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DIVERSIFY Is one of these alternative revenue streams the right fit for your business?

ALTERNATIVE LENDERS GO DIGITAL How new technology could change the game for this segment of the market

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SAFE HARBOUR FROM STRESS TESTING Credit unions and private lenders continue to provide options – but for how long?

AND THE NOMINEES ARE ... See who made the cut as a finalist for this year’s Canadian Mortgage Awards

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Putting Home Equity to Work Anil and Priya plan to turn their basement into an in-law suite and can’t wait for his next commission to complete the construction. The Home Trust Equityline® Visa* was designed specifically to help homeowners access the equity in their homes to finance such things as investing in home improvements.

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on its own merits in accordance with Home Trust’s policies and guidelines.

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ISSUE 13.02





If your business is feeling the pinch of new lending guidelines, 2018 might be the year to pursue one of these alternative revenue streams

IT’S ALL DONE WITH MONEY. Romspen Investment Corporation is a non-bank mortgage lender specializing in commercial real estate across Canada and the United States. With over $2.2 billion under administration, we offer customized mortgage solutions for term, bridge and construction financing from $5M to $100M. Blake Cassidy or Pierre Leonard | 800 494 0389 |


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FEBRUARY 20, 2017_2:45 PM

License # 10172

LIVE: 7.5” x 2.875”

8.25” x 3.625” TRIM: BLEED: 8.75” 1 x 4.125”








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ISSUE 13.02

CONNECT WITH US Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information?


UPFRONT 04 Editorial

Amid the B-20 aftershocks, there might be a silver lining




44 28

Credit unions have benefited from more business in the wake of B-20, but will the changes hit them next?




Susan Zanders explains why cultivating relationships with clients will always be her top priority

12 Opinion

Private lending can provide a solution for time-sensitive transactions

What one network is doing to help its members navigate the new lending environment

PEOPLE 39 Career path

Bob Gascon’s industry trajectory has included everything from debt collection to mortgage administration

40 Other life

Ironman triathlete Karen Boies covers a lot of ground

Fisgard Asset Management’s Hali Noble reflects on her formative years in the mortgage industry




Is the private channel due for more regulatory scrutiny?

16 Broker network update

Find out which of your peers are poised to win big at this year’s Canadian Mortgage Awards


08 Head to head

Can blockchain revolutionize the real estate and mortgage industries?



Now more than ever, first-time buyers need a broker’s guidance

14 Technology update



06 Statistics



A new technology solution aims to help alternative lenders move away from paper-based processes


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Too much too soon?


ow that the latest mortgage regulations have taken effect, it’s become clear that, as intended, sales in Vancouver and Toronto have dropped. However, they’ve fallen across the rest of the country, too. Given the repeated shocks the Canadian real estate market has been subjected to over the last couple of years, it begs the question: Was the latest round of B-20 changes too much too soon? According to brokers who spoke to CMP, the answer is yes – and even investment property purchasers are feeling the squeeze. In Vancouver, where lenders have typically relied solely on market rent letters from appraisers to determine pricing potential, they now conduct more extensive appraisals using comparables and a range of rents, which has stymied many closings. Making matters worse,

Brokers want Canadians to know that the market is stable enough for them to take the plunge and buy that dream home ISSUE 13.02 EDITORIAL Writers Neil Sharma Joe Rosengarten Libby Macdonald Ephraim Vecina Heather Turner Copy Editor Clare Alexander


ART & PRODUCTION Designers Loiza Caguiat Joenel Salvador Production Manager Alicia Chin Advertising Coordinator Ella Dayandante

SALES & MARKETING Associate Publisher Trevor Biggs Vice President, Sales John Mackenzie National Account Manager Trevor Lambert Marketing and Communications Melissa Christopoulos Project Coordinator Jessica Duce

CORPORATE President & CEO Tim Duce Office/Traffic Manager Marni Parker Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley


these purchasers must qualify at much higher rates because of the stress test. That’s had a domino effect on the Lower Mainland’s condo rental market, which has been keeping the area’s dangerously low vacancy rate from hitting zero. Prospective first-time homebuyers precluded from entering the market are now finding themselves competing in bidding wars for rental accommodations. The predictable result is a growing cohort of young professionals still living with their parents. However, the news isn’t all gloomy. The brokers CMP spoke to want Canadians to know the market is still stable enough for them to take the plunge and buy that dream home. In fact, with a slower market, prices are decreasing – a trend that shows nary a sign of dissipating – planting buyers firmly in the driver’s seat. Given all the power sellers have wielded in Toronto and Vancouver over the last few years, it’s a welcome, if unfamiliar, position for buyers to be in. While stress testing will continue to disproportionately affect first-time buyers, people who have built enough equity now have a better chance of finding their dream home – especially with the help of a good broker.


tel: 416 644 8740 • fax: 416 203 8940


KMI Media 312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario M5V 1R2 tel: +1 416 644 8740 Offices in Toronto, Sydney, Denver, Auckland, London, Manila, Singapore, Bengaluru CMCA AUDITED

The team at Canadian Mortgage Professional

Canadian Mortgage Professional is part of an international family of B2B publications and websites for the real estate and mortgage industries MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL AUSTRALIA T +61 2 8437 4787



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Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss

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Any broker network can provide you with really cool tools...

But we are a broker network that trains you on how to use our really cool tools to accelerate your mortgage business! | ®/™ Trademarks owned by Centum Financial Group Inc. © 2017 Centum Financial Group Inc. The intent of this communication is for informational purposes only, and is not intendedto be a solicitation to anyone under contract with another mortgage brokerage operation.

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Helping first-timers

First-time home buyers aren’t always clear about the financial responsibilities of a mortgage, and they often have no safety net in case things go wrong

CLIENTS OF all types can benefit from the advice and guidance of a broker, but perhaps none so much as first-time buyers: According to a recent CMHC survey, as many as a third of prospective first-time buyers don’t completely understand the full financial implications of taking on a mortgage. By their own account, only about 66% of firsttime homebuyers have a firm grasp on the full cost of homeownership – including such

line items as property taxes, condo fees and maintenance costs – compared to 79% of previous and 85% of current owners. Perhaps more concerning is the lack of options available to first-timers whose circumstances change once they’re in a mortgage. Among the first-time buyers surveyed, nearly 40% expressed a disconcerting lack of a financial buffer to fall back on if their expenses rise unexpectedly.

WHAT’S DELAYING PURCHASES? The recent changes to mortgage underwriting guidelines are likely to prompt prospective buyers in all situations to delay purchasing. However, first-time buyers, who remain largely unaware of the more stringent qualifying requirements, said they are much more likely to delay a purchase due to rising home prices and increasing interest rates.



of buyers from all groups say they hope to pay down their mortgage early


of first-time buyers say they have the tools and information needed to manage mortgage debt


of first-time buyers are looking to spend $300,000 or less on a home


of first-time buyers are confident they will be able to find a suitable and affordable home Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018



The majority of future homebuyers – particularly first-time buyers – expect to take out a mortgage to finance their purchase.

First-time homebuyers are the group most likely to have a down payment of less than 20%. By contrast, current owners, many of whom plan to leverage the equity in their home, are the most likely to exceed the 20% down-payment threshold.

100% 80%

85% 73%



40% 20% 0%

First-time buyers

Previous owners

Current owners

Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018


FIRST-TIME BUYERS Less than 20% down payment


More than 20% down payment


PREVIOUS OWNERS Less than 20% down payment


More than 20% down payment


CURRENT OWNERS Less than 20% down payment


More than 20% down payment

52% Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018

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Likely to delay purchase due to rising home prices FIRST-TIME BUYERS 76% PREVIOUS OWNERS 73% CURRENT OWNERS 63%

Likely to delay purchase due to increase in interest rates

Likely to delay purchase due to rule changes








Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018



While 69% of first-time buyers said they understand how much mortgage they can afford, a slightly lower proportion claimed to have a handle on the full cost of homeownership.

In the three months prior to a home purchase, less than a quarter of buyers from all groups had taken the crucial step of getting prequalified for a mortgage.

FIRST-TIME BUYERS Have a good understanding of how much mortgage they can afford Have a good understanding of the costs of homeownership



PREVIOUS OWNERS Have a good understanding of how much mortgage they can afford Have a good understanding of the costs of homeownership CURRENT OWNERS Have a good understanding of how much mortgage they can afford Have a good understanding of the costs of homeownership



15% 79%


21% 16%



5% 83% 85% Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018


First-time buyers

Previous owners

Current owners

Source: CMHC, Prospective Home Buyers Survey, 2018

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Will the private channel be targeted for regulation next? Demand for private mortgages swells as new rules bite – so will this market be the next one in regulators’ sights?

Shirl Funk

Frances Hinojosa

Broker/owner Shirl Funk Mortgages “To regulate private mortgages, the government would first need to arrive at a definition of ‘private mortgage.’ It may originate with a MIC, syndicated fund lender or individual/corporation with their own guidelines and funds to lend. They would then have to include small provincial and national finance companies. How often do you hear that CitiFinancial will lend at a 19.99% rate for a second mortgage when another lender may do the same deal at an 8.95% rate with the same or less obtrusive criteria? Bottom line: Private mortgages will be targeted; however, regulation will prove extremely difficult on a national basis.”

Matt Leggett

Co-founder and president Tribe Financial Group

Vice-president and mortgage broker CanWise Financial

“Over the last three years, private lending

“In the immediate future, I can’t see the private channel being targeted, but it is definitely something that could happen down the road. With the recent OSFI changes, I expect private lending to become more popular, which may result in greater scrutiny on the private channel. With more people moving to private lending, riskier borrowing will increase, which could result in increased regulation. Also, if the new stress test doesn’t cool the Vancouver and GTA housing markets as it was intended to do, the government could look into other avenues to achieve this goal, which could involve the private channel.”

has more than tripled in the Canadian mortgage space. Private lending will gain even more market share in the wake of the new B-20 regulations. It’s only a matter of time before the government steps in; it is highly unlikely that private lending will be allowed to continue to operate as it does today. Regulating the private market would allow regulators and the government to maintain better controls and further cool down the market, control current debt levels, and most importantly, track how much private money is currently in the Canadian mortgage market.”

TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES While the revised B-20 guideline implementing a stress test for uninsured mortgages applies to all federally regulated financial institutions, private lenders are beyond the purview of the OSFI, making the private market an attractive option for those squeezed out by the new rules. Even at the time OSFI announced the change, superintendent Jeremy Rudin admitted that the prospect of the measures driving borrowers to the private channel would not be “a completely unanticipated consequence.” Paul Taylor, president of Mortgage Professionals Canada, responded by saying: “In the last 18 months, it seems as though the government is withdrawing from the insured marketplace and is encouraging the growth of the unregulated market, and is moving closer to the kind of market that is more at risk of a meltdown.”


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2018-02-15 10:09 AM 22/02/2018 1:53:56 AM



The B-20 beneficiaries The revised B-20 guidelines have helped credit unions take a larger share of the borrowing market, but is the spectre of a stress test looming large over them, too?

THE PRIVATE lending channel was expected to greatly benefit from B-20 – and it has – but credit unions have also emerged as winners, scooping up borrowers unable to qualify with A lenders. Countless brokers have spoken glowingly about the reliability of credit unions, which are regulated by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, but how long will the honeymoon last? principal broker Shawn Stillman recently lamented the fact that qualifying interest rates have hit 5.49% because of the stress test, so he advised fellow brokers to look for creative ways to get homebuyers qualified. While he outlined debt restructuring as one possibility, Stillman also alluded to an easier way: “A lot of credit unions are willing to lend at the contract rate without the [extra] 200 basis points,” he says. Even before the new B-20 rules went into

“We partnered with credit unions, and we were very upfront about establishing a volume we were comfortable with, something we could deliver on,” says Elan Weintraub, a director and mortgage broker at “So we purposely gave conservative numbers with the intention to exceed them.” Raj Babber, principal broker at CLN Mortgages, points out that cultivating those relationships is key, as credit unions typically cap the number of brokers they work with due to their relatively limited resources. “There’s only so much money that can be lent,” Babber says, “and they do have quite a bit, but they’re going to be selective of the people they deal with – people who are providing them volume and are efficient with closing – so it’s important to establish a relationship and build a good rapport with them.”

“A lot of credit unions are willing to lend at the contract rate without the [extra] 200 basis points” Shawn Stillman, effect, started firming up its relationships with credit unions – even ones outside of the GTA, where the brokerage operates – because of the ease with which credit unions can finalize deals.


In St. John’s, Newfoundland, where options are often scant compared to larger markets, credit unions have quietly become a solution to securing mortgage financing. Shane Bruce, founder of the ACME Group of

Companies, says that even though credit unions aren’t involved in the broker channel in his market, he still refers them clients – even though ACME doesn’t make money off the transaction. “Most credit unions in our area aren’t part of the broker channel; it’s different when you’re in bigger markets like Ontario and BC,” Bruce says. “I’ve always felt credit unions have so much to give and could take over the entire market, but they don’t have the funding to take on the crazy level of business out there.” January’s interest-rate hike only added to the chorus. Sherwood Mortgage Group agent Walter Faria describes how credit unions provide breathing room for the industry in the face of rate pressure.

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MAKING CREDIT UNIONS MORE COMPETITIVE Likely because charter banks’ head offices are in Ontario, they enjoy the largest market share in the province, leaving credit unions with the smallest. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has outlined five ways the province intends to help credit unions become more competitive.

Increasing the deposit insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000

Removing restrictions on large-scale investment and lending

Allowing mortgage syndication with other provinces

Allowing credit unions to own insurance agents and brokers

Modifying regulations in provincial statutes to include credit unions

“If you’re dealing with A lenders, it can have an effect, but if you’re dealing with credit unions, you have to look at it a different way,” he says. “If you’re looking at

purview of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, brokers have assumed the spectre of B-20 guidelines affecting credit unions is negligible. But last

“[Credit unions] are going to be selective of the people they deal with … so it’s important to establish a relationship” Raj Babber, CLN Mortgages variable, it will affect everybody, but with a credit union for a fixed-rate [mortgage], it’s not such a big issue. There’s no drawback to credit unions.” Because credit unions don’t fall under the

month, Quebec’s securities watchdog, Autorité des marchés financiers, announced it is considering extending the B-20 regulations on credit unions by March, laying bare a nebulous future that could snowball and

subsume credit unions in other provinces as well. What that could mean for borrowers already divested of financing options is anyone’s guess. “Any lender right now is important to the mortgage broker, but what credit unions are giving is some flexibility beyond B-20 for borrowers,” says Hali Noble of Fisgard Asset Management. “Any lender that is available to the mortgage broker channel gives choice to the consumer. They’re critical.” Bruce concurred, adding that brokering is about finding solutions for clients, even when there’s no money to be made. “[Credit unions] don’t pay us for [referrals],” he says, “and we don’t charge the customer … it’s all about the greater good of the consumer.”

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Private lending: time is money By offering speed of response, writes David Dexter, private lenders can represent a recurring revenue stream for brokers PRIVATE LENDING is a big business in Canada. Private lenders play an integral role for both consumers and businesses. While the lines often get blurred among lenders in the financial marketplace, we know that clients often use A lenders, B lenders and private lenders at the same time, or transition from one to the other as their needs or circumstances change. Much like banks do, private lenders develop appetites for particular risks. Most private lending is based on real estate as security. Traditionally, private lenders offer short-term interest-only loans at higher rates to help clients consolidate debt, pay taxes, clear up credit issues or take quick advantage of opportunities when cash is scarce. Once the client’s circumstances improve, usually within a year, they can secure new financing from more traditional long-term banking sources. Although not for the faint of heart, private lending is pretty straightforward. The old saying ‘time is money’ is especially true in the private lending world. Acting quickly and efficiently is mandatory. Winning strategies are usually about getting things done now. Showing a client who might not obviously need private lending how the quick and efficient use of this funding source can be profitable is an important opportunity for every participant in the financial marketplace. Brokers can play a key role in identifying these opportunities and can create a recur-


ring revenue stream for their brokerage in certain circumstances. So how would a broker create that revenue stream? Here’s one example that is a textbook case in which all parties win. The client, a contractor with excellent credit and a strong relationship with an A

lender. Usually within three to six months, the project is complete, and the A lender is willing and often anxious to put long-term financing in place. In this case, everyone wins: the client, the private lender, the A lender and the broker. Here’s the beauty of the deal: The client has paid a premium for the private funds, but only for a few months. This becomes part of the cost of construction; during that time, the client has added significant value to the project – usually beyond the actual price tag of receiving private funding. With a new or updated appraisal in hand, the A lender will finance based on a significantly higher ‘as complete value.’ The A lender likes this because security is now established and a higher credit is written. Remember, the covenants are also strong. The client likes this, as it will often allow him to recover a good portion of the original equity in the project at a higher

“For the broker, there’s an additional upside: a client who needs financing regularly, not once every three to five years” lender, is in the business of purchasing and tearing down or significantly renovating a residential or multi-use property. The property may be sold or retained for a portfolio. The client is typically busy with several projects and has equity tied up in these projects. But opportunity knocks, and the client wants to seize it. We need to understand the critical elements of success for the client in this enterprise – namely, speed, quality workmanship, cost control, creation of value and a market for the finished product. As good as this all sounds, most A lenders will not lend either quickly or at all against a building that is being significantly renovated or demolished. However, a private lender will, based on the strong covenants of the borrower, his track record, the plan for the property and the borrower’s relationship with the A

take-out amount, positioning him to tackle his next deal. The private lender is paid out, and the broker has been paid a nice fee by the private lender, and often the A lender as well. But for the broker, there’s an additional upside: a client who needs financing regularly, not once every three to five years. To make this scenario work, it is critical to pay attention to this client and build trust and loyalty in the relationship. Even convincing just one or two clients of the value of this classic lending strategy can give rise to an ongoing source of income. What’s not to like about that? David Dexter has a background in real estate, insurance and investment, and is currently president and CEO and an equity partner in Atlantic Signature Mortgage & Loan, a private lender based in Halifax.

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TECHNOLOGY UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Equifax Canada accounts have shown no signs of fraud

Equifax Canada has assured its clients that there’s no evidence of fraud on the Canadian accounts hacked in last year’s massive data breach at its US parent company. According to chief privacy officer John Russo, Equifax Canada’s own servers weren’t breached, and none of the Canadians who used the US server have reported any signs of identity theft since they were notified of the risk. Russo said the company recognizes its reputation took a hit after the leak of the highly confidential information, which affected about half of all Americans and about 19,000 Canadians.

Can technology help make syndicated mortgages safer?

Mortgage investment company Fundscraper Capital has found a way to reduce costs and increase returns using technology – and its automation process, which includes suitability assessments, might be the key to reviving the battered reputation of syndicated mortgages. According to founder and CEO Luan Ha, Fundscraper’s algorithms can assess borrower suitability much better than people because the latter are prone to inaccuracies stemming from simple human error. “[The algorithm] will tell us whether or not we should accept capital from potential investors,” Ha said. “We’ve automated it, and we’re employing some of the most rigorous standards.”

TD Bank deepens its investment in artificial intelligence

In January, TD Bank Group announced the acquisition of Toronto-based AI firm Layer 6, which has established itself as an industry leader in providing personalized and insight-driven experiences for the financial services sector. The move

marked the latest step in the bank’s goal to harness the potential of AI in the Canadian financial system. TD was the first of Canada’s financial institutions to offer a chatbot on Twitter to help customers get instant assistance with inquiries. TD also recently announced a collaboration with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which is developing the next generation of AI technologies.

Ratehub secures first round of venture capital funding

In early January, received a $12 million Series A investment led by Elephant, a venture capital firm that focuses on disruptive software, internet and mobile companies. Ratehub said it intends to use the funding to accelerate the growth of its mortgage and insurance offerings. In particular, the company is slated to build a digital platform that will allow Canadians to process their mortgages entirely online, a move the company said will bring much-needed efficiency and simplicity to Canadian homebuyers. In addition, the company plans to expand its comparison tool to life, home and auto insurance.

Automation will make refining soft skills more crucial

As the digital revolution continues, one academic is emphasizing the importance of people skills. “Automation creates new opportunities to privilege, value, and grow human interaction, soft skills, and our mutual understanding of and appreciation for people,” wrote Matthew McKean, an adjunct research professor in Carleton University’s history department, in a recent analysis. “The toughest tasks future workers will face won’t be technical, but interpersonal – working with, understanding and serving others. In economic terms, these skills are the key to productivity and growth in the service industries.”

Blockchain: commercial gamechanger The technology’s unique features make it an immensely desirable addition to the industry The unparallelled transparency and robust security afforded by blockchain has ensured its popularity in the financial sphere, so it’s likely only a matter of time before the technology comes to Canada’s real estate market. In a study released late in January, Deloitte Canada noted that the decentralized nature of blockchain – along with the ease of storing, accessing and transmitting verified data – makes it a strong candidate for revolutionizing the industry. “A blockchain approach … cleans the whole process and streamlines it,” says Sheila Botting, national real estate and construction leader at Deloitte Canada. “In a blockchain world, assuming that confidentiality is cleared, that property would have a property identity, so the previous people who owned the property, any of the inspections or records, and landlord information would be fully disclosed. In theory, you’re not involving a lot of paperwork, and you’re reducing the number of people involved in the process.” The report also outlined how blockchain is an effective solution for the industry’s need for a common database, as well as how it can address the fundamental issue of good faith between buyers and sellers. “Many times, participants in leasing and purchase and sale transactions are new to each other and could be over-cautious in due diligence and may even have data integrity


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concerns,” the report explained. “However, blockchain can help reduce the risk through digital identities and more transparent recordkeeping systems for real estate titles, entitlement, liens, financing and tenancy. “Blockchain technology is based on cryptographic proof, allowing any two parties to transact directly with each other without the

“Blockchain can help reduce the risk [of data integrity concerns] through digital identities and more transparent record-keeping systems” need for a trusted third party,” the report added. “The peer-to-peer distributed network records a public history of transactions. The blockchain is distributed and highly available; it also retains a secure source of proof that the transaction occurred.” Perhaps most important, though, is blockchain’s ability to reduce errors and fraud. “The blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every transaction ever made, which mitigates the risk of double spending, fraud, abuse and manipulation of transactions,” the report said. “The cryptoeconomics built into the blockchain model provide incentives for the participants to continue validating blocks, reducing the possibility of external influencers to modify previously recorded transaction records.”


Christopher Alexander Regional director, Ontario-Atlantic Canada RE/MAX INTEGRA

Years in the industry 8 Fast fact Alexander got his first taste of the industry as a teenager, when he worked in collections and at the front desk of his parents’ Re/Max brokerage

Don’t get left behind by tech Based on your observations, how has technology transformed the industry so far? Technology has made doing transactions much easier. Gone are the days of running all over the city to get signatures and sign backs. Fax machines, email and other forms of technology have been great tools to enable greater convenience in transactions than what has been possible in the past.

How should industry players adapt to these changes? I think most of the quality organizations have already done that. My message to those who haven’t and to those who are hesitating is that you risk being left behind. You’re doing yourselves a disservice by not going to the trouble of incorporating the latest useful technologies.

While technology has been a net positive so far, what are the challenges for the industry? I think the challenge makes itself apparent when an industry professional refuses to embrace these technologies. Nowadays, consumers have a certain level of expectation on how easy transactions should be, and if they’re working with somebody who doesn’t have the same platforms that the majority of the market uses, chances are that they’ll move on to another professional who does have access to said technologies.

Among the most notable technologies are so-called ‘robo-advice’ systems. What can brokers do to convince their clients that industry professionals are still the way to go? It’s a lot easier than you may think. [Buying a house] is an emotional thing. It’s not something that people would do on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis; most people make transactions every four or five years. Despite all the technologies that have arisen to make these decisions easier, it’s still a very complex undertaking that no robot, no AI would ever be able to understand. Technology simply can’t keep up with the human element. You can get robo-advice, you can get automated guides and estimates of value, but in the end, people will always want to work with somebody who can relate to and assuage their apprehensions on a personal level.

What advice would you provide to those who are looking to enter this industry, which is suffused with ever-advancing technology? Make sure you pick an organization that will help you achieve your goals, and get into it full-time. If you’re doing this just to make a few extra dollars, you’re probably going to end up disappointing a bunch of people, not to mention you’re not going to have enough time and experience to maximize the use of all the valuable tools available right now. If you’re not fully dedicated to the industry, the chances of you giving bad experiences to clients go up.

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Verico positions itself for success in 2018 Network president Albert Collu reveals what Verico is doing to help brokers thrive in a changing environment

the megalith even deeper resources. This year, Verico intends to roll out more tools for its network, including financial products, lead-generation implements, credit cards and even an insurance product. Collu also says the network is looking for a new BDM for Western Canada who can help with recruiting efforts. “We want somebody who’s passionate about the industry and who

“Brokers like having the ability to propel their own brand ... it’s very pronounced as a result of all the pressures that are being felt in the industry”

At a time when repeated government intervention has left the industry’s blood running cold, Verico appears well positioned to handle just about anything thrown its way. The network has seen 65 new firms join over the last couple of years, which network president Albert Collu attributes to an intriguing economic model. “Because of the way our model is designed, it returns a lot of income back to the brokers,” Collu says. “They love that the return for what


they pay in the nominal fee is really high in terms of the support structure, the tools and the technological pieces we put in place. Brokers also really like having the ability to propel their own brand ... it’s very pronounced as a result of all the pressures that are being felt by brokers in the industry now.” Verico was purchased by M3 Mortgage Group last year in one of the largest acquisitions in the industry’s history, and it’s given

can drive the Verico value-add through the marketplace,” he says, “but who can also drive the mortgage broker channel forward.” Collu believes Verico will likely become even more attractive to brokers in the new regulatory era, thanks to the education and support it offers its members. “We put on a ton of events that relate to professional development, and there’s always something occurring to advance the mortgage broker’s knowledge base,” Collu says. “The entire Verico team has a lot of experience, so we’re able to help with the challenges faced by everybody from agents to broker/owners – whether it’s regulatory requirements, how to set up a brand or even set up payroll.”

‘Super brokerage’ launches with focus on technology

DLC economist says rate hike will have economic ripples

Three major Verico brokerages – Paragon Mortgage, Premiere Mortgage Centre and Compass Mortgage Group – have come together to form Tango Financial with the goal of growing their loan volume by $1.5 billion within a couple of years. To achieve this, Tango plans to streamline systems with innovative technology while aggressively recruiting new agents. Next month, Tango will unveil its first piece of new technology aimed at attracting new talent: STREAM 5, a marketing platform for social media content and lead generation.

Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist of Dominion Lending Centres, warned in a recent blog post for the network that the combination of new B-20 mortgage guidelines and the Bank of Canada’s latest interest-rate hike will likely slow consumption and put a damper on housing market activity. “With higher interest rates, debt-service costs will rise,” Cooper said, “thus dampening consumption growth, particularly of durable goods, which have been a significant driver of spending in recent quarters.”


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Joe Pinheiro Vice-president of sales MORTGAGE ALLIANCE

Years in the industry 28 Fast fact An active industry educator, Pinheiro teaches various mortgage agent/broker courses

Mortgage Alliance resilient amid federal policy changes Can you provide an overview of Mortgage Alliance’s situation in the past few months? Mortgage Alliance continues to grow and expand the network, mostly with experienced mortgage professionals. We continue to focus on technology development and digitization to further streamline our processes and offer brokers exceptional solutions that elevate their profiles with their customers and showcase their invaluable services.

What issues have the greatest influence upon your member brokerages? We remain concerned with the overall state of the real estate market, particularly in the larger Canadian cities, and the impact of the new rule changes on lender and consumer behaviour.

How does your network respond to the most difficult challenges your clients tend to face? With mortgage consumers looking for more financing options and the alternative market becoming more crucial, we provide our brokers access to money-market lenders – over 30 MICs and private lenders – directly through MortgageBOSS, allowing them to offer clients options for most mortgage transactions. We also offer customers easy-to-use home-buying tools and a richer service portfolio. Our new prequalification lead-generation tool provides clients a prequalification certificate with their maximum mortgage amount so they have a better idea of what they can afford. Our MOPOLO consumer mobile app allows customers to track their credit score over time

Adequate resources will be key to attracting brokers

In Canada’s new lending environment, brokers looking for a new network partnership will likely prioritize one thing: the ability to get deals done. Broker Wasah Malik, who recently joined King Lending Capital, says the new rules were a factor in his decision to move on from his previous brokerage. “Most agents are looking to be with better brokerages [where] you have more staff and resources,” Malik said. “If your brokerage is not that strong, you’re pretty much stuck on your own to figure things out.”

and provides them with a property valuation by simply providing an address, all for free. We also facilitate other services such as personal loans, insurance and credit cards, allowing customers to save time and/or money while building more revenue for our brokers.

What do you think Mortgage Alliance’s role is in the current market environment? Our role is to help brokers educate their customers about our new reality and provide solutions by working with lenders and suppliers. We are responsible for satisfying Canadians’ demand for accessible information and education, delivered in real time through industry-leading communication and mobile solutions. We continue to focus on creating advantages for Mortgage Alliance professionals so they can withstand challenging markets.

What do you see as the benefits of working with a network, and what advice would you give to those trying to choose a network partner? To be successful as a broker, you need a systemized approach to generating business, service delivery and customer retention. You need access to great products and a strong team with a great level of support. Leveraging a network’s size, relationships, resources and experience provides a powerful force for positive change, investment in resources, and generating opportunities. Access to enterprise technology, access to lenders, marketing automation and access to a wider range of revenue streams are just a few of the notable benefits of working with a network that directly amplifies the growth of its members’ individual businesses.

Broker ONE expands into subprime auto loans

Broker ONE has partnered with Auto Capital Canada and FNF Canada to offer subprime auto financing through its mortgage broker channel. Auto Capital has long been in the prime and subprime auto loan spaces, but according to Broker ONE CEO Joe Rosati, the partnership is the first of its kind in the industry. “The benefit of going through the broker channel is it provides the broker an alternative source of financing for their clients, or friends and family of their clients,” Rosati said. “It opens up another channel for us to help our clients.”

Borrowers prioritizing debt consolidation

According to Mark Cashin, broker/owner of Verico Cashin Mortgages, while 2018 started slowly in terms of borrower activity, business has been on the rise lately – especially debt consolidation on first and second loans. “For us, every deal we’ve done has been a private deal,” Cashin told “We kind of focus on that market a little more, but it was a late start to the year. Everybody is starting to think about refinancing and cleaning up debt, and we predict a strong year moving forward.”

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LEADING THE VANGUARD Given her upbringing in the mortgage industry, it’s not surprising that Fisgard Asset Management’s Hali Noble has become a paragon of private lending

MANY MORTGAGE professionals get their start in the banking world, but not Hali Noble. Her father, Wayne Strandlund, who founded Fisgard Asset Management, where she’s the senior vice-president of residential mortgage investments and broker relations, inspired Noble to pursue careers throughout real estate. But it was the captivating dinner-table conversations about the mortgage industry that helped define her calling. “[My father] told me to be involved with the dirt – whether I’m developing it, building it, financing it, finding a way to rent it out or appraising it – to be involved somehow in the dirt, and I will always have employment and opportunity,” Noble says. “And he’s right – we live on a planet with billions of people who need some place to live. So my family has always been involved in real estate in one way or another.” Although she spent time as a Realtor, as well as in property management, investing, land development and construction, Noble nevertheless felt her true place was in the mortgage industry. “I became better on the lending side than as a real estate salesperson,” she says. “It just wasn’t my thing, but having these experiences in construction, land development and land valuation has made me a much better lender.


My father, who’s a legend in BC and in finance, led me to do all of those things.”

Industry pioneer The mortgage industry has long been maledominated; however, that’s begun changing, and Noble is leading the vanguard. In 2013,

great women like Kathy Gregory, but you have to have someone lead the charge, and I’m a very ‘why not’ person. I grew up in a family business where we thankfully didn’t have a glass ceiling, so I was very much a soldier, and I believe you have to go through that before becoming the general. I am a trailblazer, but I

“I grew up in a family business where we thankfully didn’t have a glass ceiling, so I was very much a soldier, and I believe you have to go through that before becoming the general. I am a trailblazer, but I certainly didn’t do it alone” she was named among the 100 most powerful women in Canada by Women’s Executive Network (“That was incredible because there was an astronaut on that list,” she says. “Then a woman who was a general in the Canadian army, and then there’s Hali from Fisgard”), and she’s been named to CMP’s Woman of Influence list four times. “I think it’s awesome and humbling,” Noble says. “I have followed in the footsteps of other

certainly didn’t do it alone. You hear about people like me without hearing about the generation before me.” Noble’s career has been decorated, to say the least, and she has held many titles. She was president of the MBABC and chair of CAAMP, and she has received myriad industry awards celebrating her innovation, dedication, business practices, ethics and education. However, the two she holds most dear are being

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PROFILE Name: Hali Noble Title: Senior vice-president of residential mortgage investments and broker relations Company: Fisgard Asset Management Based in: Victoria, BC Years in the industry: 19 Career highlight: “When our fund hit $100 million – it’s now $210 million – and when we entered the Ontario market, making us one of very few MIC lenders that deals from BC to Ontario.” Career lowlight: “When the market crashed in 2009 and I realized how truly inexperienced I was relating to underwriting and risk factors in the markets that were totally out of my control. It was a humbling experience.”

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inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame and being presented with the MBABC’s Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement. The former was particularly momentous, she says, because it was a reflection of Fisgard’s place in the industry. “I was really proud to become a Pioneer Award winner of MBABC,” she says. “I was president there twice, and then I was awarded the Pioneer Award at 40. To be recognized as a Pioneer was thrilling for me, but being inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame, to

like Our Place Society, Mustard Seed Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Victoria Symphony. In addition, Noble co-founded the industry nonprofit organization K.A.R.E.S. [Kids at Risk Embracing Success], which helps marginalized youth reverse their fortunes and strive for a better future. Noble is also past president of Fisgard – a position she relished, but chose to step down from because of the amount of time she spends on the road. “Because my strength was more in business

“It made more sense for me to be the face of the company, as opposed to sitting behind a desk in Victoria. In a world where we all want to get up on the next step of the ladder, it was better for me to kick it down a notch and relate to my clients, who are mortgage brokers” be recognized by my peers, was phenomenal. Our company tries being part of the culture – that’s part of our philosophy – and the recognition that I was part of the culture of our industry was huge. You have to be able to give back, and that was the ultimate for me. But it also felt like I was getting this for my father because he gave me all these opportunities.”

Best face forward Noble is one of the mortgage industry’s most sought-after speakers and guest panelists, and she also moderates trade and regulatory conferences both nationally and internationally. In her personal life, she’s a strong advocate for and supporter of education, charities, arts and culture, and amateur sports, dedicating both time and financial resources to social causes


development, it made more sense for me to be the face of the company, as opposed to sitting behind a desk in Victoria,” she says. “In a world where we all want to get up on the next step of the ladder, it was better for me to kick it down a notch and relate to my clients, who are mortgage brokers.” While Noble is the face of the company, she gives credit to her brother, Rafer Strandlund, for doing the heavy lifting, which frees her to do what she does best. “He handles our corporate development and commercial investment,” she says. “He’s brilliant, and he allows me to be on the road and to do the things I do. He’s back at the office slugging it out. People like me who are on the road ... get the kudos, but it’s guys like him who build our organization.”


1989 Becomes licensed as a Realtor and sub-mortgage broker; joins United Homes 1990

1994 United Homes becomes Fisgard Asset Management 2000



Wins the MBABC Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Mortgage Industry

2014 Is inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame

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E lvis Hui Elvis is a dedicated mortgage professional with a thriving DLC mortgage team, but his road to success wasn’t easily traveled.

He grew up in Hong Kong with meager means, but always dreamed of more. So in 2006, he moved his family to Canada. Despite struggles when he first arrived, he didn’t give up. After a few years in his new country, he decided on a career in mortgage brokering. Today, Elvis is one of DLC’s most successful brokers. with volumes in the top one per cent in the industry. This is what success looks like when you’re a part of Team Blue.

Isn’t it time you join a company that appreciates what you do – and who you are?

Join Our House We have a mortgage career for you. 1-888-806-8080

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THREE WAYS TO DIVERSIFY Why put all your eggs in one basket when you can expand your business through diversification? CMP uncovers a few ways brokers can go beyond traditional lending THE MORTGAGE world never stays in one place for long. In an environment affected by government regulations, changing consumer dynamics and fluctuating market conditions, the future health of the mortgage industry is never a certainty. While many businesses have found and sustained success by narrowing their focus to a small niche, other mortgage profes-


sionals have gained a competitive advantage over their peers by offering clients more than just the standard loan. More and more brokers are actively finding ways to diversify and safeguard against unexpected changes, in addition to maintaining meaningful relationships with clients long after their mortgages are funded.

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From credit cards to credit-repair services, a diversified product line can heighten the customer experience by creating a one-stop shop for clients looking to access a variety of services through a single provider and brand. For some brokers, recognizing a need in the marketplace and responding with a solution has been a key part of their diversification process. Josh Balner, founder of Strategic Credit Solutions, points out one such void in the Canadian marketplace: “The Canadian economy continues to be the most heavily indebted in the world. At this point, someone has to help these people … this is just a very underserved market.” Strategic Credit Solutions employs a network of lawyers to reduce consumer debt without consumer proposals or credit counselling. Balner and his team work with their partners in the lending world, most commonly relying on the proceeds of a mortgage to pay the creditors in a lump sum, immediately beginning the creditrepair process. Highlighting the need for such services, Balner points out the record-level $1.73 in

debt that Canadians hold for every dollar of income they earn. In addition, because more and more prospective buyers are being declined by banks, brokers are seeing an increase in business that traditionally would go to a bank. “Brokers are being inundated with volume, and it gives them the opportunity to work with clients from all different walks of life,” Balner says. “Most of the time when borrowers contact brokers, they are looking to consolidate all their individual debt into one low monthly payment. Because brokers have access to alternative solutions when it comes to debt, they can actually help their clients save on their minimum monthly payments, their interest and the total amount they have to repay.” Many times brokers source private lenders for deals of this kind, Balner says, which typically means a higher interest rate and greater cost of borrowing. But with access to alternative programs such as debt settlement, brokers can offset their clients’ cost of borrowing and even offset the higher lender/broker legal fee. For brokers hesitant to enter this type

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of market, Balner offers some reassurance: “A lot of brokers try to avoid this business because they feel that it’s complicated or it’s expensive, and they are afraid to engage the clients in conversations about fees, rates and costs. The fact is that there’s a whole bunch of rehabilitation tools available to these clients through the broker channel. “Brokers just need to have an open mind and educate themselves and be prepared to take calls,” Balner continues. “There are people who are looking to speak with mortgage professionals in search of a wide array of credit-repair products, and brokers should take five minutes to learn about these products so they can be knowledgeable when speaking to consumers, because you never know when someone will knock on your door. Probably now more than ever, that will happen.” In addition, Balner cautions brokers to be diligent when assessing their clients’ credit reports and not attempt to circumvent paying any debt the client might have.

“As an industry aficionado on creditor behaviour, creditors have never been more litigious then they are today,” he says. “Don’t assume that unsecured debt is actually unsecured. What ends up happening is sometimes these clients miss two or three payments on their credit card, and then creditors sue them and slap a lien against their property, which becomes a registered change and will have to be dealt with when the mortgage comes up for renewal. “If you are getting clients financing,” he continues, “make sure you look at the credit report on every single account, and make sure that if there is anything questionable, you take care of it and call your friends in the credit rehabilitation world to talk about how to save your clients money.”

“Brokers should take five minutes to learn about these products so they can be knowledgeable when speaking to consumers, because you never know when someone will knock on your door. Probably now more than ever, that will happen” Josh Balner, Strategic Credit Solutions




In today’s regulatory environment, many borrowers who want to refinance their mortgages are either being declined or left with unattractive options to access the equity in their homes. According to Ed Karthaus, executive vice-president of sales at Home Trust Company, that makes the Equityline Visa more important today than ever. “We heard over and over again that borrowers wanted three things,” Karthaus says. “They want to access the equity they’ve built in their home from a combination of paying down their mortgage and increasing real estate values; they want low monthly payments that they can actually afford; and they don’t want fixed payments over the term of a mortgage – they want access to readvanceable funds. We felt that the Equityline Visa was a good way to address all that.” Experienced at dealing with consumers with ‘nontraditional’ credit backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, business-for-self and new immigrants, Home Trust saw a unique opportunity to provide a solution that could offer borrowers consolidation capabilities and access to funds. Combining the best features of a mortgage and a credit card, the Equityline Visa is secured against the property, allowing borrowers to access up to $100,000 at rates starting at 5.99%. It’s also a fully open, revolving credit facility that offers 1% cash back on all card purchases. “Over time, with the combination of increasing home values as well as paying down the mortgage, homeowners are creating equity in their homes, which means there’s room in the borrower’s profile to obtain an Equityline Visa,” Karthaus says. “The big thing about it is the access to more money and its consolidation feature. We have different ways of accessing the funds, including direct deposit into clients’ bank

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“It creates a dialogue that demonstrates to the borrower that the mortgage broker is looking at their situation and coming up with the right solution, whether it is a traditional mortgage product or the Equityline Visa” Ed Karthaus, Home Trust Company accounts, Equityline Visa cheques and using the Visa card at point-of-sale to earn 1% cash back on every purchase.” The appealing aspect of the card for borrowers lies in its ability to give them control of their finances and consolidate their debt, Karthaus explains. Because the

Equityline Visa’s interest rate is significantly lower than many credit cards, borrowers can pay down their debt faster with low minimum payments for added flexibility. Clients can use the card for any number of situations that require a major outlay of capital, including home improvement

Email lender notes, application, and credit bureaus to: D IMITRI K OSTUROS

Chief Operating Officer


BDM - Prairies

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SPECIAL REPORT EQUITYLINE VISA: BROKER PERSPECTIVES “[Business-for-self] clients are able to obtain an Equityline Visa from Home Trust Company [when] banks and other financial institutions [would typically] decline these clients in need of a line of credit. It is an open product, which makes it really attractive for clients … [It’s] an easy solution for clients.” Alejandra Micheletti, The Mortgage Centre “The Equityline Visa is a great solution for the clients who need an open product at a fixed rate without breaking their current mortgage. For the clients who are self-employed, it gives them opportunities to borrow against their home. Since this product is revolving, it allows the clients to have instant cash flow.” Tom Lambos, Mortgage Edge “The Equityline Visa is a great product for my business-for-self clients who would not qualify at a bank and who need a line of credit for various purposes. They use the line of credit for debt consolidation, for investing or even for business finance. Clients can pay it off and readvance funds at any time, and they tend to use the product over and over. It is also a great alternative for clients who face a large penalty if they refinance their first mortgage. The Equityline Visa can be used as a solution to access funds until the first mortgage is due and carries no penalty when being paid off.” Bryn Jones, Centum Mortgage Professionals Corp.

projects, growing a business or paying for a child’s post-secondary education. For brokers, the Equityline Visa allows them to offer their clients an alternative to refinancing. “Quite frankly, it can be a more attractive solution than refinancing, which is what is typically done,” Karthaus says. “It also allows a broker to have a discussion with their clients and explain to them the value and the opportunity of assessing the equity they have in their home. It creates a dialogue that demonstrates to the borrower that the mortgage broker is looking at their situation and coming up with the right solution, whether it is a traditional mortgage product or the Equityline Visa.” And, Karthaus adds, the learning curve for brokers is negligible. “For brokers who already work with Home Trust, it’s just like closing an alternative mortgage,” he says. “When a client’s mortgage is up for renewal, they can merge the mortgage and Equityline Visa into one if they don’t need it anymore, with no penalties and no extra fees.”




In January, Equitable Bank announced the launch of its PATH Home Plan, which gives Canadian homeowners aged 55 and over a new option to unlock the equity in their homes, giving them a solution for maintaining financial security and providing brokers a new option for diversifying their businesses.

“With the combination of favourable demo­ graphics, increased home equity values and less support from traditional definedbenefit pension plans, we believe the PATH Home Plan will provide a valuable option to Canadian seniors” Andrew Moor, Equitable Bank “Canadians deserve options when it comes to their financial well-being as they age, and we want to help homeowners stay in control while still living in their homes,” says Kim Kukulowicz, vice-president of residential sales and partner relations at Equitable Bank. “The PATH Home Plan allows homeowners to access the equity out of their greatest asset – their home – to continue to maintain the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. “For a long time, Canadians have had limited choices to access the equity in their homes,”

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PATH HOME PLAN: THE BASICS Available in major urban centres in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario Clients must be 55 years of age or older The home must be the client’s principal residence and have a minimum value of $250,000 Clients have options on how much they want to borrow and when they want to receive their funds Kukulowicz adds. “Now they can sit down with a [mortgage] professional and get the right guidance and personalized options that meet their needs.” Equitable Bank president and CEO Andrew Moor outlines why this product is particularly important in today’s market. “We have been studying the equity-release market

with interest for several years,” he says. “With the combination of favourable demographics, increased home equity values and less support from traditional defined-benefit pension plans, we believe the PATH Home Plan will provide a valuable option to Canadian seniors, generate attractive returns for our shareholders and further strengthen our business.”

For mortgage brokers, the PATH Home Plan allows them to serve a wider range of clients by being able to provide a financing option that doesn’t require regular payments. It also gives the client a dependable source of funds while allowing them to retain ownership of their home. “We wanted to ensure that the new equity-release mortgage was readily available to mortgage brokers,” says Joe Flor, director of national sales. “That’s why we chose to make the PATH Home Plan immediately available to all brokers in good standing with Equitable. With the support of our regional business development managers across the country, we believe that we have an excellent support structure to help service our mortgage brokers’ information needs, and in turn, help their clients make an informed choice that fits their unique financing needs.”


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Friday, April 20 The Liberty Grand | Toronto Thousands of nominations came in from across the nation to acknowledge the best and brightest companies, teams and individuals in our industry. CMP is honoured to present the finalists for the 12th annual Canadian Mortgage Awards Together with our publisher, Key Media International, Canadian Mortgage Professional would like to thank our community of readers and our event sponsors who continue to make this event a success year after year. Join us as we announce the winners and celebrate our industry’s successes at a glamorous black-tie awards gala hosted by TV celebrity Jessi Cruickshank on April 20, 2018, at The Liberty Grand Toronto. To book a table today, contact




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yy Akash Sharma

yy Anne Brill

yy Andrew Homeyer

yy Bryce Coates

yy Asim Ali

yy Christine Xu

yy Bryan Jaskolka

Canadian Mortgages Inc.

yy Collin Bruce

DLC Mortgage Mentors

yy Dave Butler Butler Mortgage

Verico Xeva Mortgage

DLC Producers West Financial

yy Grace Reynolds Northwood Mortgage

yy Josh Dumencu

Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres

yy Eden Simari

yy Karen Pacheco

yy James Laird

yy Michael Sneddon

yy Kerri Reed

yy Rhiannon Fillmore

Quantus Mortgage Solutions CanWise Financial Verico Premiere Mortgage Centre

yy Kim McKenney

DLC The Mortgage Source

yy Mitch Thibodeau Verico The Mortgage Professionals

yy Skye McLean

Mortgage Architects DLC Edge Financial

Loewen Group Mortgages

yy Shawn Hawkins

Essential Mortgage Company – The Mortgage Centre

yy Sokrates Testempasis

Sherwood Mortgage Group

Axiom Mortgage Solutions




Centum Metrocapp Wealth Solutions





Moneybroker – Mortgage Architects


Able & Remarkable Mortgages

yy Jason Georgopoulos DLC Estate Mortgages

yy Danielle Richard

yy Mena Fiore

yy Graeme Moss

yy Rakhi Madan

yy Joseph Trimboli

yy Reza Ghazi

Sunshine Financial – The Mortgage Centre

Verico Fair Mortgage Solutions

Direct Mortgages – The Mortgage Centre

yy Shawn Allen



Need A Mortgage – The Mortgage Centre

DLC Key Mortgage Partners GreenFlow Financial

yy Susan Wang

Centum Monest Financial

Matrix Mortgage Global

yy Simon Nelson

North East Mortgages

yy Susan Gollinger

Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres

yy Zoltan Padar MortgagePRO

yy Steven Levine

True North Mortgage





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yy Andrew C. Bennett

Nexus Investment Corporation

yy Andy Anastasiou SGE Financial

yy Michel Durand Mortgage Alliance Commercial Canada

yy Mike Chiu

Capital West Mortgage

yy Omid Jalili

OMJ Mortgage Capital

yy Ramin Nazaradeh Gold Capital Corp.

yy Tina Mu

DLC Acer Mortgage

yy Vic Cotton





yy Ameera Ameerullah

yy DocAssist

Canada Mortgage & Financial Group

yy Finastra

yy Christine Xu

yy GoMax Solutions

yy David Clarke

yy Paradigm Quest

Mortgage Architects DLC Finevo Lending Group

yy Graeme Moss

yy Teranet

Verico Fair Mortgage Solutions

yy Josh Wendeler



yy Blue Pearl Mortgage Group yy CanWise Financial yy Centum Professional Mortgage Group yy DLC GLM Mortgage Group yy LA Mortgage Team – Mortgage Intelligence

Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres

yy Reza Ghazi

GreenFlow Financial

yy Rasha Ingratta & Associates – Mortgage Intelligence

yy Robert Jennings

East Coast Mortgage Brokers

yy Shawn Allen

Matrix Mortgage Global

yy Verico Streetwise Mortgages

Avenue Commercial

yy Verico Mortgage House Corp.






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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY This award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry as a whole through visionary people management strategies and leadership. Though there are no defined parameters, this award will acknowledge someone with an established history of distinguished service to the industry and who has exhibited leadership and provided inspiration to others in the sector while putting the interests of the industry at the top of their priorities. Winner to be announced on April 20







yy Centum Professional Mortgage Group

yy CanWise Financial

yy Approved Financial

yy DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts

yy Concrete Mortgage Capital

yy DLC Clear Trust Mortgages

yy DLC Home Capital Solutions

yy DLC Elite Lending

yy DLC Brokers for Life

yy Matrix Mortgage Global


yy DLC Estate Mortgages yy DLC Origin Pinsky Mortgages yy Jayman Financial yy LA Mortgage Team – Mortgage Intelligence yy Mortgage Wise Financial

yy Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres yy Pilrock Mortgages – The Mortgage Centre yy Rock Capital Investments

yy MortgagePal

yy Sherwood Mortgage Group

yy The Mortgage Centre – Durham

yy Ultimate Mortgage & Finance Solutions

yy Mortgage Architects Experts yy Mission35 Mortgages yy Mortgage Outlet yy yy Shirl Funk Mortgages – The Mortgage Centre

yy Verico The Mortgage Professionals AWARD SPONSOR


yy Verico Xeva Mortgage

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yy Alison Lopes

yyBroker Financial

yy Blue Pearl Mortgage Group

yy Blue Pearl Mortgage Group

yy Angela Calla

yy Centum Financial Group

yy CanWise Financial

yy Barry Baboolal

yy Champion Mortgage

yy Centum Diversified Mortgage

yy Dominion Lending Centres

yy CWB Optimum Mortgage

yy DLC Expert Financial

yy Clinton Wilkins

yy Invis – Mortgage Intelligence

yy Lendesk

yy DLC Mortgage Mentors

yy Elvis Hui

yy Mortgage Alliance


DLC Premier Mortgages DLC Angela Calla Mortgage Team

DLC BMB Mortgage Partners

Centum Home Lenders DLC Guaranti Mortgage Corp.


yy Janna Dawdy

yy Mortgage Architects

yy Joe Sammut

yy Mortgage Centre Canada

yy Jordan D’Haese

yy TMG The Mortgage Group

RMA JCMortgages

Mortgage Gate Group – Mortgage Architects Jayman Financial

yy Karen Gibbard

Verico Gibbard Group Financial

yy Verico Financial Group

yy MCAP yy Mortgage Brokers Ottawa

yy Northwood Mortgage

yy Sherwood Mortgage Group

yy Verico Safebridge Financial

yy Solidifi yy The Mortgage Centre – Durham

yy Paul Meredith

yy Verico The Mortgage Professionals

CityCan Financial

yy Sharnjit Gill

yy North East Mortgages

yy Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres

yy Michelle Campbell Mortgage District – Mortgage Architects

yy Mogo

Verico Superior Mortgage


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yy Dave Teixeira

yy Ameera Ameerullah

yy DLC Elite Lending/ Elite Cares Society

yy Chuck Nash

Dominion Lending Centres

yy Invis Mortgage Intelligence yy Janna Dawdy RMA JCMortgages

yy Sabeena Bubber Verico Xeva Mortgage/ 100 Brokers Who Care

yy Sharon Vander Duim Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres

yy Sherry Corbitt Sherry Corbitt Team – Mortgage Intelligence

yy Tracy Axford

The Mortgage Centre – Durham

yy Verico Financial Group/Verico Helping Hands

yy Rakhi Madan

DLC Key Mortgage Partners

yy Reza Ghazi

GreenFlow Financial Corp.

yy Suyan Ge

DLC City Wide Mortgage Services




yy Ajay Kaith

yy Alan Colby

yy Darren Campbell

yy Angela Molyneaux

yy Ed Wells

yy Christopher Park

yy Livia Pellegrino

yy Dillon Charron

yy Nicole Thomson

yy Helen Brito

yy Paul Jardine

yy Helga Peller

yy Sam Samadi

yy Katte Cai

yy Susan Wishart

yy Lianne Smith

yy Suzanne Fleur de Lys-Aujla

yy Robin Manuel


Canada Mortgage & Financial Group



Oppono Lending Company MCAP

Community Trust Company First National Financial Merix Financial

CWB Optimum Mortgage CMLS Financial

Street Capital Bank of Canada

Equitable Bank

yy Tim Hurlbut Alta West

yy Tomo Brank


Equitable Bank

TD Mortgage Solutions First National Financial Home Trust

RMG Mortgages

Equity Financial Trust Street Capital Bank of Canada Scotiabank

yy Sheri Hedman Merix Financial

yy Thomas Squires

CWB Optimum Mortgage

Equity Financial Trust

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22/02/2018 1:38:39 AM



Putting the client first Susan Zanders talks to CMP about navigating change, building lifelong client relationships and the importance of downtime

CMP: What made you first get into the mortgage broker industry? Susan Zanders: I got into the industry because I really like working with clients. I was working in real estate prior to becoming a broker, [but] I also had my brokering licence, so I helped a lot of my clients with financing to see what they could qualify for before sending them to a broker. I really liked the whole process; it was really rewarding. It was a nice position to be in to actually help clients achieve their homeownership dreams. I found clients were very thankful and appreciative.

CMP: How would you describe your time in the industry? SZ: I got into the industry in 1998, and I would describe my career as interesting. There have been lots of changes. I have seen so many ups and downs, but I’ve worked through things and remained patient and tried to grasp everything I could. The learning curve was really steep, but we always try to educate ourselves and learn as much as possible so that we are ready for changes when they happen.

CMP: You’ve achieved a great deal of success in the industry. To what do you attribute that? SZ: The number-one factor is looking out for our clients – creating a rapport and letting them know that they are special and


important to us. We keep clients abreast of what’s going on with their mortgage approval by outlining the stages as they happen. The majority of our clients are referrals and have had less than positive experiences in trying to get a mortgage elsewhere. Our success is mostly down to looking out for our clients and trying to work for them. They are important to us – we want to be their broker for life. We’re always available on the other end of the phone.

The Comox-Courtenay area was really busy when other areas were quiet because of a shifting in the marketplace. The Whitehorse and Dawson City markets have changed at different paces than the Vancouver market. Looking at our book of business, our portfolio has grown, and I attribute that mostly to referrals from our clients. We also had a lot of B business throughout the year – that was one of the niche markets we focused on. Business with the private and alternative lenders grew significantly.

CMP: Which markets do you focus on, and how has business been for you lately? SZ: We are based in Maple Ridge, BC, but

CMP: What are your views on the updated B-20 guidelines? SZ: I think the new rules will have a big

we focus on a number of markets, including the Comox-Courtenay area, and we have a lot of clients in Northern BC and in Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon, so we are quite diversified. Each region has performed differently.

impact. After having run the numbers for clients who were thinking of entering the market, many were surprised at how they will be affected by the new rules. I think the Greater Vancouver area will pick up again after a little lull. The market

ZANDERS’ TIPS FOR OTHER BROKERS “First of all, find yourself a mentor. It’s important to have someone who can help you and assist you. Also, find a niche in the market that you really like and want to grow into. If you like it, you will learn it and be able to talk with your clients comfortably and then help them as best as possible. Treat your underwriters really well – that’s really important. When putting a mortgage application together, get all your documents upfront and give something presentable to the underwriter. They want to look to at a file and know the broker fully understands it.”

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FAST FACTS: SUSAN ZANDERS Company: Verico Zanders & Associates Mortgage Brokers Position: Owner and senior mortgage broker Years in the industry: 19 Based in: Maple Ridge, BC

Areas of expertise: Residential and commercial Refinancing Debt consolidations CHIP reverse mortgages

“The majority of our clients are referrals and have had less than positive experiences in trying to get a mortgage elsewhere. Our success is mostly down to looking out for our clients and trying to work for them”

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will adjust and carry on, I think.

CMP: What do you get up to in your spare time? SZ: I think it’s really important to have balance in life, because otherwise you will burn out. It’s that type of business. You need to take a break and come back to the

table fresh. I have an eight-month-old puppy, and she keeps me busy. I am also very much into organic gardening, and I enjoy creating new raw food recipes. Good food and healthy living help to keep you alert in this business. I also have two grandchildren, and I love to spend time with them, too.

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22/02/2018 2:08:52 AM



Changing the game for alternative lenders

Using alternative lenders can often mean dealing with time-consuming paperwork, but a new technology solution aims to change that

THE RECENT changes to B-20 guidelines have made it even harder for prospective homeowners to qualify for mortgages from institutional lenders, making alternative lenders the only viable financing option for many Canadians. But because many alternative lenders don’t have the same systems and infrastructure in place as the big banks, connecting customers with most the suitable alternative lender can be a challenging task for many mortgage brokers. Despite the widespread rise of technological solutions and systems, the processes used by many alternative lenders are still very much manual, relying heavily on paper applications and overcrowded Excel spreadsheets. It’s a segment of the market that can be best described as old-school in its approach to technology. “Because everything is so manual and paper-driven, with very little seamless integration, it delays the whole lending process,” says Kate Henderson, VP of lender experience at Newton Connectivity Systems.


“There is a huge demand for products from alternative lenders, but they are not all able to deliver a quick and simple approval on an application. Everything is more complicated and takes a lot longer than the prime market, and for brokers, their normal process is being disturbed.”

ment system. LinkLender also connects to the Finastra connectivity solution FXLink, which allows the platform to ingest deals from Expert and other sources that originate into Finastra. “Our intention in including alternative lenders in the mortgage marketplace is to ensure our users can use their same submission process every time, regardless of the lender,” says Tim Rye, head of lending technologies for Finastra. “We have worked with Newton to ensure there is a common connection for the alternative lender to receive submissions from Expert and other sources that originate deals into our connectivity network.” Newton’s software enables brokers to communicate with private lenders in the fashion they’re accustomed to in the prime space. The system eliminates the manual processes still being used by many private lenders, allowing brokers to save time and reduce their clients’ stress levels. “The lender wins by getting market exposure with a simple solution, which is as integrated and powerful as an institutional lender’s software,” Henderson says, “and the brokers and agents win by using the same digital process with their alternative lenders that they employ when processing prime credit applications.”

“Brokers and agents win by using the same digital process with their alternative lenders that they employ when processing prime credit applications” Kate Henderson, Newton Connectivity Systems In an attempt to solve this tech issue, which affects both brokers and alternative lenders, Newton has created LinkLender, a web-based solution that connects to Velocity and delivers a straightforward underwriting, workflow and document manage-

Newton’s software options for underwriting – first Isaac, and now the more nimble LinkLender – are already grabbing the attention of Canadian alternative lenders. As volumes grow significantly, alternative lenders are under pressure to up their game

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and provide brokers with the level of service they’ve grown accustomed to in the prime space. BC-based Fisgard Asset Management is one of many alternative lenders to have adopted Newton into its daily operations by incorporating its LinkLender technology to receive deals. According to Hali Noble, senior vice president of residential mortgage investments and broker relations at Fisgard, “2018 and beyond is all about creating efficiencies: save the underwriter time, get accurate information without duplication and speed up the mortgage application adjudication process. The only way this can be accomplished is by electronic submission. We know that print applications will be gone eventually, and as such, we are integrating our technology with the brokers’ so that we are mirroring the same experience as in the prime space.” Newton’s software also contains a

customer portal, which gives brokers the ability to send a link to the client so they can upload documents electronically, which then get added to the file automatically. It also means lenders can underwrite, send responses and manage the entire approval process with added security. “Everything becomes much more seamless, and brokers who use the program are relying a lot less on emailing documentation back and forth between client and the lender,” Henderson says. “As well as making the document-gathering process much easier, we wanted to eliminate some of the security risks inherent with that method.” Denise Buckley from Magenta Capital Corporation has also been impressed with the Newton technology. She chose Isaac because of its flexibility in allowing her company to adjust to evolving market conditions. “As a system and a team, Newton has taken the

time to understand our marketplace and works with us to offer a seamless experience to the broker community,” Buckley says. “Isaac has allowed us to enhance the service level to our broker partners by helping to streamline the process. It offers a systematic process for both the adjudicating and funding of files.” In addition to helping brokers better serve their client base, Newton’s technology also has the potential to create a more level playing field in the alternative lending space. With the advent of the software, alternative lenders are now aware that brokers can get easy access to the rates and products being offered by competitors, helping to shed light on what can be a complex segment for brokers to navigate. “It helps to create some rationality around pricing, terms and fees,” Henderson says, “and that is beneficial to both the broker and their client.”

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22/02/2018 2:09:26 AM




He’s been in the mortgage business a long time, but the drive to help people keeps Bob Gascon going Hankering for a career in finance, Gascon got his feet wet working for a collections agency in Toronto; he credits the experience with bestowing upon him a valuable skill set “Debt collecting was tough to do, so when I transitioned into lending, those skills came in very handy. I knew what a bad loan looked like because I had been dealing with them for two years”




FINDS MORTGAGES Having mastered running a branch, Gascon entered the mortgage industry in search of a new challenge and quickly became a top producer “It seemed a natural transition – once I was in, I didn’t look outside. I thoroughly enjoyed the business; I still do. It’s a very rewarding experience. A lot of creativity goes into it – we help people every day; we facilitate people’s aspirations”


BECOMES A BRANCH MANAGER At age 22, Gascon went straight from his job in collections to Trans Canada Credit, where he very quickly became a branch manager, ultimately operating several branches as far afield as Thunder Bay and Sarnia “I was one of the youngest branch managers at the time, but I was already pretty seasoned because of my experience debt collecting. I stepped into that function very easily. It was where I wanted to be”


OPENS UP REDWOOD Drawing on his lending background, as well as his track record as a broker, Gascon opened his own mortgage brokerage, Redwood Mortgage Corporation


LEAVES HIS MARK ON THE INDUSTRY For Gascon, the ’90s were marked by industry involvement and recognition. Among other things, he was a founding member of CAAMP, the industry association now known as Mortgage Professionals Canada “At the time, there was no national organization. We thought it was a good idea to have an association that put lenders and brokers in the same room to give us a stronger voice to the consumers, as well as the regulators”


FOUNDS RAVEN After witnessing lenders struggling with post-dated and NSF cheques and missed renewal dates, Gascon was inspired to launch Raven Financial Services to provide private mortgage administration “We are aiming to free up investors’ time so they can focus on lending, not administering. Raven provides a combination of technology and management; my vision is for a premier company specializing in the administration of private mortgage portfolios”

““What I learned as a lender made me the mortgage broker I am today. It taught me about corporate structure, running an organization, people skills, management competencies” 1998

OPENS UP REDWOOD – AGAIN Although Gascon sold the Redwood brand in 1995, his close association with it prompted him to ask for the name back so he could reopen the business as a sole-practitioner mortgage corporation. It was a successful move: Gascon generated $25 million in volume in his first year, in an era when the average mortgage was approximately $100,000. The specialized mortgage brokerage endures to this day


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More Options. More Lenders. More Solutions.

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22/02/2018 3:10:02 AM




IRON WILL wo lly d oe s t a ic p y t s Boie s a d a y wh e n wo rk out a lt e rn at i n g g y m t ra i n i n g, h lo n g bik e rid e s t i m e wit rs at t h e poo l a n d h ou

For Vancouver-based broker Karen Boies, competing in Ironman triathlons has had clear professional benefits IT WAS her fear of swimming that originally prompted Karen Boies to sign up for her first triathlon. The Vancouver mortgage broker, who was already a seasoned marathon runner, decided on her 55th birthday that it was high time to tackle her disquiet with deep water. “I remember standing in the chute just before the gun went off, and my coach said, ‘Just put your face in the water and swim one buoy at a time.’ It went fabulous.” Over the last five years, Boies completed two sprint-distance triathlons before taking on and finishing her first half Ironman in 2016. Her next target is a second half Ironman this summer in preparation for a full Ironman in 2021. The demanding pastime requires Boies to train six days a week, including up to seven hours on the weekend, but the challenge in itself is part of what attracts her – and it even seeps into her work life. “It has given me the mental tenacity to get out there and really push my business,” she says. “The same principle applies: If you do the work, you achieve your goals.”


Hours Boies spends training each week


Total race time for Boies’ most recent half Ironman


Number of marathons Boes has run


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WHEN A BROKER WORKS WITH AN UNDERWRITER, THE UNIQUE QUALITIES OF THE DEAL MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED,UNDERSTOOD, AND CONSIDERED. As a mortgage broker, you often make a personal connection with a customer. You’re helping them to buy their dream home, after all. MCAP understands this. That’s why brokers across Canada rely on us to help them make their customers’ dreams come true.

Contact your MCAP Business Development Manager or go to today. MCAP Service Corporation | Ontario Mortgage Brokerage #10515 | Ontario Mortgage Administrator #11692

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22/02/2018 2:10:41 AM

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22/02/2018 1:51:07 AM

CMP 13.02  

The Diversification Issue

CMP 13.02  

The Diversification Issue