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PLUS!

Top 100 Neighbourhoods Where property investors need you Pg. 36

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA ISSUE 9.5 | $6.95

CMA

WINNERS SHINE

The industry's best honouring the industry's stars at the annual Canadian Mortgage Awards

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS BOLSTERING BROKER BUSINESS

FEAR NOT PUBLIC SPEAKING PITFALLS

OVER O'LEARY WHY HE WAS NEVER A REAL THREAT


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mortgages that fit.


CONTENTS

MARKET MATTERS 4 | Editor’s letter 6 | Letters to the editor 8 | Reading between the Lines

NEWS

FEATURES 14 | Broker advice Read one brokers take on why you need to get out and give back to your community to improve it but also to grow your business

10 | News analysis

20 | Deal collaboration Is there a better way?

18 | National picture-ata-glance

36 | Canada’s Top 100 neighbourhoods 48 | Commercial brokering 101 Construction financing 51 | Broker debate Brokers are frustrated by a double standard that may be costing them clients

9.5 22 issue

COVER STORY

The Canadian Mortgage The black-tie event drew brokers and industry players from all corners of the country to pay homage to today’s best and tomorrow’s leaders

AmAzing how the right finAncing cAn shArpen your vision. Romspen Investment Corporation is a non-bank mortgage lender specializing in commercial real estate across Canada and the United States. With over $1 billion under administration, we offer customized mortgage solutions for term, bridge and construction financing from $4M to $100M. Blake Cassidy | 800 494 0389 | www.romspen.com

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CONTENTS

MARKETING

REGULARS

46 | Set aside your anxiety and get out and engage with potential clients through public speaking, writes Doren Aldana. It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert

62 | Favourite Things

56 | Jean-Luc Ambrosi explains reasons why brands fail 60 | Getting the most out of technology solutions

64 | CMP Service Directory

52 MARKETING

A no-cost SEO strategy may be the best way of growing your outreach revenue for 2014, writes Maggie Crowley

Twitter.com/ CMPmagazine Like Us on Facebook Canadian Mortgage Professional

2 | MAY 2014


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MAY 2014 | 3   TM


CONTENTS / EDITOR’S LETTER

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

COPY & FEATURES SENIOR EDITOR Vernon Clement Jones STAFF WRITER Justin da Rosa CONTRIBUTORS Vince Tarantino, Andrew Young, Doren Aldana, Lionel Larry, Maggie Crowley, Jean-Luc Ambrosi COPY EDITOR Rachel Naud

ART & PRODUCTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER Red Redrico

SALES & MARKETING ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Trevor Biggs GENERAL MANAGER - SALES John Mackenzie MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Claudine Ting PROJECT COORDINATOR Jessica Duce

CORPORATE PRESIDENT & CEO Tim Duce OFFICE/TRAFFIC MANAGER Marni Parker EVENTS AND CONFERENCE MANAGER Chris Davis

Editorial enquiries vernon.jones@kmimedia.ca Advertising enquiries trevor.biggs@kmimedia.ca Subscriptions tel: 416 644 8740 • fax: 416 203 8940 subscriptions@kmimedia.ca KMI Publishing 312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario M5V 1R2 mortgagebrokernews.ca 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 CMP magazine can accept no responsibility for loss.

BROKEN TIES & TIES THAT BIND Another year, another Canadian Mortgage Awards in the books. The votes were tallied, the results checked once, twice, three times or more and on May 9 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto they pointed to the winners. All the lead up and excitement culminated in an extravagant event attended by hundreds of the industry’s leading players – dressed to the nines and proud to represent their respective organizations. And this issue is our tip of the hat to each of you and especially to those who took home coveted CMAs. From a lifetime achievement award winner who cracked an entire audience up with her sharp wit to the newcomers who have already paid enough dues to be recognized as tomorrow’s big players, the event featured a who’s who of the industry. And a year-long tie between Dominion Lending Centres and Verico for National Network of the year award was broken that night, with one of them taking home this year’s sole honour. But look at me – I think I’m getting ahead of myself. Turn to page 22 to see a list of the night’s lucky winners. Also in this issue we have assembled the Top 100 neighbourhoods for real estate investing (pg. 36). With more clients and, indeed, brokers looking to add investment properties to their portfolios, this feature is a must-read for each and every industry player. We hope you enjoyed the CMAs and, as always, we hope you enjoy this issue.

Cheers, Vernon Clement Jones

CONNECT

Contact the editor:

vernon.jones@kmimedia.ca

4 | MAY 2014


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CONVERSATIONS / LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

CONGRATULATIONS

SMALL MARKET TOP 20! – OH, AND ALSO THE TOP 75 RE: CMP TOP 75(CMP 9.4) The annual ranking of brokers by funded volume saw Albertan Collin Bruce crowned No. 1 while professionals from a record number of provinces completed the list. BRAVO, BRUCE It’s the second year in the row that an Albertan has taken top honours. That speaks the economic power of the West and the fact that home prices have started to climb up from the losses we experience in 2008. -Max Greenfeld

I think the real story with these annual lists of top brokers is the strength of the Top 20 Small Market Brokers. They are actively making inroads in markets where consumers have a very strong preference for the big banks and that makes what the brokers in those markets are doing all the more impressive. -Eleanor Grieves

RE: HAVING THE DISCIPLINE TO SAY ‘NO’ (CMP 9.4) Brokers may shy away from taking on a s p ec i a l i z ed business model with a focus on one type of client over the other, but they need to overcome that hesitance, says Jackson Middleton.

I like the fact that the top broker this year does not use rate sites to source leads and still managed to do $258M in funded volume. So let’s have less of brokers saying it can’t be done, because obviously it can be.

Good points, Jackson. I think that we as brokers are afraid that any kind of specialist approach will cut out valuable future business, especially if the economy slows. I have taken the opposite approach and have specialized in first-time buyers who are generally young professionals. They are people I naturally connect with and am able to network with in order to grow my referral business. It means that I don’t necessarily focus on repeat buyers unless they were past clients of mine. But as they age and I age I see my business evolving with that client base. But for now I am with that specialized client base.

-Michael Davis

-Mark Ho

It’s funny that brokers from a province with the most ridiculous home prices in the country aren’t making a better showing on the Top 75. Could it be that even with the higher prices they are just not aggressive enough in getting new business? -Ontario Broker

6 | MAY 2014


Top 75

46 DLCers

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MARKET MATTERS / READING BETWEEN THE LINES

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE DRAGON? The brash and polarizing Kevin O’Leary struck fear in the hearts of brokers when he entered the mortgage business in 2013. But that was then and this is now and with the April announcement O’Leary Mortgages has closed its doors, Vince Tarantino of Dominion Lending Centres Supreme is reading between the lines

1

3

2

4

1. I believe it was the broker knowledge that forced Kevin O’Leary out of the industry. 2. I never really understood Kevin’s model. At first he was only offering five-year fixed products because, as he is quoted as saying, “this product is very simple. It is a fixed rate mortgage with a very competitive rate and very, very easy to understand (the) documentation … that’s how we’re starting, it’s not all things to all people. It’s a very, very specific product that probably addresses 95 per cent of the market.”

5

8 | MAY 2014


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

3. Clients do not need to be told; they need to be heard

professional advice/opinion. It’s like going to the doctor and then having the doctor tell you what you are feeling and what you need before giving you a medical examination.

4. How can you generalize everyone as having the

5. This has led to just another day in paradise for

and you as the professional should not only find the real issue but also the right solution. As every client and deal is different same mortgage needs? Whatever happened to his financial plan? This is clearly a contradiction of what he was professing when he said that all clients will receive a financial plan; leading the common consumer to believe that their needs and suitability requirements would be addressed prior to giving them their

brokers. I was never threatened or worried about Kevin O’Leary, DIY Mortgages or rate sites. I am fortunate to be part of a company that advocates continuous education and always creates news tools for us to be leaders in our industry.

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MAY 2014 | 9  


MARKET MATTERS / NEWS ANALYSIS

CALGARY – HOT FOR HOMES, COOL FOR COMMERCIAL

21

per cent drop in investment in commercial property

It’s the steamest market for home sales right now, but the commercial market is cooling in Calgary according to figures from RealNet Canada. The stats show a drop of 21 per cent in commercial property investment during the first quarter of this year, although the number of deals still sits at the five-year quarterly average. Fewer high-value deals are responsible for the overall decline in investment values.

UKRAINE CRISIS COULD SLOW GLOBAL ECONOMY

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is warning that the crisis in Ukraine could send the global economy into recession. The bank, which held a two-day meeting in Warsaw in May, has now slashed its outlook on growth. “What we are worried about...is the potential escalation of the sanctions, particularly on the financial system,” says EBRD chief economist Erik Berglof. But Russia’s economy was slowing even before its annexation of Crimea. The extra strain means growth is now likely to flatten this year. As it is, Ukraine’s economy is expected to plunge 7 per cent. “Under a more negative scenario, the Russian economy would enter recession and output contraction in Ukraine would deepen,” says the EBRD.

TOO MANY REALTORS?

Prices may not be the only “bubble” in Canada’s real estate market; there may be too many Realtors as well. Figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association show that there are now 108,000 of them nationwide, almost as many as the number of carpenters (131,000). Those employed in construction is also at a high and it’s all down to the rise in property prices. The knock-on effect for brokers – aside from a good chuckle – may be increased business as real estate agents work overtime to encourage home sellers into the market to meet buyer demand.

108,000 10 | MAY 2014

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

WELL, DAH

Stating the blindingly obvious, the Conference Board of Canada has released a report suggesting the three oil-producing provinces in Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, are the top economic performers in the country. The Board granted these provinces an “A-plus” score, based on indicators such as per capita income, economic growth, unemployment and productivity. The report compared the provinces to EU countries. Alberta, no surprise, is the “class leader,” with 2013 per capita income that was $10,000 higher than Norway, the top-ranked EU country. At the bottom of the class are Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with D grades, which were compared to countries like France and Belgium. Ontario, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia score B grades, putting them alongside Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Manitoba and Quebec were given C grades. “What this tells us is we have provinces outperforming the rest of the world, and we have provinces that are struggling along with the laggards in the eurozone,” said Brenda Lafleur, the project director for the think-tank.

A+ for Alberta per-capita income

B for Ontario, PEI, B.C.

D for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick


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MARKET MATTERS / NEWS ANALYSIS

THE BABY BOOMER BLUES

So close and yet so far: baby boomers in Vancouver are sitting on a mortgage-free $163 billion worth of property – property they’re increasingly looking to downsize from. But that may mean a choice between staying in their neighbourhoods or moving to where their families can also afford to live. In a speech to the Urban Development Institute, real estate guru Bob Rennie said that as some areas are resisting change to include more affordable housing, retirees who wish to downsize (and then perhaps help their children with down payments) will find that they have to move neighbourhoods to find lower-priced property. The phenomen will likely accrue to the benefit of brokers working those more-affordable suburbs and focused on the lucky children of those well-heeled boomers.

163 Million 12 | MAY 2014

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

IMF HEAD WARNS OF DEFLATION

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday that inflation rates across the global economy are too low. She says the low rates pose a risk in the outlook for the global economy as a whole. The comments highlight growing concern about the euro zone, which some suggest is heading toward deflation. Inflation was just 0.7% in the 18-member bloc, far below the European Central Bank’s target of just under 2%. “In terms of risks that we see on the horizon, one is the sustainably low – too low – inflation, particularly in the euro area, but more generally in the advanced economies,” said Lagarde. She also suggested the big risk to the global economy is “the tapering of the monetary policy initiated by the Fed.” Lagarde was speaking during a news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Bond markets continue to signal ongoing weakness in the American economy. The yield on 10-year bonds dropped 4 basis points in the wake of a report suggesting soft retail sales.

EMPLOYEE PRICING? PULL THE OTHER ONE

“Employee pricing” it’s the boast of one bank as it tries to gain mortgage market share. But brokers aren’t convinced that offer actually exists any more. In fact, a new MortgageBrokerNews.ca poll suggests they know it doesn’t.

No 81%

Do ‘employeepriced’ mortgages actually exist?

Yes 19% OUR MAN IN THE U.K. SAYS NO TO INTEREST RATE HIKES

Former-governor of the Bank of Canada Mark Carney, now heading up the Bank of England, is resisting interest rate increases in the U.K. despite rising house prices. As with much of Canada, the U.K. has been seeing strong property price increases against a backdrop of historymaking low interest rates, but Carney says there needs to be more “slack” in the economy before rates will rise otherwise the economy could tip in the wrong direction.


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MARKET MATTERS / BROKER ADVICE

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REAPING THE BENEFITS

OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Get out and give back to your community, writes Andrew Young of Mortgage Wise Financial. Because the potential harvest is worth more than the seeds you sow Let’s face the facts: We work within our community on a daily basis. As we become stewards in our community, we have a responsibility to ensure that our neighbourhood is healthy and sustainable. Without a thriving community, we cannot prosper as neighbours, business owners or professionals. When you take care of your community, your community will take care of you and the best way to ensure the soundness of the community in which we work and live is to serve the community and volunteer. We have already built relationships with the people in our centres of influence. Why wouldn’t we strengthen and solidify those relationships with demonstrations of charity? Being a part of your community can be as flexible as your schedule allows. From being a Block Parent or member of school council, to committee positions and presidents of boards, you will need to make a decision on how much time you have to give. I am not suggesting that you should join boards and associations to secure business. I am suggesting that people want to know you are interested in strengthening your community. As Anthony J. D’Angelo eloquently states, “without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” Through participation come personal rewards and community accolades. 14 | MAY 2014


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MARKET MATTERS / BROKER ADVICE

GETTING INVOLVED IS EASY There is an abundance of organizations that are looking for volunteers and partners to share their time, talent and treasure. All you will need is the inspiration, the energy and the willingness to help and your charitable story will write itself. Before you begin your non-profit adventure, you will need to decide what type of volunteer you want to be. Perhaps you are best suited at the ground level and enjoy being hands-on. Your personal talents can help raise funds for organizations that are not beneficiaries of government funding or corporate grants. If your skills are more organizational, serving on a board or committee and applying your knowledge and experience may be the best approach. If your schedule limits your time to volunteer, perhaps you just want to write a cheque (there is nothing wrong with that, either). You might need to get your feet wet to see what you like. Maybe you are a “cold-caller.” Maybe you are a social media whiz and wish to stay behind the scenes. Perhaps you are a networker: Do you like to be in the the middle of it all and experience things on a visceral level and like to see the effect you are having on the organizations that you choose to support? No matter how you choose to volunteer or give, simply commit to doing it. If you don’t know where to start, seek out advice from other volunteers to help focus your efforts.

THERE ARE INCALCULABLE REASONS TO VOLUNTEER Undoubtedly, there is someone you know who has experienced or has suffered from an unfortunate disease, condition or situation. Your time would be invaluable in helping to raise awareness and funding for the organizations that support those in need. Maybe you have an affinity for animals and you choose to foster those awaiting adoption. Chances are you will discover your passion on your journey. Through volunteering you will be giving back to the community that supports your business. By cultivating new relationships you will grow your community and grow your business.

16 | MAY 2014

In my personal experiences as a dedicated volunteer / committee member / board member and member of executive councils, I can guarantee that your engagement and commitment in your community will benefit you and others in ways you have never conceptualized. Since the beginning of my volunteering efforts, my life has changed in countless ways. I have met a multitude of people that I hold very dear to me. I have made personal relationships that will last the rest of my days. I have made professional relationships that will last the rest of my career. I have helped countless children, adults, families and animals by investing my time, skills and personal resources. I have helped to raise funds and awareness for homeless shelters and services, family support and crisis centres, animal rescue and adoption efforts and adults with autism spectrum disorder. I sit on boards, executive committees and have presented at large fundraising events. To say that this has affected my personal life and career is an understatement. It has granted me greater credibility as a professional and has introduced me to people that have changed my life for the better.


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PHILANTHROPY IS A STEPPING-STONE TO UNLOCKING INCREDIBLE RELATIONSHIPS In my involvement in the not-for-profit world, I have met VPs of national companies, CEOs of major conglomerates, accountants, lawyers, fundraisers, government officials. I have also met children and families that have been affected by homelessness, hunger, abuse, disease and misfortune. At Mortgage Wise Financial, we feed hundreds of children every year at the Boys and Girls Club. We proudly sponsor local minor league hockey teams. We support our local theatre and Child and Family Crisis support facilities. The entire team belongs to our local 100 Men Who Care chapter. The list goes on. When you open yourself to the world of volunteerism, you open yourself up to unimaginable dividends. The return on your investment will be

lifelong relationships, new friendships, new colleagues, new sources of quality business and the unequivocal tactility of helping those who may not have the necessary means to help themselves. Shirley Chisholm professed, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth.” Give your time, give your talent and give your treasure and the benefits will be amazing! In 2014, for every deal that I fund, I have pledged to make a donation on my clients’ behalf to a local charity that they hold close to their hearts. This is a great way to give to the community and solidify your relationship with your clients. Special thanks to Michael Maguire, Steve Biskup and my partners at Mortgage Wise Financial for fostering an environment that is focused on giving back.

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MAY 2014 | 17  


STATISTICS / RESIDENTIAL SALES ACTIVITY

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Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto pick up the slack Overall, eight provinces saw year-over-year sales drops in April 2014, but big gains in two major metropolis softened the blow for the rest of the country. “Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto fuelled the anticipated spring pick up in national home sales in April, which masked softer activity in a number of smaller markets,” CREA President Beth Crosbie says in the organization’s official release. “Housing trends can be very different between local markets and even within them depending on the neighborhood and type of home.” Ontario (-3.9 year-over-year percentage change), Quebec (-8.6), New Brunswick (-10), Nova Scotia (-15.5), Prince Edward Island (-23.8), Newfoundland and Labrador (-17.3), Northwest Territories (-21.4) and Yukon (-18.2) all saw drops in sales activity. Meanwhile, British Columbia (+12 per cent), Alberta (12.4) Saskatchewan (7.8) and Manitoba (0.4) saw varying gains in April. Overall, April 2014 saw 47,944 house sales compared to 47,822 a year before. “Sales activity for the month of April and for the year to date came in below the 10-year average in more than 60 per cent of all housing markets,” Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist says. “This shows that tightened mortgage rules and guidelines are working as intended to keep activity in check despite mortgage interest rates remaining extraordinarily low.” As for price changes, Canada’s three hottest provinces for real estate saw year-over-year gains; British Columbia’s average price spiked 6.3 per cent, with Alberta’s jumping 5.1 per cent and Ontario’s shooting up 9.1 per cent. Ontario’s price hikes were bolstered by impressive gains made in York Region where the growth was 9.5 per cent year-over-year. Sault Ste. Marie (12.7), Parry Sound (20.9), Niagara Fall (9.5), Oakville-Milton (16.3), Hamilton (9.3), Durham Region (9.4), Guelph (9.1) and Cornwall (10.5) also saw impressive gains. 18 | MAY 2014

24.8

per cent

34.2

20

per cent

per cent

32.7

per cent South Okanagan

South Central Alberta

Portage La Prairie

Moose Jaw

TOP CITIES

Sales Activity

(year-over-year percentage change)


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

SALES ACTIVITY BY PROVINCE (year-over-year monthly percentage change)

-0.3 per cent

Source: CREA

Alberta: +12.4 per cent

British Columbia: +12 per cent Saskatchewan: +7.8 per cent

Manitoba: +0.4 per cent

Overall Canadian sales activity

Ontario: -3.9 per cent

Quebec: -8.6 per cent New Brunswick: -10 per cent

Nova Scotia: -15.5 per cent

31.6

Newfoundland and Labrador: -17.3 per cent

per cent Northern New Brunswick

21.1

per cent

15.3

per cent

Yarmouth

Yukon: -18.2 per cent Northwest Territories: -21.4 per cent Prince Edward Island: -23.8 per cent

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MAY 2014 | 19  


Some new faces – and a number of repeat winners – took home coveted Canadian Mortgage Awards in May. The event drew the best and brightest players from across the country to honour the success of peers, but also that of the industry Sponsored by


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

T

he success of the annual CMP Canadian Mortgage Awards roared across Toronto’s Liberty Grand with over 600 attendees recognizing the industry’s top players – among them an unprecedented number of repeat winners. The awards cut a wide swath across the broker channel, with winners in 21 categories drawn from Vancouver and Toronto, but also smaller markets such as London, Ont. Produced by KMI Publishing and Events – the organization behind CMP – the awards were audited by PwC, with FDS Broker Services acting as Platinum Sponsor. The awards also speak to the industry’s perseverance and victory over increasingly challenging market conditions. “It’s a team effort,” said Anthony Contento of Sherwood Mortgages – Your Mortgage Architects, after claiming the trophy for Mortgage Broker of the Year (25 Employees or More), sponsored by Bridgewater Bank. “I didn’t do it by myself; to get to where I am today is due to the great agents I have and my great business partner, Athena Constantinou.” That same team also took home the First Canadian Title Award for Mortgage Brokerage of the Year (25 employees or more). Contento is one of several to reclaim awards won in previous years. Toronto’s Calum Ross was also among them, taking home not only the Street Capital Financial Corporation Award for Mortgage Broker of the Year (fewer than 25 employees) but also the Safebridge Financial Group for Best Customer Service from an individual office.

A first-time winner in its category was Albertabased Jayman Financial, with Lorne Rackel accepting the Score-Up Award For Mortgage Brokerage Of The Year (Fewer Than 25 Employees) on behalf of the company. “It’s been a long journey; we started off doing about $110 million in mortgages and last year we finished up with $296 million,” Rackel said. “We have the right people who really care and we treat the customer right.” The Disco-themed gala is known for bringing together an increasingly diverse industry as brokers focus on niche markets and employ new business strategies to make up for a falling number of home sales and refinances. Breaking the tie from last year, Verico – which shared honours with Dominion Lending Centres in 2013 – took home the final award of the night: the D+H Award for National Broker Network of the Year. While the night of awards focuses on acknowledging excellence, it also provides a pat on the back for the industry as a whole, said KMI Publishing and Events President and CEO Tim Duce. “This year’s awards are more inclusive than they have ever been, with brokers, lenders and other key industry players honouring the successes of its leaders,” he said.

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MAY 2014 | 21  


COVER / 2014 CANADIAN MORTGAGE AWARDS

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The Marlborough Stirling Award For Best Internet Presence Dominion Lending Centres “Congratulations to everyone nominated tonight. You make our industry better.”

The CMP Magazine Award For Best Branding First Foundation Residential Mortgages “It’s really great to win. Branding has always been what you make it – brands aren’t created they are earned. It’s great to be recognized.”

The CFF Bank Award For Best Newcomer (Mortgage Broker Firm) Mortgage Intelligence LA Mortgage Team “Oh my God! If we would have known a year ago that this would happen … the time has flown and we’ll see you again for another award, hopefully. We’re really shocked and we’re just having fun with our business. If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

The FDS Broker Services Award For Best Newcomer, Individual Agent / Broker Jennifer Huynh, First Foundation Residential Mortgages “Winning this award really reiterates how good a choice my career path has been. It’s always good to be recognized – especially as a newcomer.”

22 | MAY 2014


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The B2B Bank Award For Employer Of Choice First National Financial LP “First National is a very great place to work and we’re honoured to service mortgage brokers. You don’t expect to win but you can’t dream of being the lender of choice without dreaming of being the employer of choice because it’s our people that make us great.”

The FDS Broker Services Award For Best Community Service Effort Of The Year Carmen Alpaerts, Invis Any Mortgage For You “I don’t have a speech because I don’t do any of this to be a winner. I brought my mother up with me because she taught me values and the importance of giving back. I’m so honoured. I’ve watched the business evolve and I think the entire industry needs to give back to their respective communities.”

The Safebridge Financial Group Award For Best Customer Service From An Individual Office Verico The Mortgage Management Group Inc. Calum Ross Mortgage “I’m a little too idealistic but I think we change peoples’ lives. The customer service award has – and will always continue to be – the most important thing that contributes to our success. We believe service is a principle, not a department.”

24 | MAY 2014


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The Wealth Professional Magazine Award For Best Advertising Mortgage Architects “Winning this is a testament to how great our team is and a reflection of our brokers. It speaks to the professionalism of our company and the industry as a whole.”

The National Bank Award For Lifetime Achievement In The Mortgage Industry Frances Blau, Abacus Mortgage “I feel honoured to have been chosen. This award is like the icing on the cake. I have met many knowledgeable brokers in this everchanging industry and I’ve been through the ups and downs. Thank you for honouring me.”

The Home Trust Company Award For Best Alternative Lending Mortgage Broker Of The Year Graeme Moss, VERICO Fair Mortgage Solutions “I’ve been working hard and innovating; not just in mortgages but by fusing my mortgage business with other passions such as social justice and volunteer work. At the beginning of my career, Fred Testa from Invis helped me a lot – he was a friend and a mentor. Without him I would not have won this.”

26 | MAY 2014


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The Vector Financial Award For Best Commercial Mortgage Broker Of The Year Sandy Harrington, IC Funding Financial “The other nominees certainly work very hard to get to this point. The reason I continue to be nominated is because we’re expanding and I hope it draws new people. I hope it lets people know what we’re doing in the commercial mortgage financing market.”

The Centum Financial Award For Best Industry Service Provider MortgageMarketingCoach.Com “Behind every great success is a great team. Without my phenomenal team this would not be possible. Thank you. I am so grateful; I feel ecstatic, blessed and all the more energized to continue to serve the Canadian mortgage industry.”

The MortgageBrokerNews.ca Award For Newcomer, Lender Underwriter Tyler Trompetter, Home Trust Company “It feels really great to win. I feel like I should have thanked home Trust when I was giving my speech: They spoil me. They are great lenders and great people.”

28 | MAY 2014


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The Dominion Lending Centres Award For Best Lender Underwriter Of The Year Cailin Phillips, Equitable Bank “It feels phenomenal to win. I work very hard and I try to think outside the box. My company is very supportive and I think it’s really paying off.”

The Sherwood Mortgage Group Award For Best Newcomer, Lender BDM Cristina Minatel, Home Trust Company “I need to thank our brokers for choosing Home Trust. We are there to support the broker network and to help grow our partnerships within the industry.”

The Invis/MI Award For Best Lender BDM Of The Year Sam Rizzo, CMLS Financial

“I want to thank my team, my underwriters and my family. It feels fantastic. It’s very nice to be appreciated but it’s never been a singular effort.”

30 | MAY 2014


COVER News/ 2014 CANADIAN MORTGAGE AWARDS InternatIonaL

&

u.s.

90.6% 52.1%

inspectors have found problems; appraisals showed a home was worth less than the bid; a buyer lost a job before the closing. U.S. housing market worse than thought Sponsored by More than two years after the recession The number of Americans who bought previously officially ended, many people can’t qualify for occupied homes rose in October. But the National loans or meet higher down payment Association of Realtors says it overstated more than requirements. Even those with excellent credit three million sales during and after the Great Recession, and stable jobs are holding off because they fear showing the housing market was weaker than Percentage of that home prices will keep falling. Sales are also previously thought. homeownership being hurt by a decline in first-time buyers, who The private trade group says sales rose four per costs, including are critical to reviving the housing market. cent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of mortgage payments, Sales have fallen in four of the five years 4.42 million. That’s below the roughly six million homes utilities and property since the housing boom went bust in 2006. a year that economists say are consistent with a healthy Calum Ross, VERICO Calum taxes that take Ross up a Mortgage Declining prices and record-low mortgage rates housing market. But it’s ahead of 2008’s revised sales, typical household’s “This is such an unbelievable honour. When I look at my fellowbeen enough to boost sales. haven’t now considered the worst in 13 years. monthly pre-tax I’m just honoured to be among them. I will never At the same time, home construction has The trade group revised its sales fromnominees 2007 to 2010 give up trying to improve this industry. It’s an unbelievable income in Vancouver begun a gradual comeback and should add to the down 14 per cent, from more than 20.6 million to nearly honour to serve our customers and to be chosen for this award. I couldn’t and Toronto, economy’s growth in 2011 for the first year since 17.7 million. Among the reasons for the lower figures, imagine winning two better awards: Best customer(RBC service and now respectively the Great Recession began in 2007. Last month, the Realtors group says: changes in the way the Census Mortgage Broker of the Year.” Economics Housing builders broke ground on an annual rate of Bureau collects data, population shifts and some sales Trends and 685,000 homes, the government said recently. being counted twice. Affordability Report) That was a 9.3 per cent jump from October and The Realtors consulted with government and the fastest pace since April 2010. private housing experts, including the Federal Reserve, Most economists say home prices will keep the Department of Housing and Urban Development, falling, by at least five per cent, through 2012. the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Many forecasts don’t foresee a rebound in prices Association of Home Builders, mortgage giants Fannie until at least 2013. Mae and Freddie Mac and CoreLogic, a California-based The high rate of foreclosures has made data firm that first raised doubts about the annual resold homes cheaper than new ones. The numbers earlier this year. median price of a new home is roughly 30 per CoreLogic has estimated that the Realtors group cent above the price of one that’s been occupied overstated sales in 2010 by at least 15 per cent. before – twice the normal markup. Investors are The changing numbers could affect how economists Anthony Contento, Sherwood Mortgages taking advantage of the discounts. view the trade group’s data. It could also affect companies Your Mortgage The housing market is struggling even that use the figures for hiring and expansion plans. Architects Sales are measured when buyers close onahomes. “It’s team effort. I didn’t win this by myself. To get toas the broader economy has improved in recent months. But many deals are collapsing before thatwhere point. I am today is due to having great agents and a great The economy grew at an annual pace of two One-third of Realtors said they had at least one contract partner, Athena Constantinou. “ per cent in the July-September quarter. Many scuttled in October, up from 18 per cent inbusiness September. economists expect slightly better growth in the Contracts are being cancelled for several reasons: October-December quarter. CMP Banks have declined mortgage applications; home

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MAY 2014 | 33  


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The D+H Award For National Broker Network of The Year Verico Financial Group Inc.

“The thing that sets Verico apart is our people. It feels fantastic to win. We’re very happy to be here. Thank you to KMI Media. It’s an honour and a pleasure to win this award.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Frances Blau who has spent half a century making her mark on the mortgage broker industry. In association with two other brokers, her partners Bob Andrew and Jeff Atlin (now deceased), Frances Blau formerly owned and operated Siticapital Financial Corp and now owns and operates Abacus Mortgages, an independent private lending brokerage. In that position, she has helped nurture and educate dozens of mortgage agents; many having gone on to their own active brokerages. Her work extends beyond her private practice, with Blau serving in a number of volunteer positions, including president of the-then Ontario Mortgage Brokers Association as well as serving as a lecturer of that association and Chairperson of the Ethics Committee. “I’ve very honoured – I think I’m one of the oldest people in the industry and I’m just very honoured to be selected to win this award,” Frances tells CMP Magazine. “I hope I have contributed knowledge, information, education; I’ve done so many things in my life in the mortgage business.” At present, Frances is a member in good standing of the Independent Mortgage Brokers Association. Frances’ company is a niche brokerage, specializing in mortgages for self-employed, those with financial problems, construction financing, commercial financing. She is well known throughout the mortgage industry for that special niche and as a result does a lot of co-brokering with other brokers in the business. 34 | MAY 2014

As a result of her knowledge and past history in the mortgage industry, Frances is very well known and respected throughout the mortgage industry by her peers, private investors and institutional lenders. Frances was not only the first female broker to be installed in the CAAMP Hall Of Fame in 2004. She was the first broker, period. And she is honoured to take home the prestigious award. “I think it’s a very important award,” she says. A lot of the young people coming into the industry don’t have the knowledge and expertise that we have but we’re all willing to impart that knowledge to them. “I enjoy meeting my peers, the clients and I’ve got a lot of lenders I have become friends with who are very dear to me.” Everyone at CMP and KMI Publishing and Events tips his or her hat to a true innovator. Congratulations, Frances.


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0 0 1 FEATURE / TOP 100

0 0 1

P O T

A D A N A C N I S D O O H R O B H G O NEI No two markets are equal and, in a more micro sense, no two neighbourhoods are alike. That’s what we found when crunching the numbers for Canada’s various neighbourhoods to determine which ones are most attractive for real estate investors.

36 | MAY 2014

f course, feel free to read this with yourself in mind. After all, according to our Broker Lifestyle Poll, 42 per cent of industry players own at least one rental property. Who knows, maybe your next one will be in one of these attractive ‘hoods. Based on the most up-to-date statistical data from Brookfield RPS, the team at Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine interviewed real estate agents in the Top 100 neighbourhoods to pinpoint not only the best neighbourhoods but the best properties in those communities. Also using information from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Canadian Real Estate Association and Statistics Canada, we provide an in-depth analysis of each location using the best growth indicators available. For each of the 100 neighbourhoods, the CMP sister publication also took into account population growth, median and average home values, capital growth, rental averages and vacancy rates. The economic outlook for each community was also put under the microscope. This exclusive list is a must-read for every broker.


0

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

TOP 100 | BRITISH COLUMBIA

CASTLEGAR WHY INVEST?

West Kootenay is a tourist destination with visitors spending their vacation time and money there. “Its location means that most stay a week or two and so require rental properties to meet that need. With low to almost no vacant properties available and increasing demand, now is a good time to get into the market,” says Lorene MacGregor, agent with Re/Max Home Advantage. Castlegar is investing a lot into its brand development as a town with a lifestyle-based, commercial service centre vision. “There has been slow growth within the area in the last number of years and we are expecting that trend to continue,” says McGregor. “We are in between Rossland and Nelson, two areas that are growing in popularity for skiing and water sports, and with a low vacancy rate across all areas, we are benefitting from this demand.”

AT A GLANCE Population (2011):

BEST BUY?

13,759

“Finding the right investment property can be hard. A house with a basement suite averaging between $275,000 to $300,000 could yield around $1,500 a month,” explains MacGregor. “A 1,100 sq. ft., twobedroom house can cost around $200,000 to $220,000 and earn around $1,200 a month, while a 2,400 sq. ft. house can get around $1,700.” “You do get a lot of bang for your buck in Castlegar for a large-sized family property that can get a lot of rent in return during peak tourism seasons,” she adds.

Population growth: 3.04% Average price:

$298K

Price growth:

+2.35%

Average rent: (House) $1,500 Cap rate: (House) 2.71% Vacancy rate:

0.2%

Projected cash flow: (House) $6,072

TOP 100 | ALBERTA

LYNNWOOD RIDGE, CALGARY

AT A GLANCE With the rate of migration and immigration into Calgary expected to continue at its current pace and the rise in property prices, local investors are seizing all available opportunities. “Renters normally stay in properties for long periods of time, as so few properties come on the market and people are willing to spend more for a good rental,” says Martens.

BEST BUY?

WHY INVEST? Calgary’s rental apartment vacancy rate is the lowest in the country with average monthly rents increasing more than any other province, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “It’s a landlord’s market now,” says Lowell Martens, agent with Re/Max Mountain View. “A lot of investors held off in the wake of the recession, but we are seeing a lot of activity now, especially with rising rents across all property types.”

With so little inventory and tough competition, finding the right property can be difficult for investors. Downtown Calgary is a natural draw for young professionals with townhouse condos a popular purchase. “Such properties cost around the $350,000 to $400,000 mark and the rents are around the $1,600 mark,” says Martens. Four-plexes, he explains, are easy to fill and offer a good rental yield. “We have a lot of young workers who move into the area and rent in such properties for a short term before moving out further in the suburbs or to a larger home nearby.” Young families are migrating towards townhouses, which are in the $270,000 to $300,000 bracket, and can generate $1,400 in rental return for investors.

Population (2011):

1,096,833

Population growth:

+12.6%

Average price: Price growth:

+15.9%

Average rent: (House)

$2,000

Cap rate: (House) 2.6% Vacancy rate:

1.2%

Projected cash flow: (House)

$7,904

MAY 2014 | 37  


FEATURE / TOP 100

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

TOP 100 | ALBERTA

WHITECOURT WHY INVEST?

AT A GLANCE Population (2011):

With the average home selling for $391,460, the cost of market entry in Whitecourt remains an obstacle for many first-time buyers. As such, they remain in rental properties to save up for deposits, says Janet Kuehn, associate with Re/Max Advantage Whitecourt. “A lot of local people are also investing in the area, which indicates the level of confidence that they have for its long-term potential,” she adds. Kuehn states that given the small area size, almost all of the high-density residential areas are a good investment choice. “It all depends on how much you are willing to invest, be that $200,000 to $450,000.”

8,890

Population growth: +5.2% Average price:

$385,825

Price growth:

+15.15%

Average rent: (House)

$2,500

Cap rate: (House)

3.5%

BEST BUY Single-family homes dominate the property inventory in Whitecourt, with demand ‘exceptionally high’ for this type, explains Kuehn. “When single-family homes come onto the market they tend to go quickly, so investors need to jump on the opportunities when they arise,” she advises.

Vacancy rate:

0% Townhouses with three to four units are an alternative for investors, says Kuehn, especially for migrant workers.

Projected cash flow: (House)

$7,954.00

TOP 100 | SASKATCHEWAN

REGINA WHY INVEST? Rob Nisbett, an agent with Re/Max Crown Real Estate Regina says confidence in the city and its future is at an all-time high with the resale market also proving buoyant. “The rental market is significantly strong at the moment, as many first-time buyers are simply priced out of the market or cannot get financing. With the high level of migrants and immigrants coming in daily, and that figure expected to increase rapidly, we simply cannot keep up with the demand for single-family homes.” He adds that there are still many opportunities for investors to penetrate the lower-priced market, and pricier areas at the $330,000 mark. “We had a downturn in property transactions for the first quarter of the year as more families upgraded to larger homes. Prices have stabilized in recent months, so now is a good time to invest.”

BEST BUY Single-family homes yield the best returns, says Nisbett. “I believe that The General Hospital area and Eastview are great investment areas that will really appreciate within the next 10 years. The houses 38 | MAY 2014

AT A GLANCE are older but have a lot of character and it’s already turning into one of these up- and-coming areas.” A number of new residential subdivisions have gone up in the east, north and northwest precincts of the city, as well as high-rise condos. “For Regina, you have to look beyond the obvious new developments,” advises Nesbitt. “Many of the new developments are being snapped up by single professionals in their 30s or 40s, and families.”

Population (2011):

193,100

Population growth: +8% Average price:

$311,759

Price growth:

+4%

Average rent: (Houses)

$2,100

Cap rate: (Houses)

4.4%

Vacancy rate:

1.9%

Projected cash flow: (Houses)

$1,016


FEATURE / TOP 100

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

TOP 100 | ONTARIO

HUMBERWOOD, ETOBICOKE WHY INVEST?

“With prices 10 to 15 per cent less expensive than downtown, it’s a natural choice for people to move further out to places like Etobicoke. There are many reputable schools within the region with easy access to the subway and highways,” explains Gordon.

Etobicoke has enjoyed continuous growth in property values over the last 20 years, according to Kathy Gordon, agent, Re/Max Etobicoke Homes4Sale.

BEST BUY

“We have had steady value increases in the last number of years. We suffered dips in 1995 and 2008 but it did not harm this market as much as it did in other places,” says Gordon. With prices and rents in the downtown core out of the price range for many first-time buyers, Etobicoke and other GTA suburban neighbourhoods are increasingly appealing, especially to young families.

Etobicoke’s residential landscape may have changed of late with the construction of multiple condo developments, however, Gordon believes that the best returns are in single-family homes. In June 2013, 12 homes sold in North Toronto (Etobicoke), at an average price of $1,070,557. On average these properties took 12 days to sell and sold at 101 per cent of listed price. A total of $12,846,682 worth of real estate changed hands on the MLS system in June. “No investor buys in areas like Etobicoke to earn immediate cash flow,” says Gordon. “These are longterm investments over five to 10 years where they watch the value increase of the property increases.” Gordon says the best performing markets are around the Humber Valley, Prince Ann and Prince Margaret and Mimico. “These are the markets that have and will continue to hold their value over time.”

BEST BUY Keswick has a good mix of converted cottages and new subdivisions. The new development is attracting 40 | MAY 2014

Population (2011):

347,948

Population growth:

2.03%

Average price:

$420,000 Price growth:

+5.4%

Average rent: (Houses)

$2,500

Cap rate: (Houses)

3.21%

Vacancy rate:

2.0%

Projected cash flow: (Houses)

$12,800

AT A GLANCE

KESWICK, GEORGINA WHY INVEST? Keswick has enjoyed consecutive years of slow price growth over the last eight years but still sits in the affordable category, says Cyndy Metherall, an agent with Re/Max Team Metherall. “It is an area that has grown in popularity among young families wanting to be near Toronto for work but still craving a country way of life,” she says. “With the highway extension, we have seen a lot of interest in the area.” Metherall is expecting values to increase in keeping with price gains over the last several years. “We have moved from cottage country to an area that attracts permanent residents,” she says. “So there is a good mix for those who want to rent in the short term and long term. For the prices, the rents are quite attractive and may rise in time.”

AT A GLANCE

Population (2011):

43,000

Population growth: +9.2%

young families, with prices averaging $350,000 for a three-bedroom semi-detached house. “The rental market in subdivisions is quite strong as young people stay there while saving for a deposit,” says Metherall. Converted cottages also yield high returns, says Metherall. “There are still a lot of opportunities to rent on a short-term basis for cottage people, but the properties are also in high demand.” More expensive properties by the lake, ranging in price from $500,000 to $1 million, can yield weekly rental rates of $1,500, says real estate agent Wayne Winch, with Re/Max Landmark Realty Inc. “Throughout the older parts of town there are smaller two- and three-bedroom bungalows that (hover) about the $199-250k mark,” he says. “Our vacancy rates are very low here in Keswick. It is a popular destination for renters and investors moving north up from Toronto. You do not see rentals last very long on the market.”

Average price:

$340,950 Price growth:

6.10%

Average rent: (Houses)

$1,200

Cap rate: (Houses)

1.9%

Vacancy rate:

1.0%

Projected cash flow: (Houses)

$1,260


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FEATURE / TOP 100

TOP 100 | ONTARIO

GUILDWOOD, SCARBOROUGH WHY INVEST? Affordability is one of the primary reasons why investors are drawn to Scarborough. “You can get really good products for affordable prices,” says Alex Prasoulis, owner of iListRealEstate Brokerage. “Renters get a lot more for their money here and that is why many young and old people and immigrants want to move here. Any property that is in good shape rents very quickly.” Appreciation of property values in the area continues to grow annually between five and seven per cent, a trend that Prasoulis expects to continue in the future. With regards to specific neighbourhoods, Prasoulis recommends Rouge River, Ionview and Kennedy Park. The first two areas are most popular with younger families, while Kennedy Park’s close proximity to the TTC is a draw for commuters.

AT A GLANCE Population (2011):

625,698

Population growth: +5.95%

BEST BUY Scarborough has seen a lot of condo development in recent years, with Prasoulis stating that two-bed units are proving a worthwhile investment. “There are a lot of young professionals in the area that like living in modern developments,” he says. “The ease of having one unit and (a) management company in place is perfect for some investors, as well as positive cash flow.” For those investors looking for greater returns, Prasoulis recommends a multi-family property with three units. “These properties tend to hold their value with good cash flow. The rental market for these types of properties remain strong.”

Average price:

$250,000 Price growth:

+4.58%

Average rent: (Condo)

$1,500

Cap rate: (Condo)

3.24%

Vacancy rate:

8%

Projected cash flow: (Condo)

$7,752

TOP 100 | NOVA SCOTIA

CENTRAL HALIFAX

WHY INVEST?

With shopping, transportation, the shipyards, and so many amenities located a stone’s throw away, tenants are seeking rentals in Central Halifax. This has created an ideal situation for landlords with properties in the area.

AT A GLANCE “It’s centrally located, so you’re right in the thick of the city itself,” explains Ryan Hartlen, a broker with Re/Max Nova. “You have lots of access to shopping, and you’re within walking distance of many amenities. A lot of people are opting for this area because of the no-commute daily routine, where they can ride a bike or walk to work.”

BEST BUY Hartlen notes that a smaller, multi-family property with four or more units can generate significant returns. These returns could increase over time because of the economic growth observed in the HRM. “I would say some of the (properties) that offer four to six units have been selling quite well,” Hartlen says. “There has been a lot of speculation that there is going to be some positive economic (growth) over the next few years because of the shipbuilding contract.”

Population (2011):

18,041

Population growth:

+1.48%

Average price:

$402,260 Price growth:

+9.46%

Average rent:

$7,500

(Multi-family;

$1,500 per unit)

Cap rate: (Multi-family)

22.37%

Vacancy rate: (Cumulative)

3%

Projected cash flow:

$5,701

(Multi-family; $1,140 per unit)

42 | MAY 2014


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

TOP 100 | NEWFOUNDLAND

ST JOHN’S

projects by private companies is a good indication of the long-term confidence and expectation(s) of this market. GDP is at record levels and more investors are taking notice of our growth over the last 10 years.” Prices, which hit record levels in early 2012, have scaled back “to more affordable levels,” says Norman. Single-detached homes, for example, were down 25 per cent in June 2013 compared to 12 months ago.

BEST BUY

WHY INVEST? Incomes in the St. John’s metro region have risen more than 50 per cent since 2005. Coupled with ongoing development and rising employment, as well as optimistic future forecasts, St. John’s is set to enjoy the economic fruits of its growth. Skilled labourers flock to where the work is. Especially to such places as St. John’s, says Mark Norman, with Acme Financial. “The amount of capital

St. John’s downtown is the most viable option, says Norman. “A lot of the young workers who are coming to this area want to be at the core. The condos are highly priced, around the $400,000 mark, but a twobedroom furnished condo can be rented for between $2,250 and $3,000 a month.” The northwest region of St. John’s is another emerging hotspot. “A single-detached, two-unit house can cost around $350,000, but for the two units, you can get $2,100 monthly in rent. These are great for couples who have migrated and always rent out very quickly,” explains Norman.

AT A GLANCE Population (2011):

106,172

Population growth:

5.49%

Average price:

$345,930

Price growth:

11.13%

Average rent: (Houses)

$2,100 Cap rate: (Houses)

4%

Vacancy rate:

1.5%

Projected cash flow: (Houses)

$10,992

A SENSE OF...

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YOUR SENSIBLE LENDING PARTNER MAY 2014 | 43  


FEATURE / TOP 100

TOP 100 SUMMARY

CITY/TOWN

NEIGHBOURHOOD

2012 AVG. PRICE

2013 AVG. PRICE

PRICE GROWTH (%)

AVG. RENT*

CASH FLOW

VAC ANC Y R ATE (%)

ALBERTA Whitecourt

Whitecourt

$339,950

$391,460

15.15

$1,900

$7,954

0

Calgary

Lynnwood Ridge

$330,330

$382,770

15.88

$2,000

$7,904

1.2

Red Deer

Red Deer North

$302,370

$314,860

4.13

$1,500

$5,472

1.2

Lloydminster

Hale Park

$337,470

$368,890

9.31

$1,200

$4,452

1

Hinton

Hinton

$321,570

$359,480

11.79

$1,500

$4,363

4.3

Bonnyville

Bonnyville

$348,700

$396,340

13.66

$5,700

$4,068

0.5

Cold Lake

Cold Lake

$320,110

$356,630

11.41

$5,000

$3,438

3.9

Grande Prairie

Central Grande Prairie

$250,020

$270,990

8.39

$2,900

$1,867

1

Edson

Edson

$315,410

$387,450

22.84

$2,400

$1,069

0.5

Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat South

$311,900

$353,730

13.41

$1,200

$816

1.5

Rocky Mountain House

Rocky Mountain House

$326,710

$358,300

9.67

$1,200

$660

0.5

Edmonton

South Bonnie Doon

$333,090

$402,120

20.72

$2,000

$659

2.1

Leduc

Central Leduc

$344,130

$368,110

6.97

$1,800

$576

0.5

BRITISH COLUMBIA Castlegar

Castlegar

$291,220

$298,060

2.35

$1,500

$6,072

0. 2

Surrey

Whalley

$300,760

$342,230

13.79

$2,200

$5,648

2.8

North Vancouver

Lynn Valley

$538,980

$588,490

9.19

$1,400

$5,595

3

Greater Victoria

Coolwood and Langford

$413,790

$522,380

26.24

$1,500

$3,876

2. 2

Vancouver

Grandview-Woodland

$374,510

$386,860

3.30

$1,500

$2,952

1

Fort St. John

Fort St. John

$333,820

$362,600

8.62

$2,800

$1,509

3.7

Terrace

Terrace

$208,180

$240,580

15.56

$850

$950

0.5

Kitimat

Kitimat

$171,600

$222,070

29.41

$1,700

$910

0.5 0.5

MANITOBA Selkirk

Selkirk

Winnipeg

Broadway and The Forks

$244,520

$286,330

17.10

$1,100

$2,080

$247,460

$380,050

53.58

$1,700

$449

2

$209,880

$241, 270

14.96

$800

$360

0.7

Winkler

$226,580

$280,910

23.98

$1,000

$260

0.5

Grand Bay-Westfield

Grand Bay-Westfield

$206,610

$216,090

4.59

$1,100

$4,864

2.4

Moncton

Old West End

$156,520

$180,000

15.00

$3,200

$2,408

4

Rothesay

Rothesay

$193,480

$318,230

64.48

$1,200

$224

10 1.5

TOP 100 | NEWFOUNDLAND Brandon East Brandon Winkler

NEW BRUNSWICK

NEWFOUNDLAND St. John's

Downtown St. John's

$311,280

$345,930

11.13

$2,100

$10,992

Conception Bay

Conception Bay South

$265, 220

$292,900

10.44

$1,100

$1,876

1.5

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

$324,780

$397,590

22.42

$2,400

$1,040

0.5

NOVA SCOTIA Halifax

Central Halifax

$367,510

$402,260

9.46

$7,500

$5,701

3

Halifax

Harrietsfield

$253,970

$282,010

11.04

$1, 200

$3,360

3

Halifax

Bedford West

$311,350

$328,670

5.56

$2,000

$874

3

Halifax

Dartmouth (Downtown)

$252,980

$314,830

24.45

$1,500

$293

0.5

SASK ATCHEWAN Regina

Central Regina

$256,810

$301,660

17.46

$2,100

$12,192

1.9

Saskatoon

East Central Saskatoon

$325,720

$360,900

10.80

$2,000

$555

0.5

Stratford

$299,870

$323,030

7.72

$1,750

$661

6

Arnprior

Arnprior

$256,680

$277,170

7.98

$1,400

$591

Aurora

Aurora East

$514,525

$531,260

3. 25

$2,000

$3,400

2.5

Aylmer

Aylmer

$204,050

$245, 220

20.18

$1,000

$201

0.5

Bradford-West Gwillimbury

East Bradford

$400,440

$413,640

3.30

$2,900

$1,451

0.5

Brampton

Northwood Park

$401,940

$428,070

6.50

$1,600

$209

2

Burlington

Burlington South

$343,940

$387,530

12.67

$2,800

$1,436

2

Burlington

Burlington North

$421,070

$484,640

15.10

$2,800

$1,152

2

Clarington

Courtice

$314,300

$326,110

3.76

$1, 200

$1,881

2

PEI Stratford

ONTARIO

44 | MAY 2014

4


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

CITY/TOWN

NEIGHBOURHOOD

2012 AVG. PRICE

2013 AVG. PRICE

PRICE GROWTH (%)

AVG. RENT*

CASH FLOW

VAC ANC Y R ATE (%)

ONTARIO Clarington

Bowmanville West

$27 7,950

$308,940

11.15

$1,500

$518

Georgina

Keswick

$321,360

$340,950

6.10

$1,500

$7,044

0.5 3

Greater Sudbury

New Sudbury

$247,480

$264,460

6.86

$3,000

$1,978

2.7

Guelph

Guelph Northwest

$292,380

$337,800

15.53

$1,800

$664

0.5

Halton Hills

Ac ton

$396,390

$436,690

10.17

$2,000

$558

0.5

Hamilton

West Stoney Creek

$278,440

$318,700

14.46

$1,800

$720

3.7

Hamilton

Confederation Park

$359,025

$382,362

6.50

$1, 250

$358

1

Hamilton

Dundas

$386,800

$403,360

4. 28

$3,000

$1,573

0.5

Innisfil

Innisfil

$305,590

$326,170

6.73

$1, 200

$1, 260

1

Kenora

Kenora

$155, 200

$185, 290

19.39

$2,000

$744

4

Kincardine

Kincardine

$246,810

$292,920

18.68

$1,100

$541

0.5

Kingston

Westbrook

$323,420

$346, 230

7.05

$1, 200

$1,080

1.7

Kitchener

Doon

$408,100

$458,550

12.36

$1,800

$700

0.5

London

Old North Area

$375,670

$414,880

10.44

$1,800

$11,184

3.8

Markham

Thornhill East

$538,960

$589,350

9.35

$2,400

$480

0.5

Mississauga

Malton

$340,580

$351,420

3.18

$1,500

$4, 200

Mississauga

Mississauga Cit y Centre

$434,670

$464,880

6.95

$1,660

$7 19

New Tecumseth

Alliston

$323,400

$343,950

6.35

$1, 200

$4,140

Newmarket

Newmarket Northeast

$397,540

$435,740

9.61

$2,400

$933

0.5

Orangeville

Orangeville South

$356,030

$406,120

14.07

$5, 200

$3,582

0.5

Oshawa

Oshawa East

$341, 200

$362,660

6. 29

$1,800

$591

0.5

Ottawa

Centretown

$339,350

$419,670

23.67

$1,500

$3,162

Ottawa

Beaverbrook-South March

$340, 280

$375,420

10.33

$2, 200

$921

3.7

Pickering

Central Pickering

$423,500

$444,000

4.84

$1,500

$960

3

Scugog

Port Perry

$383,090

$421,780

10.10

$1,300

$2,048

2

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay North

$304,730

$338,070

10.94

$1,300

$2,7 72

2.4

Toronto

Humberwood

$361,080

$387,690

7.37

$2,500

$12,800

Toronto

Guildwood

$397,620

$421, 290

5.95

$1,500

$7,752

3. 24

Toronto

High Park

$518,940

$560,330

7.98

$5,400

$3,315

1.5

Toronto

Weston Village

$414, 270

$436,480

5.36

$1,600

$2,316

2.6

Toronto

The Junc tion North

$381,110

$419,480

10.07

$1,500

$1,812

1

Toronto

Woodbine Heights

$463, 220

$502,720

8.53

$2,400

$783

1.7

Toronto

Eringate-Bloordale Gardens

$427,940

$494,100

15.46

$2, 200

$575

0.5

Toronto

Agincourt

$412,450

$420,090

1.85

$1,800

$424

1.7

Toronto

Mimico

$401,630

$459,360

14.37

$1,800

$309

2.9

Uxbridge

Uxbridge

$483,540

$524,180

8.40

$1,500

$744

4

Vaughan

Pat terson

$621,000

$651,750

4.95

$2,400

$522

0.5

Whitby

Whitby North

$441,920

$467,950

5.89

$1,600

$4,472

Woolwich

Elmira

$313,310

$313,560

0.08

$1,800

$735

0.5

4 1.8 4

2

2

3

QUEBEC Longueuil

Longueuil North

$326,070

$342,020

4.89

$6,800

$5,235

2.75

Boisbriand

Sainte-Thérèse

$273,090

$320,740

17.45

$1,200

$3,036

1.5

Montréal

Sainte-Geneviève-Pierrefonds

$348,690

$377,630

8.30

$1,500

$2,976

1.9

Montréal

Pointe-Saint-Charles

$354,930

$403,320

13.63

$4,250

$2,696

1.6

Montréal

Mercier-Ouest (6-plex)

$424,320

$491,350

15.80

$3,900

$2,141

2.5

Laval

Chomedy Northwest

$304,990

$315,750

3.53

$1,200

$2,136

0.5

Montréal

Central Saint-Laurent

$432,570

$527,240

21.89

$4,000

$2,127

2

Laval

Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

$301,500

$343,790

14.03

$3,000

$1,747

0.5

Dollard-Des Ormeaux

Dollard-Des Ormeaux Southwest

$346,920

$380,750

9.75

$3,500

$1,514

3.5

Montréal

Saint-Henri

$296,940

$319,740

7.68

$2,400

$1,267

2

Trois-Rivières

Cap-de-la-Madeleine

$195,230

$231,040

18.34

$600

$1,188

4

Brossard

Brossard South

$323,620

$337,730

4.36

$2,300

$970

2

Montréal

Saint-Laurent East

$467,810

$521,500

11.48

$3,800

$950

2

Québec

Sainte-Foy

$331,180

$358,350

8.20

$1,200

$660

2

Québec

Quebec City East

$332,620

$364,990

9.73

$1,181

$211

2. 2

MAY 2014 | 45  


BUSINESS STRATEGY / SECRET #15

GET OVER YOUR FEAR OF

PUBLIC SPEAKING

AND YOU WILL SUCCEED Here’s another secret of superstar brokers: They set aside their anxiety and get behind the podium, writes industry coach and CMA winner Doren Aldana

Doren Aldana is considered by many to be Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach and has won the “Best Industry Service Provider” award three years in a row at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Canadian Mortgage Awards. Since 2005, he has been dedicated to helping mortgage professionals attract more clients with less effort, regardless of market conditions. For a free copy of Doren’s new CD titled, “21 Secrets of Superstar Mortgage Brokers,” visit: www.SuperstarMortgageBroker.com

SECRET #15: THEY USE PUBLIC SPEAKING TO LEVERAGE THEIR MARKETING EFFORTS Admittedly, the words “public speaking” freak most people out. In fact, there was a survey done asking people what they feared most and surprisingly, most people put public speaking ahead of death as their greatest fear. When you translate the logic in that, if you’re at a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy! With that in mind, why not use this seemingly universal fear of public speaking to your advantage? While everyone else is shrinking back in fear, you can adopt Richard Branson’s mantra and say, “screw it, let’s do it.” Remember, in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Even if you’re not the most “polished” public speaker in the world, you can step out with boldness and use it as a unique advantage to crush your competition. In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway! Public speaking is one of the highest leverage ways to market your mortgage services for the following four reasons:

1

It positions you as the expert -- even if you don’t think of yourself as an expert. The mere fact that you are standing up in front of the room positions you as someone who knows what they are talking about. 46 | MAY 2014

2

It gets you free advertising and exposure. For example, in my niche in the mortgage industry, I do speaking engagements at conferences and sales meetings, and I do this several times a year. When this happens, they usually include my name in the promotion of their event and that advertisement often runs for several weeks prior to the event. So I get my name and the name of my company in front of hundreds of people for free, just because I am speaking at the event.

3

It provides more marketing intimacy. Public speaking allows your prospects to see you faceto-face, belly-to-belly and connect with you on a personal level. In this environment, there is a depth of connection that just simply isn’t available in any other marketing media, short of a one-on-one


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

meeting. Your audience can see your facial expressions, feel the passion in your voice and look into your eyes – the gateway to your soul. When it comes to maximum marketing intimacy combined with maximum reach, there’s really nothing better than public speaking. That’s why some of your very best prospects will often come from your public speaking engagements. They’ve been impacted from a personal and emotional experience with you.

4

It allows you to market your services to several people at once. You see, when you go to a networking event, at the very most you’ll only get to market your services to two to three people at once. In contrast, when you do public speaking it allows you to market to dozens -- and even hundreds -- of people all at the same time, giving more results with less time, energy and effort. Now that’s leverage! And of course in business, time is money. That’s why I’ll always recommend that you limit the amount of general networking you do and use more of your time for higher leverage activities like public speaking. Here are a few examples of hot seminar topics that you could use to attract a stampede of qualified mortgage prospects

1 2 3

For First-Time Homebuyers: “7 Steps to Stop Renting and Own a Home of Your Own Sooner.”

For Real Estate Investors: “8 Real Estate Investor Mistakes That Kill Your Profits (And How to Avoid Them).” For Home Renovators: “9 Secrets to Make Your Home Reno Pay for Itself.”

As you can see, there are lots of different topics you can cover in your speaking presentations. The key is to determine who your target market it, what questions they have that you can answer and what problems they have that you can solve. Once you’ve determined your “ideal client” and what topics they’re hot to trot for, then you can develop PowerPoint presentation that hits their hot buttons. In next month’s 16th secret, you’ll discover a powerful marketing secret ONLY superstar mortgage professionals use to consistently overcome their prospect’s fear and skepticism, and build instant trust and credibility. This is mission critical to the success of your marketing efforts. Stay tuned... MAY 2014 | 47  


FEATURE / CONSTRUCTION FINANCING

CONSTRUCTION

FINANCING

Construction Financing is tough to get these days, writes Lionel Larry of First Source Mortgage Corporation. In part two of a three-part series, he addresses common issues and guidelines for beating the odds

Although a construction budget cannot predict unforeseen circumstances, a reliable budget along with an experienced builder will go a long way in mitigating the risks inherent in construction lending. In addition, a reasonable contingency allowance in the budget is required to offset the detrimental financial effect of unforeseen circumstances. Ten per cent to 15 per cent of hard costs for contingency purposes is reasonable. For larger and/or more

48 | MAY 2014


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

complicated projects, the lender will also require the budget to be reviewed by a professional cost consultant or quantity surveyor (referred to as a “QS”). A key financial question for the private or institutional lender to conclude is that once the project/building has been built and the loan advanced, can the project be liquidated through sales to end purchasers or can the construction mortgage be converted into a conventional mortgage with reasonable debt coverage. In the case of the “individual” building, does the new homeowner have the income and credit score to qualify for a new loan amount sufficient to retire the construction loan upon completion. In the case of a builder building a home for sale, an initial analysis of the builder’s ability to continue to make payments under the construction loan is critical. What will happen if the project is delayed and the interest reserve is depleted or there are cost

overruns in excess of the contingency budget? Does the builder have the financial staying power and mental commitment to dig in and complete the home or project? In the case of a borrower building a rental property, the income approach in the appraisal takes on the most meaning in the valuation process. The appraisal is required to predict what the rents will be and whether they will be enough to support a take-out loan and provide a reasonable debt-ratio coverage. The next most common rule is a minimum equity requirement. This amount varies from lender to lender and requires borrowers to contribute to project costs. This guideline is often termed a “loan to cost” requirement, ie. the lender will only loan up to 75 per cent – 85 per cent of the project costs on a “cost to complete” basis. Another major guideline is the maximum loan amount the lender will allow relative to the

YOUR SOURCE FOR • PERSONAL LOANS • 2 ND MORTGAGES • CONSTRUCTION MORTGAGES

www.tribecca.ca 261 Sheppard Avenue West | Toronto, Ontario | M2N 1N4 Tel: 416.225.6900 | Fax: 416.225.6905 | Licence # 12225

It’s time for a new perspective.™

MAY 2014 | 49  


FEATURE / CONSTRUCTION FINANCING

completed value of the project or the loan to value (“LTV”). This rule is designed to help ensure that, after the project is completed, if the borrower stops paying the payment, the lender can sell the property and hopefully recoup all the funds loaned. Another major guideline is the maximum loan amount the lender will allow relative to the completed value of the project or the loan to value (“LTV”). This rule is designed to help ensure that, after the project is completed, if the borrower stops paying the payment, the lender can sell the property and hopefully recoup all the funds loaned. The features of construction financing require special underwriting skills and then specific monitoring and guidelines much above normal loan guidelines. It is important for mortgage brokers and agents assisting in the acquisition of a construction loan to work closely with their borrower to put a loan summary together early. Calculations of loan amounts are both complex and the key to your success.   The problem many borrowers of construction loans face is when at the 11th hour they get a call informing them that the final loan amount as calculated by the lender is insufficient to meet the borrower’s needs. Packaging a construction loan request should be professional and should include the following information and materials:

a

Does your client have a good story to tell – if yes – tell it – if no – you are wasting your time– a lender must know everything – a good “location” helps;

b

Know your borrower - make sure that the borrower has good experience, good character and reputation, good credit, a good team, (builder, contractor, surveyor, lawyer, accountant), equity, pre-sales, pre-leasing and “back-up” equity, if required;

c d

What is the primary objective – what is the real loan amount required – not a “pie in the sky” amount; Set realistic expectations – are his expectations unreasonable or unrealistic in expecting low rates, low fees and easy access,

50 | MAY 2014

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e f

Understand and explain your lender’s exit strategy;

Have an “As Is” and “As Completed” appraisal by a reputable appraisal company or a QS Report or better yet both; or be prepared to get them as a condition of funding. However, if you opt for the latter then do your homework regarding value in advance to limit surprises;

g h i j k l m n

Include, if available, a complete set of drawings, plans, and specifications as well as the names of all major trades and their specific tasks; Include a budget prepared professionally (make sure you include an interest reserve, and contingency); Include a real financial analysis, project economics, profitability or debt coverage. (net worth – make sure what is listed is the borrower’s), including existing debt; Include legal documentation (deed, Purchase Agreement, Condominium Documentation, if applicable, leases, if applicable); Include a construction schedule and when advances are required;

Include environmental and soil reports, if available;

Make sure the borrower is prepared to tender guarantees (his and possibly his spouse), collateral (possibly his home, other lands may be required), know your client. Use maps and photos to add life to your proposal.

Even if you do all of the aforesaid, what makes the whole process more complex these days is the fact that your proposal will be assessed differently from one lender to another. Hopefully the latter will help you find success with your next construction deal.


FORUM / COMMENTARY

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

DOUBLE

STANDARD MortgageBrokerNews. ca provides an open forum for brokers to comment, pontificate, praise, blast and generally sound-off on the issues of the day and brokers are discussing their frustration with monolines whose lengthy documentation process means higher legal fees It can be painful working with lawyers that are not used to monolines. I have even nearly lost deals because the client’s lawyer bitched so much about how much work he had to do, which led him to tell the client that he should have went to the bank because he had never heard of this lender. It’s kind of ironic because I find that it is easier to work with most monolines than it is the banks, but for lawyers it is the opposite for the most part. You can’t blame them for wanting more money. Kent Farnsworth of Mortgage Alliance Simply Mortgages

Maybe you should consider this before you send the deal out. But you should definitely bring it to the attention of your monoline sales force so they can bring it to the attention of the powers to be. Don’t forget to thank them when they do a great job as nobody likes to hear complaints only. Paul Mangion of The Mortgage Centre M.O.S. MortgageOne Solutions Ltd. Another consideration we may have overlooked is that lawyers are representing both parties in a bank-funded transaction. They’re getting a significant uplift from the banks so they aren’t likely to complain about the volumes of paper from their customer. Always concerned about lawyers representing both parties in a transaction. JSydneyH I fully agree that the monolines have to focus on improving their solicitor instruction. It may cost our mortgage broker channel pain and potential loss of deals to banks because of their lengthy and non-standard internal documentation procedures. Angela Wong-Liao of Invis The Money Lady I can tell you that the instruction process, which is an online process for both banks and monolines, is the same. I can also tell you the 99 per cent of the issues with closing result from the incompetence of the solicitor and 99 per cent of the time they blame the lender because it’s easy to do so. It’s time lenders charged more for incompetent solicitors, or set up do-not-use lists, but this lender bashing and inaccurate information has to stop. The process can improve, but it is consistent across majority of lenders, including monolines. Lender Not all monolines deserve to be painted with the same brush. There are several whose process is actually smoother than the big banks. Further, let’s not forget how much the monolines support the broker industry. The law firm in many cases is the key to how smooth the process can be. I have one example that is highly competent, and makes the referral broker look good. Try finding someone like that, you’ll like the experience - and so will your clients. John Bargis of Mortgage Edge MAY 2014 | 51  


BUSINESS STRATEGY / SEO

THE BEST SEO IN LIFE

MAY BE FREE

Here’s a little irony for brokers helping direct hundreds of thousands of dollars in client investment: a no-cost SEO strategy may be the best way of growing your outreach and revenue for 2014, writes industry expert Maggie Crowley

52 | MAY 2014


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

When clients type your name or firm into Google (or any search engine), what do they find? The answer to that question, and what happens next in the seconds following, can have a huge impact on your success as a broker. Google director Chris O’Neill knows. Some 86 per cent of consumers do research online to get more information about products and services before they buy. That means, he says, your prospects, referrals and even clients are going online to learn more about you, your services and how you can help them. The rub for brokers is that those prospects, referrals and clients take very little time to arrive at a conclusion about you – one that may or may not accrue to your advantage. When visitors arrive at your website they make a quick judgment about your firm – is this company trustworthy, professional and stable? Psychologists call this unconscious decision ‘the trust factor’ and say it takes no more than three seconds to formulate. If your website makes a negative first impression, visitors are likely to leave and not return. So, what’s worse than being found online and creating a poor first impression with a bad website? Not being found online at all. Firms without an online presence virtually do not exist to the 20-million-plus Canadians doing research online. Every website on the Internet has a goal of ranking number one for related search terms, but very few succeed. While your site doesn’t need to rank on top to generate traffic, it’s vital that it appears on the first page of a search engine’s results page because searchers rarely scroll past the first page of results. Full disclosure: you can buy a winning, first-place spot using pay-per-click advertisements, but Internet users are about 40 per cent more likely to click on organic results (translation: links that are not paid for). How can you make sure your website ranks organically in search engine results? The answer is all about search engine optimization (or SEO), and if that’s a term that scares you, you’re not alone. Many brokers are uncomfortable with the concept for one underlying reason: a lack of knowledge and understanding of what SEO is and how it works. So, here’s my attempt at explaining the functionality of SEO and how to improve your broker website’s search ranking.

Search engines favour websites with more inbound links and give them a higher ranking Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on a search engine’s results page. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive. Two key factors come into play in order to improve your broker website’s SEO: off-page SEO and on-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to optimization strategies outside of your website’s design. The biggest element of off-page SEO is getting other quality websites to link back to your site. Conversely, on-page SEO consists of strategically placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual website pages.

TAKE ACTION Create high-quality content that others find valuable and useful. When visitors find information that is helpful and relevant, they are likely to share it. When people begin sharing links to your high-quality content, your website becomes relevant to search engines. The easiest way to share valuable content on your website is in the form of a blog.

1

Begin guest-blogging. Seek out opportunities to write articles for well-established online publications. Your audience will begin to view you as an expert and you’ll naturally create buzz around yourself and your site. (Don’t forget to include a link back to your adviser website – it will fit nicely with your bio.)

2

Submit your website to online directories. This is an easy one. Even online directories like yellowpages.com.au count. Another quick win: make sure all of your social media outlets link back to your site.

3

MAY 2014 | 53  


BUSINESS STRATEGY / SEO

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

OFF-PAGE SEO Search engines rank websites that they believe are authoritative and relevant. One way search engines measure relevance is by analysing content on a website based on the number and quality of other webpages that link back to it. Think of it like votes: each link back to your website counts as one vote; the website with the most votes gets ranked higher by search engines, and finally, as a result, the site is more likely to appear first on the results page (and, ultimately, win more traffic). Search engines favour websites with more inbound links and give them a higher ranking. The more inbound links you have, the more important and relevant your site must be, thus, the higher you’ll rank. Because link building is mostly out of your control, it isn’t an easy feat. But when it’s done right, it’s worth the work and creates very lucrative results for your brokerage firm. So, how do you increase the number of websites that link back to your site? Following are some ideas you can use to take action:

ON-PAGE SEO

Maggie Crowley is the digital marketing coordinator at AdvisorWebsites. com. The firm is focused on delivering websites that push the boundaries on online presence for financial industry professionals through tracking, analytics and content management

54 | MAY 2014

The other part of SEO takes place within the pages of your website. Properly optimising your on-page search engine ranking takes time and consistency. One of the simplest, yet most important, ways to improve your search engine ranking is to optimize the keywords within your website content. What’s a keyword? Here’s an easy definition of the term: Keyword: a search term typed into Google (or any other search engine) that searchers use to describe what they’re looking for. The most important place to include keywords is naturally throughout the content of your site (including your blog). Google uses those search words (or keywords) to identify what people are looking for online. From there, the search engine works to match a searcher’s keywords with those keywords used within websites (like yours) to determine the ranking of search results. When marketers use the term ‘long-tail keywords,’ they are talking about a very targeted search phrase that contains at least three words. Long-tail keywords are what searchers actually type into Google when performing a search. Here’s an example: Keyword: broker; mortgage; planning Long-tail keywords: how to find a mortgage broker in Burnaby; tips from a mortgage broker

BLOG VS NO BLOG

55%

WEB VISITS

Using specific and descriptive keywords within the content of a website dramatically enhances the odds of ranking higher on the search engine results page. Tie the keywords in with local terms in your page titles, URLs, tags, pages and blog posts. The best way of deciding which keywords to target is to imagine searching for a financial adviser using Google. Think about what words and/or search phrases you would use. Get into the mind of your audience: think about the jargon it uses as well as its problems, interests, associates, locations, education level and more. If you’re having trouble getting into that headspace, Google can help. Begin typing your search terms into the search box, and let the search engine recommend some long-tail variations:

Now that we know how and why SEO is important, how can mortgage brokers put it into practice? The number one way to increase your SEO strategy is to start a blog. Blogging helps you establish online credibility by sharing high-quality information that both search engines and your target audience love. In fact, companies that blog receive about 55 per cent more website traffic than companies that don’t blog, in part because of the huge impact blogging has on high search engine ranking. In our next article we’ll outline more benefits of creating and maintaining a financial blog and its relationship with SEO.


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BUSINESS STRATEGY / BRANDING

WHY BRA

STRAT

FAIL Far too often a company’s shiny new branding strategy fails to live up to hopes and expectations. Jean-Luc Ambrosi explains the common reasons for failure, and what companies can do to get their branding strategies right

56 | MAY 2014


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

NDING

EGIES It finally happened: the new brand strategy was launched with pride and with the hope that it would reinvigorate the organization’s image. But a few months went by and the hopes didn’t materialize. It all looked like a waste of money and effort. It’s not uncommon for brand strategies to not deliver—or to be perceived as not delivering—concrete outcomes. The reasons for this can be varied, with the usual suspects being poor strategy or poor implementation. But there is more to it than that, and often it comes down to the root cause of how brands are managed within the organization. No matter how big or small your organization, whether you are a large financial services provider or a boutique firm, one of the most fundamental reasons for success or failure is the fact that branding is often considered separately to the business. Brand strategies and their implementation should not be confined to the ability of the brand manager, the executive sponsor or the founding partner. Brand strategy is holistic by nature; it includes all areas of the organization, from communication to products and service delivery. And this is the crucial point. Brand strategy does not sit on its own, in some remote corner office, nor does its implementation. It is required to be worked on throughout the organization and at all levels.

DIFFERENTIATION

The brand strategy is what allows your organization as a whole to differentiate itself from the others: what you stand for, how you deliver value-add to your customers, what makes you special, and how you go about delivering it today, tomorrow and the day after. So how do you build a successful brand strategy? There are five key elements to consider:

1. A clear definition of vision and purpose. 2. A leadership and culture that promotes the vision and purpose.

3. A structure that supports the delivery of the vision.

4. The integration of business intelligence to support the decision-making process.

5. An image and communication strategy and

implementation that truly reflect the brand difference and speaks the language of customers.

These five points cover how the brand is managed internally and how it is expressed to customers. It starts by defining a clear vision, a reason for being; defining what difference and value proposition the brand is bringing. It must be set in concrete terms, understood by everyone involved, unambiguous and achievable. This is not about a mission statement;

Most branding strategies fail … because they tend to be treated like a beauty treatment

MAY 2014 | 57  


BUSINESS STRATEGY / BRANDING

this is about being clear about who you are (and are not), and where you are going. The leaders of the organization must then share this vision, embody its value concretely and ensure that their teams are fully on board, irrespective of the size of the teams. This really means that the first aspect of branding communication is about internal communication, to create internal buy-in.

Brand strategy is holistic by nature; it includes all areas of the organization But this alone does not suffice. For the message to work throughout the organization, the structure must be supportive. People’s roles must be aligned to the brand promise; training and support must be provided in key areas, and effort allocation clearly defined. For example, if your value proposition is to provide the best-quality products and services in your category, your client services team must not be driven by the objective of closing all calls within three minutes!

EXECUTION

Jean-Luc Ambrosi is an award-winning marketer and recognized expert in branding and customer relationship management. He is the author of the new book Branding to Differ: A Strategic and Practical Guide on How to Build and Manage a Successful Brand.

58 | MAY 2014

OK, but where is the branding execution in all this, you may ask? Where is the new logo, the advertising campaign, the new collateral? To be able to embark on the communication aspect, you must not only be clear about your own vision and road map but you also need to understand your customers. This is where insights and business intelligence play a role: the more you understand your customers, the more you can appeal to them. In a boutique environment you are likely to have a clear idea of how customers come to you and why. In larger organizations, market research and customer behavior analysis will help frame a vision of who your customers are, where they come from and why they buy from you. Once you are able to build an image of your customers, understand their purchase behaviors and understand their attitudes, you are able to shape your go-to-market strategy. This allows you to build a communication plan that both reflects your brand promise and is relevant and appealing to your prospects and customers. This is the other point to remember: branding strategies must be relevant to your customers. It’s about them, not about you.

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

The communication aspect is the last component. The clearer the vision, the more aligned the organization, the greater the understanding of prospects and customers and the greater the ability to build an effective communication strategy. So the communication strategy is about creating a clear message that reflects your entire organization as big or small as it may be, and expresses it in a language and format adapted to your audience.

HOLISTIC FOUNDATIONS Many organizations consider branding strategy to be a communication exercise and leave it to the marketing department or advertising agency to come up with the goods. While you should rightfully leave the communication techniques to the experts, the foundation, as we have discussed, must be comprehensive and holistic. This leads me to one conclusion: the reason most branding strategies fail is that they tend to be treated like a beauty treatment. A change of name, a change of logo, a change of look and feel, a change of tagline—their effects are only skin deep and therefore do not last. These components are only the visual representation of what the brand stands for. This leads to disjointed messages, with your advertising and website saying one thing, your sales people another, and the customer experience following yet another path. The result is a lack of consistency, a disparity between promise and delivery, and the negative impact this can create. As brands are fundamentally a promise, the delivery of this promise must follow through to engender customer satisfaction, repeat purchases and word-of-mouth recommendations. Customers have never had more options to choose between different brands and products than they do today. Therefore they have the ability to switch brands faster than ever before. So if your brand promise tells one story and your delivery another, your branding exercise is nothing more than a short-term sales effort and your brand will suffer over the medium to long term. To succeed, branding must be viewed holistically throughout the organization and not as an isolated communication exercise. It needs to be embraced at every level, from top management to client-facing staff, and, most importantly, the strategy must be based on a thorough understanding of what the brand stands for and how it impacts on customers.


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FEATURE / TECHNOLOGY

TECH TALK In today’s regulatory environment, the days of brokers figuring out a loan with a pencil and a piece of scratch paper are long gone and technology solutions are more critical than ever. Here’s how to get the most out of them

60 | MAY 2014

As the mortgage world has become more complex, lenders and originators have come to rely more and more on third-party technology solutions to keep their businesses up and running. Cutting-edge software has gone, in the last couple of decades, from being a convenience to being a necessity. “Twenty-three years ago we were in the process of replacing dot matrix printers with laser printers. That was huge,” says Dennis Boggs, EVP of business development at Calyx Software, which provides loan origination, underwriting and other software. “Back then, we were really just a replacement for forms. Then we went to ordering services from the software. The software was first just a form-replacement thing, then it became a service-ordering thing, and finally it became the hub.”

KEEPING COMPLIANT Of course, with the advent of the consumer financial protections, technology solutions have assumed an even greater role in the mortgage process. “Compliance has always been an issue, ” Boggs says. “Now we have major compliance issues, and all of a sudden things got really complicated. The idea of trying to do it all yourself on a spreadsheet is nearly impossible.” Tech providers can often respond to regulatory changes faster, too, says DocMagic president and CEO Dominic Iannitti. “With the change in the appraisal delivery requirements, we were able to leverage our eSign platform to facilitate the electronic delivery of those appraisal reports within three days of receipt and get an acknowledgment of receipt executed electronically,” Iannitti says. “By utilizing those components, we were able to give our clients a way to come to market with a strategy overnight. Just by putting together the right


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

blocks from our product offering, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, do it this way and it satisfies the need.’ I don’t know if someone was trying to do it themselves if they would have the authority over all the pieces to make that happen.” The mortgage process is complicated, Boggs says. “There’s just an amazing number of people in the transaction, so there’s lot of complexity.” That complexity is also why originators need a comprehensive loan origination system more than ever, Boggs adds. “Compliance is getting things right, doing things right—but there’s all the dialogue that takes place. If you have all these emails floating around outside the system or people talking on the outside, the LOS can’t know that. In the past, we wanted to keep that inside the system for convenience. Now we want to keep them inside for compliance.”

WORKING TOGETHER But effective technology solutions aren’t about finding one provider that claims to do everything. Rather, they’re about finding a number of providers—each with expertise in a particular area—that can work together to create a seamless whole. “Part of being a strong technology provider in the industry is strong industry knowledge,” says Michael Morford, DocMagic’s director of product development. “Through and through, we are a forms provider. That is our expertise. That’s why clients come to us and not the static forms providers that are out there. Our intimacy with their business and delivering technology solutions is the value for them.” Iannitti adds: “We often get questions about expanding our scope in the space—but we’re good at what we do because of our expertise in that space. The more you broaden the scope, the more you water down that expertise. That’s just providing technology and not really being able to adapt to client needs.” That’s why originators should make sure their tech providers are compliant with the industry’s standards, Boggs says. “You’ve got all these various systems. When you design a loan processing or loan origination system like ours, you’ve got to put all these fields in them— thousands of fields. And you’ve got to name them,” he says. “And undoubtedly, whatever other people named them in their systems isn’t going to be the name in yours. Obviously you need standards.” Iannitti agrees. “We’re a strong promoter of industry standards,” he says. “… One of the things to look for in technology providers is: what is their

relationship to standards within the space? The dynamic between a company and the standards within the industry becomes mission critical. It’s not only how you talk to me, but how I talk to the other people you talk to. … These are valuable relationships, and if leveraged correctly the value is greater than the sum of the parts.”

LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS

Mortgage brokerages are not software vendors or software developers. They absolutely need the assistance of providers like us” Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO, DocMagic

The one tech solution most originators shouldn’t try, say the experts, is attempting to produce their own proprietary system. “Over the years, it’s been traditionally the biggest mistake a company could make,” Boggs says. “You get a couple of techies in there with an understanding of mortgage, but no understanding of software development and code; they just bite off way more than they can chew. Normally what happens is that they keep it going for a while and then they give it up. Generally speaking, those things fail.” Iannitti agrees, illustrating the point with a discussion of BorrowerMobile, a DocMagic product intended to streamline communication between borrowers and lenders. “We developed BorrowerMobile because we saw there was a need to enhance the relationship between the borrower and the lender, especially during that time before closing when the lender found that their relationship with the borrower was wavering. Their clients were less than happy with the process during that time,” Iannitti says. “We decided that we would try to build a tool that would enable them to keep the warm and fuzzy relationship going. If each of those clients came to the conclusion that they needed a tool just like that, they’d each have to come up with a strategy and create their own solutions. You can see the waste that would occur. By a vendor such as us coming up with an idea like that and leveraging our existing relationships with the systems of record … all they need to do is flip a switch or check a box and they have access to that. Mortgage companies are not software vendors or software developers. They absolutely need the assistance of providers like us.” The “moral of the story,’’ Morford adds, is that when you engage a partner to help you in your business, you have to trust their expertise. “Let them do it,” he says. “Technology providers have a lot to offer. Aligning yourself with a partner is also about finding someone who shares your values, shares your vision, and who you can trust to execute that portion of your business so you don’t have to micromanage it anymore.” MAY 2014 | 61  


PROFILE / FAVOURITE THINGS

Favourite things Kari Gares, co-owner, Verico Mortgage House Corp

Favourite thing about working in the mortgage industry: Being able to assist families, whether it’s with their first home or a much-needed debt consolidation, we have the ability to help in some many positive ways -- ways that can help to improve the lives of so many.

Favourite Book: Favourite Sport:

Favourite Movie: 12 Years a Slave. Being a history major, this movie gets to the heart of humanity. It shows the cruel world that once existed regarding slavery, but the unfortunate truth is that it still persists, even today.

62 | MAY 2014

Growing up, I was very much entrenched in sports, but if I was to choose one sport in particular, it would be basketball because of its fast pace, skill and team camaraderie.

The Great Gatsby. It’s an iconic novel that even today has relevance. Being in the industry, we are witness to many families spending beyond their financial means in order to keep up with the proverbial “Joneses.”

Favourite Food: French Cuisine and, no, I’m not referring to poutine. So, when given the chance, I’ll choose French over Italian any day.


MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

Favourite Music: I enjoy all music whether classical or classic rock, but I most enjoy and appreciate listening to my oldest son play the classics on his Gibson guitar, or when he drums a beat to his favourite band. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than pulling up a chair to watch amazing music at home.

Favourite Drink: You may expect some fancy drink like a cosmo or appletini, but in the end, I much prefer a simpler beverage: Green tea from Timmy’s.

Favourite Place to Be: When I’m not at work, I prefer to be with my youngest son either in the lacrosse arena or on the field. No better enjoyment than watching your son play the sport he loves.

Favourite Celebrity: Steve Jobs. He singlehandedly helped to revolutionize the high-tech industry. Where would we be without our iPads, iPhones or our Mac computers? The mortgage industry has grown simply from the growth in high-tech devices, which have enhanced and simplified our working environment.

Favourite Vacation Spot: I would have to say the warm sunny beaches of our family lake home. This is a true vacation spot as I can spend every weekend, when I’m not working, with my family, whether it’s in the boat, around the camp fire or building castles in the sand.

Sophie Bush

Marketing Manager

1-604-530-7430 sophie@vwrcapital.com www.linkedin.com/in/sophiebush

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SERVICE / DIRECTORY

MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

Banks

Sherwood Mortgage Group sherwoodmortgagegroup.com Ph: 1 877 241 6001 Page 23

V.W.R Capital Corp www.vwrcapital.com Ph: 1 866 907 5407 Page 41

HomEquity Bank www.homequitybank.ca Ph: 1 866 522 2447 Page 41 Insurance

Non-Bank Lenders

VERICO www.verico.ca Ph: 1 866 983 7426 Page 27

Genworth Financial Canada www.genworth.ca Ph: 1 800 511 8888 Outside Back Cover

First National Financial LP www.firstnational.ca Ph: 416 593 1100 Page 11 Broker Networks

Commercial Lenders

Home Trust www.hometrust.ca Ph: 1 877 903 2133 Page 39

Axiom Mortgage Partners axiommortgagepartners.ca Ph: 1 866 504 0516 Page 15

First Source Mortgage Corporation www.firstsourcemortgage.ca 416.221.2238 Page 17

MCAP www.mcap.com/brokers Page 35

Centum Financial Group Inc. www.centum.ca Ph: 1 604 257 3940 Page 5

ROMSPEN Investment Corporation www.romspen.com Ph: 1 800 494 0389 Page 1

Peoples Trust www.peoplestrust.com Ph: 1 800 663 0324 Page 33

Dominion Lending Centres www.DominionLending.ca Ph: 1 888 806 8080 Page 7 & 25

Pillar Financial Services www.pillarfinancial.ca Ph: 613 282 1242 Page 59

Home Loans Canada www.hlcmortgages.com Ph: 1 866 452 1821 Page 3

Technology & Software

Radius Financial www.radiusfinancial.ca Ph: 1 877 369 6398 Inside Front Cover Optimum Mortgage A Division of Canadian Western Trust www.OptimumMortgage.ca Ph: 866 441 3775 Page 43

TM

D+H Limited Partnership www.dhltd.com Ph: 1 866 345 6449 Page 19 Marlborough Stirling Canada www.morweb.ca Ph: 1 877 626 2022 Page 2 Revodoc Inc. www.revodoc.com Ph: 403 616 1954 Page 9

Invis / Mortgage Intelligance www.invis.ca Ph: 1 866 854 6847 Page 29 Real Estate

Mortgage Architects www.mortgagearchitects.ca Ph: 1 877 802 9100 Page 13

Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers

www.cnarea.ca Ph: 1 888 399 3366 Page 32 Services

Tribecca Finance Corporation www.tribecca.ca Ph: 416 225 6900 Page 49

The Mortgage Centre www.mortgagecentre.com Ph: 1 800 423 0107 Inside Back Cover

RMAI Financial Group www.rmaifinancial.com Ph: 1 866 955 7624 Page 47

64 | MAY 2014

Score-Up www.score-up.ca Ph: 416 479 9585 Page 31


HELPING YOU DELIVER. Purchase Plus Improvements | When your client’s perfect home is only a reno away, Genworth Canada can help you deliver on their dream and close the deal with tailored improvements immediately after taking possession, one manageable mortgage and only 5% down.

800.511.8888 | Genworth.ca | Homeownership.ca | Genworthsmartshopper.ca Helping Canadians Achieve the Dream of Homeownership. Sooner.

CMP 9.05  

CMA Winners announced + Public speaking pitfalls + Community connections: bolster business

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