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Mobile Bank Specialists Good for Brokers?

Many of us have seen the two old men in TD’s mobile mortgage commercial. This ad is but one example of how banks are investing millions to promote their mobile mortgage specialists.

These salespeople, also known as “road reps,” are the banks’ not-so-secret weapon to capture mortgage market share.

Is it possible that the mobile mortgage model could eventually benefit the mortgage brokering industry?

With bank reps being mobile, consumers are slowly being conditioned to get their mortgages outside of branches. The numbers back this up. Just last month, for example, Deloitte said the volume of branch mortgage originations is “steadily decreasing.” More and more people seem to be thinking, “Why spend time fighting traffic to reach a branch when a mobile mortgage rep can come to me?”

In time, a large portion of consumers will take it a step further and do business with no face-to-face contact at all. And if people do that, it’s not a big stretch to do business online with a mortgage broker.

Naturally, it will still be quite a battle for both brokers and banks. Banks have enormous ad budgets and highly influential brands.

Brokers, on the other hand, can differentiate themselves by:

  • Promoting choice (i.e.  access to multiple lenders instead of just one)
  • Promoting the fact that they’re licensed and directly regulated by most provinces (Bank specialists are typically unlicensed because Federal regulations don’t require mortgage licenses for bank employees.)
  • Positioning their AMP designations as a reflection of ethics and credibility.

(As a side note, this might be an opportune time for CAAMP to really make a difference for its members with a very aggressive AMP public awareness campaign.)

Bank road reps are most certainly changing the way Canadians think about getting a mortgage. Who knows, brokers may be thanking the banks as time goes on.

Gina Monaco, CMT