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IMBA 2009 In Review

IMBA-Conference The Independent Mortgage Brokers Association’s 2009 Conference and Expo is now in the books.  It was a well-attended networking event filled with several practical learning opportunities.

Among the highlights:

  • FirstLine’s David Walker led a discussion on mortgage industry technology. Topics included:
    • The laws surrounding electronic file storage
    • The trend towards data standardization
    • Data that lenders keep on brokers
  • Business coach, Richard Robbins, held a seminar on competing by being unique.  Some of the topics:
    • “Competitive convergence” (when the public sees all mortgage brokers as doing the same thing)
    • Competing by being unique
    • Relationships as a competitive edge
  • First Equity’s, David Mandel, taught his audience how to move from residential brokering to commercial brokering.  Sample topics:
    • The “typical” commercial deal
    • Creating a loan summary
    • Mistakes to avoid

We’ll do more in-depth stories on each of these seminars in the next week or two.

IMBA also had an exhibit hall with over 70 exhibitors. Many of the exhibitors were new this year.

While the drab lending environment curtailed new product introductions, there were various quoteables that we heard on the floor from the following companies:

  • AGF:  AGF says it’s highly committed to the broker channel and is waiting out the downward trend in employment and home prices before returning aggressively to the market. They have a HELOC product they’d like to roll out to brokers once the market stabilizes and required system upgrades are in place.
  • CMHC:  Recently launched a new status system to provide real-time and email updates when a deal has been received or decisioned by CMHC. All brokers need to do is log in and provide the borrower name, subject property, and lender details. This pretty much eliminates any chance of lenders blaming CMHC unjustly for declines or delays.
  • Lloyds TSB:  In discussions to create alliances with various brokerage houses. Our previous Lloyds story
  • MoneySource:  Looking to release a secured line of credit in 2nd position once the lending market stabilizes. They specialize in 2nd mortgages up to 85% LTV.
  • Macquarie Financial:  As many already know, they started a top 100 brokers program in October. This initiative provides special pricing for those that meet its $15 million annual volume threshold. The program started “picking up steam” in January according to one rep. One absolutely FANTASTIC benefit is that Macquarie splits rate buydowns with its status brokers.
  • Resmor:  Recently rolled out a new incentive/status program for brokers. Volume bonus is now paid based on the individual broker’s performance versus their firm’s performance. (This seems to be a growing trend in the industry lately.)  Top-tier bonuses accrue to brokers meeting a $10 million annual volume threshold, which is lower than many competing programs.  Resmor also offers insured products with no maximum GDS (for Beacons over 680).

The Independent Mortgage Brokers Association is a volunteer-based organization of independent Ontario mortgage brokers.