The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) released a study this month about how consumers perceive mortgage brokers.
Among other things, it noted that:
“Consumer understanding of compensation and relationships in the mortgage brokerage industry varies considerably.”
With brokers, respondents felt “they were receiving elevated customer service and obtaining better mortgage rates and terms than they would obtain independently.”
“It was not so much the rate as the overall terms and conditions of the mortgage that is of key importance.”
“Consumers have little concern for how a broker gets paid as long as it is not by them. Most consumers are aware that the lender pays commission.”
With respect to that last point, regulators deserve credit for bringing compensation into the open through disclosure forms and other rules. As with any advice-business, potential conflicts do exist in a minority of cases and consumers need to know about them.
In sum, RECA’s research was a very positive reflection on our industry. Mortgage practitioners can take pride in the value they add and the degree to which professional mortgage planning has evolved.
About RECA: Established in 1996, RECA regulates mortgage brokers and real estate professionals throughout the province of Alberta. Its mandate is to protect consumers, enforce Alberta’s Real Estate Act, and promote professionalism and integrity in the industry.