Canada may be neighbors to the United States and we may share many similarities in culture and attitudes but there are many, many differences that are sometimes overlooked. This has become evident to me after reviewing the survey conducted by the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada’s (REMIC) report of over 500 Canadian Mortgage Brokers. In that report it was found that 72 per cent feel that their reputations are being inaccurately tarnished by their American counterparts. Broken down by province the numbers do vary, but it was found that 80 per cent in Ontario, 78 per cent in BC and 56 per cent in Alberta agree with the statement.
Over the last 3 years hundreds of articles have been written blaming, in part, Mortgage Brokers in the United States for questionable business practices contributing to the American mortgage meltdown. What is not written about is how Canadian Mortgage Agents typically employ sound business practices, are highly regulated and ongoing surveys show that their customers exhibit high levels of customer satisfaction, a far different experience than what has been reported in the United States.
This lack of focus by the Canadian news services helped taint the reputation of the hard working Mortgage Agents here in Canada who have helped make the Canadian Mortgage Market a stable and sustainable system despite the financial troubles of the past 3 years.
We may share the same job description as our US counterparts but we work with an entirely different set of rules than were prevalent south of the border before the mortgage meltdown. Our mortgage market is conservative and based on sound calculations, and guidelines. Our government has taken action time and again to create a good foundation of policies and rules are not allowed to become too lax, thereby preventing instability from setting in to crash the house of cards that is our mortgage market.
Education is key to assuring the public that the Canadian Mortgage Market is different and our Mortgage Agents can be trusted to provide sound advice for their clients’ mortgage futures. It could be said that we as Mortgage Agents should be the loudest advocates in this matter, explaining how we are different and why we are a valuable asset to any Canadian thinking of getting a mortgage. I am doing my part and I ask that my colleagues do the same.
Centum One Financial Corp
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