Interview—CAAMP’s Joe Pinheiro

There is always something changing in the mortgage brokerage industry. As Chairman of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage ProfessionalsJoe-Pinheiro (CAAMP), Joe Pinheiro is keenly aware of how change is shaping our business.

We had the pleasure of chatting recently with Joe about a variety of current industry topics.

Below is that interview…


CMT: Joe, in your view, what is the biggest edge brokers can offer consumers today?

JP: Our biggest edge is that we offer information and guidance. We have knowledge and experience and we should be positioning ourselves as mortgage professionals who can offer true counsel to our clients. By being able to look at a client’s whole financial situation and offer the best solutions, then it’s easier for us to retain them in the long term because we have become valuable advisors.

CMT: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about brokers, what would it be?

JP: I would want them to focus on the relationship with clients and not just the transaction. Too often, we just complete the deal and it’s over. We have to continue to develop and enhance our relationships with them so they recognize our value, not only as mortgage professionals, but as trusted advisors. We need to send the right message and stay in touch with them so that when the time comes to renew, they still see the benefits of working with us.

CAAMPCMT: What are two things CAAMP will do to help brokers better compete with banks in 2011?

JP: The first thing we need to do is make clear to mortgage professionals the importance of the AMP designation. Our market share is 25%—only British Columbia’s market share is higher at 35%. We don’t own a name like Realtors, so as individual professionals we need to make consumers aware that having the AMP designation differentiates us from other mortgage originators and that we meet high standards of industry performance, which adds to our credibility.

Secondly, as an association we will be heavily promoting the importance of the AMP designation through public advertising. The research shows that consumers are becoming more aware of the AMP designation so we’ll continue our efforts to promote it through a media campaign that starts in April. The campaign is financed through AMP dues—90% gets directed back into promotion.

CMT: Brokers have always offered wider choices to consumers than banks and credit unions. Is there a threat to the industry if lender status programs compel brokers to deal with fewer lenders and limit consumer choice?

JP: Lenders have a business model that allows them to stay competitive and allows them to stay in the market, which I understand. And of course, the problem is that consumers have access to these lenders, sometimes on a daily basis. This is something we have to accept and meet the challenge.

We have to send a different message to consumers. Not that we have access to 30 or 40 lenders – because realistically we only work with four or five – and not that we shop for the best rate, but that we work in the best interests of our clients. The real threat is putting clients into products that don’t suit them because that speaks to our integrity as a profession.

Provincial-Mortgage-RegulationsCMT: What progress is being made to standardize broker licensing and educational requirements across the provinces?

JP: CAAMP has taken a leading role in working with standardizing licensing requirements in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces. We work closely with AMBA and MBABC as well. As far as education is concerned we are creating cohesiveness inter-provincially and changes are coming.

CMT: In the Internet age, is it necessary for consumers to meet face-to-face with a mortgage broker? How much growth do you foresee in online mortgage planning over the next few years?

JP: Using the Internet is not necessarily in the best interest of both brokers and clients. First of all, there is greater potential for fraud. Secondly, technology separates us from people and people want to be with people. I think we’ve evolved to the point where we’re going to put greater emphasis on sitting down with clients and establishing relationships with them. This is added value for them and strengthens our position as advisors.

CMT: What do you see in terms of market share growth for brokers?

JP: Our industry is not the healthiest. We have to get our house in order and to grow. Our channel has to make sense for lenders, for agents and for consumers.

CMT: Okay. One last question about CAAMP. How does CAAMP plan to deliver more value to broker members this year?

JP: We’ve made changes to the AMP requirements that will ensure brokers continue to educate themselves. We’ve also become more broker-focused and are listening more to what brokers want from us. There will be a lot more education available online. We’ve also created two broker focus groups to engage the brokerages.

We would like our industry to grow organically. No one wakes up one day and says I’m going to school to become a mortgage broker, but that’s the awareness we are working towards creating.


Gina Monaco, CMT

  1. I absolutely agree with Joe. The internet was designed to shortcut the approach to people, not replace it. In the arena of mortgages, there’s still a human touch and a “gut level” feel to picking the right broker. Nice post.

  2. I don’t agree that this is true in all cases: “people want to be with people.”
    We’re starting to get more business from the web and people love not having to drive into an office to meet us.
    A lot of people are more concerned with the rate, service and quality of advice than with how they receive it. For many – not all – convenience trumps shaking hands in person and I’d be careful not to trivialize that.
    Oh and by the way, fraud is no greater on internet deals. I don’t ever remember reading about a mortgage fraud that was perpetrated over the internet. Meanwhile you see banks like BMO losing $30 million in a fraud that was done face to face with straw buyers.
    There are plenty of ways to minimize fraud. ING and PC Financial go direct to the consumer and never meet most of those clients. I don’t see them going out of business because of fraud anytime soon.

  3. kudos I agree … the internet is the way its going to go whether or not some like it. Lets not kid ourselves…
    Fraud can be perpetrated at any level face to face or on the net.. thats why we need our checks and balances in place. But lets face it fraud will always be a part of any business dealings. Its unfortunate but its also realistic.
    I myself dont do much internet business but most of it is fax phone and email and I still have clients from 10 years ago I have never met face to face coming back to me as they become my friends… on the phone!

  4. The net is radically altering our business model as brokers. Brokers who rank high on Google have a major advantage long term. People will call them first because they are easy to find and provide fast answers. We live in convenience society. I agree that the days of people driving to a bank or broker’s office are numbered.

  5. CAAMP has lost it’s way.
    The introduction of the AMP program, though a great idea, has consumed this organization to the point where CAAMP is now irrelevant in the eyes of brokers and consumers.
    It’s ridiculous that this supposed leader in the mortgage industry is so taken with this outdated AMP notion, that it no longer promotes consumer awareness of mortgage brokers (unless you have an AMP designation of course). In an industry where we are fighting to grow the public’s awareness of using mortgage brokers and increase our market share from the 35% and 25% we are at, CAAMP is spending our money promoting an AMP designation that consumers could care less about.
    Why isn’t CAAMP promoting Canadians to use mortgage brokers and the broker channel? It’s because the entrepreneurs that were running CAAMP at the time took on this empire building program, before leaving to start broker training companies, tried to institute the AMP designation into the channel. It failed miserably as the AMP designation never took hold with brokers (or consumers for that matter) with only a small slice of the members having their designation.
    So now we have a national organization, who only represents a small share of brokers, who is only promoting an even smaller share of its members who can be bothered to obtain the useless designation. And yes, it is useless as I had it and let it go a few years ago. It never gained or cost me a deal. The courses were either mini-advertisments for some lender to generate revenue for CAAMP, or complete waste of time when held by CAAMP.
    It was very telling in the last question of this interview about what value is CAAMP bringing to brokers in the future – and how does Joe answer? “we have made changes to the AMP blah blah blah”. They just don’t get it – members want CAAMP to grow consumer awareness, and more importantly, broker market share. Unfortunately, CAAMP continues flogging this valueless designation in the failed attempt to increase it’s stature in the industry. Scrap the program and back to promoting the industry to Canadians.
    The rebuttal of course will be most Canadians want to deal with an accredited professional. If you asked consumers if they wanted to deal with an broker who has an degree they would answer yes too. However, the AMP provides very little education for licensed brokers, and serves more of an revenue stream and attempt of the organization to increase its self-importance in the industry. If CAAMP had put it’s resources behind promoting mortgage brokers to the public, that it did trying to institutionalize the valueless AMP designation, the indudstry as a whole would be farther ahead today.
    Brokers don’t need CAAMP pushing the AMP designation as, and lets’ be clear, it’s useless to mortgage brokers. Our companies and regulatory bodies are doing a good job in providing us with the necessary regulatory information we require. It’s like CAAMP is saying that our companies and regulators aren’t doing a good job. As towards further education, if you are not learning everyday in this job you will find yourself quickly out of the industry.
    Gary Mauris of DLC and now it appears MCAP is doing more to promote use of the mortgage brokers as the consumers first choice than CAAMP has done in the past six years.
    CAAMP needs to get back to its roots and promoting the industry, being a relevant voice for the industry, and increasing market share of brokers instead of promoting the aims of its past directors and pushing a useless designation that very few member brokers have, and the rest of the membership care less about.
    I would suggest that other CAAMP members do what I did, save yourself a few hundred bucks a years and hours of time and energy and let your AMP lapse. If enough brokers do this, which I feel more and more are, CAAMP might once day get it. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the cheap E&O, I would let my membership expire too.
    And yes, I have written twice to the CAAMP executive about the lack of direction and received the lack of courtesy of a response.

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