Mortgage Broker Headcount

Mortgage-Broker-Number18,000 to 20,000 people hold mortgage agent and/or mortgage broker licenses in Canada, according to CAAMP.

In Ontario alone, there are about 10,000. In BC and Alberta, there’s a total of 6,000. In Quebec, another 1,000.

It’s hard to say how many of these agents are truly active, however. The going assumption has been about 10,000 to 12,000.

Regardless, a more interesting question might be:  How will the broker population change going forward?

While Canada’s broker count has increased over the last three years, it’s been stable at best in the past 12 months, says CAAMP CEO, Jim Murphy.  Ontario, for example, reportedly saw a drop in their license renewals this year.

Increasing competition, falling home prices, rising rates, falling commissions, and bigger sales forces at the banks, could all conspire to shrink the industry somewhat—at least for the next year or so. Just in the last few months we’ve heard two brokerage CEOs say they expect broker headcounts have peaked for the foreseeable future.

Wouldn’t the banks just be tickled pink about that.

  1. The old rule of 80% of business is done by 20% of the brokers. That means only about 2,000 brokers in BC are truly active and working their business and keeping up. There is no doubt it can be a tough business for those that don`t do at least 2 deals a month. I`m in for the long haul…for my clients.

  2. Maybe regulators should stipulate an annual minimum number of closings to keep your license. That would get rid of all the part-timers and improve the quality of our profession.

  3. In fairness to new agents, they need to keep current job (if they have one)in order to survive in this very competitive business, hope you understand some are trying to shift career from a dead end 8 hours job.

  4. In fairness to the customers of new agents, they need the best possible advice on their biggest debt. You aren’t going to get that from a guy closing 5 mortgages a year.

  5. The key to succeeding in this business, in my view, is finding a niche where there is less competition. And there are plenty of areas in real estate financing where the banks aren’t very active or are very risk averse. That’s their weak spot: they’re very conservative. Many people believe that the majority of Canadians have no financial problems, no debt, have great credit, etc. But reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Even people with good credit sometimes need the services of a qualified broker to get out of a bind because their financial institution won’t budge. The banks like you when everything is fine. But when things get tough for clients, they get nervous and a red alarm goes off, which is contrary to all these “feel good” ads that banks are running on their websites claiming to
    help clients in difficult situations. No doubt, the triple-A side is very competitive and you need to rely on strong referrals to survive even with all your knowledge and experience. However, to truly succeed, you must diversify your business. And finding the areas you want to excel at takes time.

  6. Two very easy “professions” to get into. Way too easy. To be a proper profession. there should be mandatory apprenticeship, for perhaps 2 to 4 years, then followed by in-depth exams, verbal in front of a panel as well as written. Lawyers and accountants use this system. They have articling students. Medical doctors too – interns! So if we really want to become a real profession, follow what real professions do. You can’t just pull Paul, Dick and Henry off the street, give them a laptop and call them mortgage brokers (like banks do)!

  7. Vijay,
    And where did you start?
    In fairness to new agents and their clients, the effectiveness of a new agent is a mere reflection of the effectiveness of the company around them.

  8. It seems that the natural order of things is that certain markets get the impression that they are “easy money”. Most people forget about the reality that it typically takes about 4-5 years to become really good at a certain trade. Even seemingly easy jobs can be dangerously complicated once you get involved. As these people realize the difficulty that is actually accompanied with arranging mortgages this number of licensees will drop.

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