a tremendous amount of time on our education programs. We are going to work with the other associations to integrate our courses and adopt our commitment. Communication - We are missing important issues. 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. To give you an idea of how committed AMBA is to our third objective. We have created a new position within the board that will work closely with the other associations to better align ourselves with issues such as Education and E & O Insurance. This way, we can collectively begin leveraging, and together we can have a stronger voice when dealing with national issues. These are just some examples of what we are doing ... AMBA is an organization that encourages all our members to become involved. I encourage you to have a private chat with any of our board members to learn more about what we do, and how YOU can get more involved in our industry.



President Dean Koeller’s



Final Address

At this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), we celebrated our 36th year as an association. The Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) continues to thrive and offer numerous benefits to our members, while building on the hard work and efforts of past staff, boards and volunteers.

This year proved to be no exception, with many individuals addressing a number of industry issues and opportunities. I am proud to report that, today, our organization offers more benefits to our members, through improved education, learning and developed opportunities. We are strategically positioned to grow and build the organization, not only for the benefit of mortgage brokers in Alberta, but for our industry across Canada. One of AMBA’s initiatives over the last several years has been course development. The staff and volunteers have been working exceptionally hard to develop a new Mortgage Associate Program (MAP). The program will address real learning requirements and will be instrumental for developing a strong practical and educational foundation for new industry members to achieve long-term success. Efforts to raise the professional standards have also been made outside of the province through discussions with the national and other provincial associations. Our goal is to develop a long-term partnership with other associations to make our education available nationally. In addition to raising the professional and educational standards across Canada, this would generate additional revenue opportunities for the association. AMBA continues to demonstrate strong fiscal responsibility with another year of building our cash reserves. However, the federal government’s mandate to nationally harmonize licensing standards as of July 1, 2011, has caused some concern, as it could allow educational programs of lower quality and cost to compete on equal footing with our own educational program. While we are confident that we can compete nationally, we felt it’s prudent to take measures to ensure that the organization is able to absorb a reduction in education revenue. AMBA is proud to announce that LMS Prolink and Liberty International Underwriters are our new Errors and Omission insurance provider. Liberty International has the industry knowledge and experience, coupled with an objective to provide long-term, value-added services to our industry.


th I encourage you to consider Liberty International for your Errors and Omission insurance needs. It is also important to note that as of September 1, 2011, all mortgage brokers in the province of Alberta will be required to have Errors and Omission insurance through an approved Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) provider such as Liberty International. Another initiative for the AMBA board this year was the development of a new committee called the Private Lenders Forum. This was established as a result of a new national instrument, which now requires all syndication and Mortgage Investment Corporations to be licensed through the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC). This new committee is now composed of more than 23 individuals engaged in the private lending industry and who are now complying, or in the process of complying with the new rules. I would encourage all members who are working with private lenders to ensure that their private lender is complying with the new rules to protect the interests of your clients.

I would like to thank the board of directors for all their support and great work over the last year. I am so pleased to have had an opportunity to work with such an amazing group of individuals. I would also like to thank the team at AMBA’s office for all their great work this year. AMBA is very lucky to have such an amazing team of professionals who are committed to doing their best for the association. Thank-you to Julia, Amanda and Samantha. A special thanks also needs to go to Judy Martin for her leadership and commitment to bringing all the events, activities and strategic plans together over the course of the year. Our association is stronger and better positioned for new opportunities thanks to the efforts of Judy. And to all the AMBA members, thank-you for your support, commitment and being able to continuously bring your best to every deal and transaction you perform in our industry. It is only through our professional standards and continuous drive for excellence that we will continue to thrive in this industry. I am confident that our new president and newly elected board members will continue to build on the success of the last year and move the organization forward in new and exciting ways.



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The 2011/2012 AMBA Board of Directors Welcomes … Ryan Spence (Davis + Henderson)




Ryan moved to Alberta approximately a decade ago and has been working on the technology side of the mortgage industry since. As a result of his efforts over this time, he received the AMBA Partner Award in 2010 for promoting and assisting AMBA in the province. For the past several years, Ryan has been heavily involved with AMBA and its membership. He volunteers on AMBA’s social committees such as the annual conference committee and bonspiel organizing committee. He currently works with the education committee in preparing and delivering technology based courses for AMBA’s continuing education series. Ryan has taught the technology component of the Mortgage Associate Program (MAP) at Mount Royal University and Grant MacEwen University for the past eight years and is involved in the current MAP course updates. Many will recognize him as the representative of Davis + Henderson (previously Filogix) and for the past decade he has assisted many AMBA members in the technology realm and continues to offer creative means to enable brokerages and associates to grow their business and their understanding of technology.

Nadeem Jiwa (MCAP Service Corporation) Nadeem has been employed with MCAP Service Corporation for just over 13 years in various capacities. His current position, over the last nine years, is in the capacity of a licensed mortgage associate working as a Regional Account Manager with MCAP on the broker side of the business. He’s been a member with RECA, AMBA and CAAMP for the past nine years. Nadeem is involved in a number of initiatives that have brought awareness to the community about mortgage associates. While serving on the AMBA Board of Directors (from 2007 to 2009), he was placed in charge of the Mortgage Brokers Awareness Campaign. This campaign was designed to drive awareness about the benefits of dealing with a mortgage broker in the province. Nadeem has also had the privilege in being involved with Habitat for Humanity fund-raisers. As Habitat for Humanity is one of MCAP’s primary charities, he always look forward to any opportunity to attend functions that help promote the work to help people have their own homes.

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Industry News Alberta moves to regulate home inspections In May, the provincial government passed new rules requiring resale home inspectors to be licensed by the province. The Home Inspection Business Regulation requires not only that inspectors be licensed, but that they carry $1 million in errors and omissions insurance and post a $10,000 security to cover consumer losses if they fail to do their jobs. The new regulation also bans contracts that limit liability, establishes minimum qualifications and allows for prosecution under the Fair Trading Act with a maximum fine of $100,000. The regulation does not apply to new home inspections, only to inspections conducted on resale properties. Safety code officers that inspect new construction fall under Municipal Affairs, which administers the building code. They will continue to be accredited by the Safety Codes Council of Alberta. The new regulation dictates that the structure, electrical, heating, insulation, and plumbing must be inspected, as well as the interior, exterior and roof. Not included is the “building envelope,” the outer shell that keeps damaging rain and wind out of the walls. Albertans who want the building envelope inspected must hire a qualified engineer. Home inspectors now must meet education standards. Those who already hold a Registered Home Inspector or Certified Master Inspector designation are automatically qualified. Inspectors who do not currently meet requirements may apply for a conditional license.

Ri ch ar d I . Joh n L a wyer, No ta ry Pu bl ic 205 - 7A Street NE Calg ary, Alberta, T2E 4E7 Phone: 403-205-3949 F ax : 403 -205- 3950 email: r ich ar d .john @telus .n et

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26 SUMMER 2011

ð Denotes a Professional Corporation


New Mortgage rules crimp home sales The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) blamed new mortgage rules for taking first-time buyers out of the market, as it reported sales slipped 14% in April compared to last year. First-time buyers have been hit hard by mortgage rule changes introduced earlier this year and following last year’s round of federal amendments. These changes, like the ones last year, pulled sales forward as worried home buyers raced to beat the March 18 deadline ending the 35-year mortgage. CREA said seasonally adjusted sales activity decreased by 4.4% in April compared to March. The declines were largest in the most expensive markets – Toronto, Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The national average price for homes sold in April 2011 was $372,544, up eight percent from the same month last year. That’s a slight gain of 0.33% over March’s $371,286. The number of houses for sale remained unchanged in April, at 5.6 months. That’s how long it would take to sell all of the houses, at the corner rate of sales. CREA says the average national resale price will gain four percent by the end of the year because of high prices in Vancouver. It’s also expected that sales will be stronger than expected in 2011, although still slower than 2010.

ATB Financial supports Slave Lake with major new loan deferral program ATB Financial, Alberta’s biggest financial institution, announced today that it will support customers affected by the massive Slave Lake wildfire by deferring payments on their loans for a year. The major new deferral program is available to any ATB customer in Slave Lake whose home was destroyed or damaged in the fire, whose business was affected, or who lost their job as a result of the disaster. The residential mortgage deferral program automatically applies to those whose homes were damaged or destroyed, but ATB will offer the same flexibility to customers who determine they could use the relief even though their properties weren’t hit by the fire. ATB has more than 500 customers with loans in Slave Lake.

Industry News continued economy, continued deficit problems and housing market weakness plaguing the United States and Japan, and mounting sovereign debt problems facing Europe. The report labels a concern as, if downside risks interact, their cumulative impact could weaken the recovery significantly, possibly triggering stagflationary (high inflation in a stagnant economy) developments in some advanced economies. Factors that will affect the Canadian economy include:

Canada’s housing market faces a risk of sliding: Report Canada’s housing market faces a risk of sliding prices, according to a report released that warns the current global economic rebound from the 2008 crisis could falter. The organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s twice-a-year economic outlook report said the world economy is in an uneven recovery and confronting far more ‘downside’ than ‘upside’ risks. The negative risks include the possibility of an inflationary rise in oil and other commodity prices, a deeper slowdown in China’s

Plans by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to slash the deficit are expected to include a reduction in wages for publicsector workers, which will ‘weigh on household income’. Household debt, at a record 149% of Canadians’ disposable income in late 2010, will also dampen consumer spending. Consumers are unlikely to be able to rely on further significant increases in house prices to improve their balance sheets. House prices are already high relative to incomes and rents, and the market appears to have stabilized and cooled. Canadians will have to do some fiscal belt-tightening in more indebted countries, especially the U.S., which could trim demand more than expected.

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Industry News continued Calgary luxury home sales balloon

Alberta MLS sales to top country in 2012

Luxury home sales in Calgary have soared this year compared with a year ago, according to a RE/MAX report. The real estate firm noted that 145 homes have sold for more than $1 million year-todate until the end of April, a 51% hike from the 96 sold for the same period in 2010.

Alberta will lead the country next year in the annual percentage growth for the MLS sales, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The report said improved financial standing among high net worth individuals is the major factor driving strong sales activity at the top end of housing markets across the country.

The association said the province will see MLS sales increase by 6.7% in 2012 to 56,650 units following a 6.8% gain this year to 53,100 units.

RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada and RE/MAX of Western Canada examined 12 major centres from coast-to-coast and found that luxury sales have surged in close to two-thirds of housing markets between January 1 and April 30 of this year, compared with the same period in 2010.

At the national level, CREA is forecasting MLS sales to decline by 1.3% this year to 441,100 transactions and rebound with 2.6% growth in 2012 to 452,500 units.

Leading in terms of percentage increases over the four-month period were Greater Vancouver (118%) –where foreign investment has also played a major role – Ottawa (59%), Calgary (51%), HalifaxBurlington (13%) and Greater Toronto (9%).

Gas prices impact real estate choices Rising gas prices have spurred home buyers to look for homes that offer shorter commute times to work, according to a survey of Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals. Three-quarters of respondents said the recent jump in gas prices had influenced where their clients chose to live. The main client concern was commute time to work: 89% of respondents said buyers look for homes closer to work and 93% said a continued rise in gas prices would prompt more home buyers to choose to live where commute times are shorter. Almost half (45%) of respondents said buyers are choosing homes closer to shops and services as a result of higher gas prices. According to 77% of respondents, more buyers are interested in having a home office compared to five years ago. Of those respondents, 68% said the high cost of gas is one reason behind the trend.

28 SUMMER 2011

The association is predicting the average MLS sale price in Alberta will rise by 0.1% this year to $352,500 followed by a 1.6% jump next year to $358,100. Nationally, CREA said the average price will increase by 4% this year to $352,500 followed by an increase of 0.9% in 2012 to $355,800.

AMBA Continuing Education Offers ‘Mortgage Brokers, Insurance and the Law’ ‘Mortgage Brokers, Insurance and the Law’ is the newest member of

This is an area where brokers can get themselves in serious trouble.

AMBA’s continuing education roster. It covers a wide range of topics

They may think they are doing their clients a service by letting them

concerning the mortgage broker’s role in the creditor insurance

take the insurance application away to “think about it,” but, unless

transaction, including:

there is a rigorous follow-up process in place, the end result is usually

• What brokers are legally permitted to say and do; • How they can protect themselves from the most

a big fat hole in the mortgage documentation. There’s nothing on file



• Why choosing not to engage your clients in a discussion about

mortgage protection can be the riskiest decision of all.

to prove the insurance offer was made in a conscientious way, and nothing to prove whether the client said yes or no. “To further protect mortgage centre associates, our insurance system tracks every application that gets printed. We get a follow-up notice about missing applications, and it will even trigger a follow-up offer

While it might not be easy to get excited about the prospect of learning

to the client when necessary. It’s a comfort to know that our chosen

more about insurance, Saskatchewan mortgage broker Pam Gaunt

insurance provider is watching our back.”

warns her peers about the risk they take by failing to acknowledge the importance of this subject.

At the end of the day, there is another compelling reason to address the client’s mortgage protection needs in the broker’s office – and not

“These days, it seems we are having our clients sign consent forms,

just leave it to the lender or to a financial planner whom the client may

waivers, disclosure documents and so forth, almost to painful

or may not ever get around to seeing. And that is the satisfaction that

degrees,” explains Pam Gaunt. “But, I just remind myself that most of

comes from being a difference-maker in your client’s life – should the

this paperwork exists to protect everyone. Having said that, if anyone

worst ever happen.

is thinking about a way to cut corners and save some time, mortgage protection for our clients is likely the worst place to try and do that – not just for the sake of protecting the client, but also to protect ourselves against liability.”

“I have seen both ends of the spectrum. Clients who took the insurance and then, when one of them passed away, the family was relieved of the burden of debt in their absence,” explains Gaunt. “But, I also witnessed another family which was left to carry that burden because

While mortgage brokers in Alberta can be licensed to offer creditor

no protection had been put in place. Please believe me when I tell

insurance, the type of license issued does not permit them to give

you that, though both situations are most unfortunate and life-altering,

insurance advice or offer other types of products like term life

it is much easier to sit across the table with the family that knows

insurance. Because of these limitations, some brokers feel like they

their home will not be at risk because appropriate plans were put

should just leave their clients’ insurance needs to someone else, and

into place and their mortgage debt will be gone. It’s a huge comfort

they say little or nothing about mortgage protection.

at a most unfortunate time, especially if the spouse lost is the major

However, as Pam points out, “It may not be common knowledge, but


clients can and will successfully sue if insurance hasn’t been offered.

To learn more about your mortgage protection obligations, and

The danger here is that they may automatically believe that they are

the attendant risks, check out “Mortgage Brokers, Insurance and the

covered with insurance, as with most bank debt it is mandatory. So

Law.” Visit

mortgage brokers need to be diligent about helping their clients know for sure where the insurance decision stands.” Not only is it important to offer protection in conjunction with every deal, but to make sure that the client’s decision is properly recorded.

30 SUMMER 2011

Pam Gaunt is a mortgage professional with 20 years of financial services experience. She resides in Saskatchewan and works with The Mortgage Centre-Sky Financial to provide expert mortgage advice and assist borrowers in achieving their dreams of home ownership.

A NEW Errors & Omissions Insurance Program for a NEW Environment Insurance is typically one of those things in life that most do not think about until after they have been served with a lawsuit or experienced a loss. Errors & Omissions liability insurance, also known as (E&O), is an insurance product some brokerages in Alberta have been buying for the past few years. However, many brokerages do not purchase E&O liability insurance and probably do not give much thought to this important protection. This is about to change in the fall of 2011 as the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) makes E&O liability insurance compulsory. The rules under the Real Estate Act of Alberta now specify that mortgage brokerages must have E&O liability insurance in effect as of September 1, 2011. Whether you are a lawyer, accountant, or mortgage broker, we find the majority of professionals do not have E&O liability insurance registered on their radar screen until it becomes compulsory. It makes sense that E&O liability insurance takes on a higher profile once it becomes a prerequisite to practicing your profession. This is why AMBA and the PROLINK Insurance Group (PROLINK) have completed an exhaustive analysis of the insurance marketplace in order to ensure that AMBA members will have access to an industry leading E&O liability insurance group program.

Get your E&O through AMBA & PROLINK AMBA and PROLINK are very happy to announce that Liberty International Underwriters will be the new insurance company underwriting the E&O liability insurance program effective June 1, 2011. Liberty International Underwriters is the Canadian division of Liberty Mutual, a publically traded and U.S.-based insurer

with an A.M. Best rating of ‘A’ (Excellent). Liberty underwrites $33-billion in total premium worldwide. Their focus is on providing directors and officers liability insurance and E&O liability insurance solutions for financial institutions and professionals throughout Canada. Liberty underwrites dozens of E&O liability insurance programs in Canada.

What did we learn from the previous AMBA E&O insurer? Many AMBA members are aware the previous E&O Program insurer, Echelon General Insurance, was not in a position to continue underwriting E&O liability insurance for mortgage brokerages after sustaining significant claim losses over the past three years. The Echelon experience was very frustrating for affected members. The silver lining is the problems encountered with Echelon occurred many months before E&O became compulsory. AMBA and PROLINK are committed to delivering members an E&O program offering competitive pricing and the proper E&O coverage from a stable insurer committed to the mortgage broker industry.

Why did AMBA and PROLINK select Liberty as the NEW insurer? It is difficult to predict how an insurer will react when they are losing money underwriting an association insurance program. Many insurers will become opportunistic when they see that E&O insurance is compulsory. AMBA and PROLINK did not want to focus the entire decision on the lowest cost provider. This is not a viable long-term solution in an industry with a high claim frequency. We selected Liberty because they have a proven track record of

being a stable, consistent and responsible insurer when delivering programs to financial professionals. Once Liberty commits to insuring a professional group, they do not ‘enter and exit’ the marketplace when the environment gets tough. For example, Liberty’s experience as the leading provider of E&O liability insurance to thousands of financial advisors during multiple stock market corrections and crashes demonstrates their ability to underwrite complicated professions over the long-term. Liberty is making a long-term commitment to AMBA while understanding the risk exposures facing your profession.

Learn More about the NEW E&O Program AMBA and PROLINK will be providing lots of information regarding RECA’s new E&O requirement over the next six months. Look for details on the new AMBA website and on PROLINK’s website today. If you wish to learn more immediately, please contact a representative from PROLINK’s dedicated AMBA Service Team.

Contact PROLINK: P. 800-663-6828 Andrew Spencer: AMBA Program Business Development Manager; ANDREWS@LMS.CA Kristin Mavroudi: AMBA Program Account Manager: KRISTINM@LMS.CA Website:



AMBA BRIEFS Messages for you Check Out AMBA’s New Website Our new site offers new interactive tools and easy navigation for members. It’s jam-packed with knowledge-based information to help consumers understand mortgages and to help you to guide them. Visit

Get Your E&O Insurance before the Deadline AMBA and LMS PROLINK are pleased to announce the launch of the new E&O Liability program for members. Remember, E&O Liability is compulsory effective September 1, 2011. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) will require that all licensed mortgage brokerages show proof of E&O Liability when renewing their brokerage licences. Don’t wait until August 31, 2011 to apply for E&O coverage. Visit for more information.

2011 Conference & Trade show Early Bird Registration Don’t miss your chance to save some money by registering for the annual Conference & Trade show by July 31, 2011. This year’s theme is Travel the World with AMBA. The annual Conference & Trade Show will take place September 8 & 9, 2011, at the Capri Centre in Red Deer.

Early bird pricing is as follows: Conference & Gala: Conference Only: Gala Only:

Member $230 Non-Member $355 Member $170 Non-Member $295 $80 for all

Register online at

2011 Conference & Trade show Exhibitor Registration Open The 2011 Conference & Trade Show exhibitor’s package is now available. Download it and secure your booth today at

32 SUMMER 2011

Register for the 2011 Golf Tournament This year’s tourney will be held at the Innisfail Golf Club on September 8, 2011. Golf packages cost $165 per person and team selection is random, unless you pay $200 to select your own team. Registration is now open online at

Meet our New Staffer AMBA welcomes Yuming Li, who has assumed the role of the staff accountant. Yuming comes from Beijing, China. He obtained the Bachelor of Law degree from University of Beijing Chemical Technology. After that, he started his journey in Canada. He continued his studies and specialized in finance at the University of Alberta, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction. Before his role as staff accountant in AMBA, he worked as the Manager of Finance for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Fall In-class MAP Dates The Mortgage Associate Program (MAP) will be held in-class in Edmonton and Calgary in September. Check the AMBA calendar on the back page, or go to for current dates.

Ever Feel Like Nobody Understands You and You Are “A Loan” At Shaelynn Capital Inc. we understand. Call us for all your private lending needs. For deal and investment inquiries call Ron Prefontaine at 403-387-7765.

Shaelynn Capital Inc. Mortgage Investment Corporation

Member briefs Mortgage Alliance MAC Rally of Hope Rides through Calgary

TD Financial Services Welcome New Team Member

The third annual MAC Rally of Hope will be coming through Calgary, Monday, July 18, 2011. The Rally is a motorcycle ride across Canada to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. If you are a rider and would like to participate, or would like to donate a silent auction item, please contact Rick Wilson at 403-650-5746 or

TD Financing Services Home Inc. (TD Financing Services) is pleased to expand its team and announce the appointment of Andrea Anielski as Area Manager for Northern Alberta and Manitoba. Andrea brings a wealth of experience, developed at a number of financial institutions over the last 25 years. She is a past AMBA board member and is actively involved with CAAMP. Andrea looks forward to developing and maintaining strong working relationships with broker partners through regular communication and meetings. She is recognized across the Prairie region as being energetic and passionate about the Canadian mortgage industry.

Come out and support the boys and girls at the MAC Rally of Hope on July 18, 2011, at: Dobson’s Restaurant and Bar, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tickets are $25, or 5 for $100 To purchase your tickets and for more information, please go visit

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Multi-Family SUMMER 2011

| 33

Know Your Neighbours Heads to Medicine Hat Ron McClenaghan, AMBA Director Our first trial balloon for the Know Your Neighbours program will take place in Medicine Hat on July 29 – 30, 2011.

Truly a people helping people organization.

The AMBA membership of Medicine Hat will be instrumental in starting a local Neighbourhood Watch Association with the support of the Police Services.

Coffee Talk

Yahoo! will be the recruitment cheer as we rally the AMBA troops to work the promotion booth at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede. This event will see our members encourage registration by the citizens to become members of their own local Neighbourhood Watch Association. Our efforts will be concentrated on the distribution of information brochures for both Neighbourhood Watch & AMBA as associations within Alberta communities. Here is an interesting statement I found on MSN News which defines the relationships we are attempting to nurture.

“We can’t expect our neighbours to always look out for our us and our homes, but we can definitely create relationships with them that makes helping each other out a natural part of the way we interact.”

Neighbours deal with tragedy and loss By Sameer Vasta

We will be using events such as this to bring public awareness to the partnership between Neighbourhood Watch and AMBA, illustrating the many services we provide in serving and caring for the communities throughout Alberta.

Those who volunteer will have the opportunity to serve a worthy growing cause to gain membership for the new startup We encourage every member of AMBA to volunteer for these Neighbourhood Watch program. Neighbourhood Watch is events and make sure to come out to be amongst the people, to instrumental within many cities across the country in applying introduce yourselves to as many as possible. VWR half-pg-magazinead-CMYK-march2011.pdf 1 09/03/2011 9:45:37 AM support programs for people to be aware of Crime Prevention Building relationships and trust are the very foundation of our methods and social assistance. business.

Phone: 604-530-7430 Toll Free: 1-866-907-5407 Email:




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Industry talk with

Gord Ross Meet Gord Ross, a local industry member and comical guy. He’s a co-owner and managing partner of Axiom Mortgage Solutions. Also a dedicated family man, Gord and his wife have two young sons.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? I am 5-foot-8 with brown hair and blue eyes. I am a Taurus and true to form, as I can be a little stubborn at times. I enjoy long walks on the beach, good red wine and people with outgoing personalities. Have you had enough yet??? I am also known to be a smart-ass from time to time. Sorry about that. I was born in Montreal to newly landed immigrant parents from Scotland. I moved to Calgary when I was six and except for a six-year-stint for school in Arizona, I have lived here ever since.

What are a few of your hobbies? Do you have a family? And anything else you’d like to share? I have a beautiful wife named Jimmi and two wonderful boys named Declan and Cooper. The boys are now two and four years old. In my spare time, I try to keep active by working out, playing hockey and recently I’ve become an aspiring marathon runner. I ran the San Diego marathon in 2008, the NYC marathon last year and now I’m setting my sights on running the London marathon in 2012.

Please tell us a little about your company. Today, I proudly wear two hats. I am the co-owner and managing partner of Axiom Mortgage Solutions. Axiom Mortgage Partners is a membership based network made up of independently owned and operated brokerage firms across Canada. Our primary focus has been long-term sustainable business growth through the use of CRM software and unique marketing.

What is your experience with AMBA? I have been in the industry, just over 12 years and have been an AMBA member since day one. AMBA has truly come a long way and, in my opinion, continues to raise the bar and set a higher standard for mortgage professionals in Alberta.

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the mortgage business? Don’t. Next question, please. Okay, okay, maybe that was a little bit hasty. The advice I was given when I got into the business was that this industry is the greatest industry in the world, and the best kept secret. Today, I would agree with the first part of that statement, but a well kept secret? Not so much, anymore. The point being many, many people are now getting into the industry because they have heard it is easy money and short hours. As a result, the competition is fierce. The truth is our industry is still the greatest industry in the world, but hard work and dedication are a must. At the risk of sounding trite, if you are in it for the right reasons, willing to work long, hard hours and get proper mentorship you should do well.

Gord Ross and family CONTINUED NEXT PAGE ...



SUMMER 2011 member profile (continued) What is your vision for the mortgage industry? Ultimately, I would like to see the broker channel increase our stock with the lending world. I think there has clearly been a shift in the way that we do business and the idea of ‘bank vs. broker,’ is no more. Instead, I think the broker needs to work more closely with the banks and view the relationship as more of a true partnership. If broker origination becomes more efficient and profitable for the banks then there is no reason our market share can’t increase to 50% or more of the total in Canada. In a perfect world, the banks would eventually outsource the majority of mortgage processing to experienced professionals who can get the job done right and augment the bottom line.

36 SUMMER 2011

In such a competitive market, how do you stay ahead of your competitors and remain successful? In principle, it is really quite simple. Plan your work, then work your plan. Figure out exactly what it is you need to do to grow your business, then do it! I often use a gym membership analogy to illustrate this idea. Every year, thousands of people go out and buy gym memberships with the best of intentions, but over time many just stop going. If you want to succeed, you need to stay the course and do all of the things you set out to do. Set goals and make yourself accountable. The key to our success has always been building relationships, so I personally focus a lot of our business around communication. Building strong one-to-one relationships with your clients and maintaining meaningful communication on a regular basis is key. With the advent of CRM, this process is becoming easier and easier all the time, yet many are still not using their metaphorical gym memberships.

Gord Ross accepting an industry award

What aspects of the mortgage industry do you find most challenging?

AMBA_Matters_HalfPage_Ad_0511.pdf 1 5/31/2011 4:53:05 PM

Perhaps, the greatest challenge I see today is defining and properly communicating our value proposition to the masses. There are many agents today that see our sole value as being ‘rate discounters’ and sell themselves accordingly. This ultimately hurts our entire industry. The bigger picture is about raising awareness of the real value a mortgage broker can offer. Good brokers have the experience, knowledge, relationships and dedication to truly benefit the consumer and the general public needs to know this. If we are nothing more than a commodity and continue to flog cheap rates alone then we will likely be replaced by self-serve technology and run ourselves out of business altogether. When was the last time you visited a travel agent as opposed to simply purchasing the best deal online? Food for thought …

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amba calendar September 2011 2011 Golf Tournament September 8, 2011 Innisfail Golf Club Innisfail, AB

2011 Conference & Trade show September 8 & 9, 2011 Red Deer, AB

July 2011 AMBA @ Medicine Hat Stampede & Exhibition Trade Show july 27 – 30, 2011 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (Daily)

Mortgage Associate Program (MAP) Fall Classroom Dates September 19 to October 4

Grant MacEwan University 10045 156 Street Northwest Edmonton, AB September 19 – October 4, 2011 (Full time) Monday – Friday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) OCTOBER 3 to October 17

Mount Royal University 4825 Mount Royal Gate Southwest Calgary, AB October 3 – 17, 2011 (Full time) Monday – Friday (9 a.m. – 4p.m.)

38 SUMMER 2011

2011 Conference & Trade show Early Bird Registration Early bird pricing is as follows:

Conference & Gala: Member $230 Non-Member $355 Conference Only: Member $170 Non-Member $295 Gala Only: $80 for all Register online at

HEADLINES Your solution to get information out ... QUICK! AMBA offers its members this service to help get announcements and job postings to a mass audience, quickly and cost-effectively. Headlines, job postings and other classified advertisements are posted on the Industry Members Main Page and the AMBA Members Main Page for a cost of $25 (+GST) / week. Respondents can notify the posting brokerage directly Graphic Design for this issues of AMBA Matters


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AMBA Matters Summer 2011  
AMBA Matters Summer 2011  

Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) members magazine.