Self Promotion and the CMAs

Friday is the last day to nominate a deserving company or mortgage professional for a Canadian Mortgage Award (CMA).

Canadian-Mortgage-AwardsIf you’re in the brokerage industry, you know how valuable it is to win, or even be nominated. The CMA’s have become big business. Firms trumpet how many awards they’ve won in elaborate marketing campaigns and winners carry more credibility with customers, employers, and recruiters.

That’s why industry folks have been peppering colleagues’ inboxes lately with requests for support. But all the build-up surrounding the CMA’s nomination process occasionally overlooks something: deserving candidates.

KMI, the purveyor of these awards, states:

“…Only those with the highest number of nominations in each category will be invited to…the Finalist stage.”

If you want a shot at the podium, its website says:

“…you need to campaign among your peers, colleagues and clients to ensure you receive a large number of nominations…”

Understandably, KMI has an economic interest in maximizing participation and promoting the nomination process. Ranking candidates by nomination count also helps whittle down the field for judges.

But there are so many high-calibre non-self-promoters who dedicate themselves to their companies/customers simply because they take pride in excellence. Too many get overlooked because they don’t have the reach to get enough nominations, or feel uncomfortable tooting their own horn.

That’s not to say the CMAs aren’t a worthy endeavour. They do recognize some top talent in our business and KMI does a fantastic job with the event.

But, to a large extent, the popularity contest aspect of the CMAs has made it less about honouring the truly best and brightest in the industry.

Going forward, organizers may want to find a way to consider exceptional candidates with only a few nominations. That would ensure the Canadian Mortgage Awards don’t turn into the Canadian Nomination Awards, and lose intrinsic value.


Rob McLister, CMT

  1. Fantastic post Rob. It has very clearly become a popularity contest and it weakens the significance of being recognized. I have been emailed twice per day for about 10 days now from just one of our industry service providers, asking for my support by placing a nomination. That is completely backwards of the way being recognized for great things should happen in my opinion.

  2. Self-nominations and nominations by someone in your own company should be outlawed.
    How can an award be legitimate if the nominators are not arms length?

  3. What a joke. This business needs to step back and really become professional. Excellence will be found by effort and talant. Lenders are showing the mortgage industry what the votes should be with their decision to leave. The buddy system needs to go away and awards need to have some merit if anyone really cares.

  4. I agree, Don. Would be great if one could also require proof of validity of the nomination; that would eliminate the ability of getting friends and family to vote for you. phone research to confirm validity of nomination? all friends and family would have to say is they helped me with my mortgage, they were so…whatever. helpful, etc etc etc. If they included a privacy stmt in the nomination blurb, the auditors could require various options of proof during that phone call – if its a client, a copy of say, the client form; if its a lender, the mtg ref no (no client name); if its a realtor, a property address that the broker helped with (regardless of whether the mtg funded of course); and so on. this would not only make the nominations more meaningful and authentic, but would also ensure the service was in the past 12mos.

  5. Love this post Rob. I agree 100%.
    An recognition award is only a truly recognition if non-arms length clients/associates are compelled to nominate based on your performance….not because you begged them to recognize you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. The worst are people who literally tell you what to write about them on your nomination form. Or they list all the reasons why they’re great and deserve your vote. How tacky. This isn’t a political race, or is it?

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