A broker’s competitiveness depends largely on achieving “status” with one or more lenders. Status arms brokers with faster service, greater compensation, and/or better rates.
FirstLine, a division of CIBC and one of Canada’s largest broker-channel lenders, has just announced noteworthy improvements to its status program, effective today.
Shane Lapointe, VP Sales Western Canada for FirstLine, tells us, “We wanted to reward our existing brokers better and we wanted to reach out to new brokers. We're trying to grow our base.”
He says FirstLine has additional new programs coming out by February. “We want to be the #1 broker lender and the broker advocate.”
Here’s a quick overview of FirstLine’s status improvements:
It now takes 17-50% less POINTS to hit status levels at FirstLine, depending on the level. Lapointe says this improvement now "aligns units with dollars” so it’s easier for brokers in lower-priced markets to attain status. That’s important, he says, because "units show loyalty.” (FirstLine lets you reach status via dollar volume of closed mortgages or by collecting POINTS. See below.)
The entry-level threshold for status is now $5 million in closed mortgages or 25,000 “POINTS”. (Before it was $10 million or 100,000 points.) This level is called “Silver” and it gets brokers an extra 5 bps off FirstLine’s discounted rates.
Gold status (which gets you Silver benefits plus a dedicated underwriter and appraisal rebate) can now be reached with 50,000 POINTS instead of 100,000.
Platinum status (the sweet spot since it gets brokers 10 bps off discounted rates) can now be reached with 125,000 POINTS instead of 200,000.
Emerald Status (which offers a 50,000 BasisPOINT credit and a bigger appraisal rebate) can now be reached with $50 million in volume or 250,000 POINTS (instead of $75 million or 300,000 POINTS)
The takeaway is that it’s now easier for brokers to get perks and better pricing from one of Canada’s biggest lenders.
Lapointe says FirstLine’s Silver level can now be attained with “less than two deals a month.” Moreover, "throughout the year we do double-POINTS,” he adds. That makes status achievement even easier.
How FirstLine POINTS work:
Brokers receive POINTS with every FirstLine mortgage they close. A 5-year fixed pays 1050 points, for example, if the broker submits a full package (all documents) within 10 days.
Assuming an average of 1050 points per deal, it would take a broker about 4 deals a month to hit Gold status.
To achieve Gold status by volume, you’d need to close an average of $833,333 worth of mortgages per month. FirstLine’s average mortgage amount is approximately $250,000 nationwide says Lapointe.