Following Record Volumes in 2020, M3 & DLC Groups Set Sights on 2021

Two of the country’s largest broker networks overcame the challenges of a pandemic in 2020 and posted record volumes for the year.

M3 Group, which encompasses Invis, Mortgage Intelligence, Mortgage Alliance, Verico and more, reported $54 billion worth of mortgages funded in 2020.

DLC Group, which includes Dominion Lending Centres, Mortgage Architects, Mortgage Centres Canada and Newton Connectivity Systems, reported $51.5 billion in volume over the year, with revenue up 17% and EBITDA growth up 30%.

CMT reached out to both networks—which have a history of duking it out to establish who is #1 in the industry—for their take on their successes in 2020, and for some insight into their plans to continue that growth through 2021.

M3 Group Highlights

Some of the highlights of what M3 has been working on include:

  • 30+ new BOSS enhancements, including SOC2 compliance
  • a commitment to open architecture, which would allow brokers to choose their preferred deal management system
  • a doubling of its broker insurance business
  • since M3 Group announced its exclusive partnership with National Bank in 2019, which saw the bank return to the broker channel—currently only in Quebec—M3 reported 600 Quebec brokers have since used National Bank to fund $1.2 billion in deals.

M3 says it overcame the challenges of 2020 largely due to its agility in “equipping our brokers and staff with the necessary tools, applications and processes to adapt the new normal that the pandemic brought,” said Luc Bernard, Chairman and CEO. “Within the first 2 weeks we had launched the Covid-19 Tool Box which provided a comprehensive business continuity solution for our brokers.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2021, Bernard said the company’s priorities are twofold.

“One, to continue providing the best innovative technology for our brokers… that means accelerating our technology investment in a very significant way,” he said, pointing to the 30+ technology enhancements to its BOSS platform that are being released throughout the year.

The second is preparing for the post-pandemic world. “The industry has had a tailwind for over a year now, but we know that will come to an end at some point, so we have been focusing on preparing in advance to ensure our brokers are well-positioned to compete and win,” Bernard said. “You will see some of these strategies begin to take shape in the second half of 2021.”

DLC Group Highlights

DLC also reported a record-year in 2020, with volume totalling $51.5 billion, a 23% increase over 2019. Some of its highlights include:

  • Revenue for 2020 totalled $52.4 million, a 17% year-over-year increase, with net income of $25.6 million, which included $16.7 million deferred tax recovery “for non-capital losses that are usable against future taxable income.”
  • The company says it’s encouraged by the continued growth and mortgage professional adoption of Newton’s connectivity platform, Velocity.
  • As of Q1, DLC has reported volume of $13.4 billion, a 51% increase over last year.

“We are extremely proud of the way we navigated the early days of the pandemic,” Gary Mauris, executive chairman and CEO of DLC, told CMT. “Our team came together and our communication and our support for one another is unrivalled. We as a company are as close as we have ever been. $51 billion in funded volume isn’t bad either!”

Mauris points to a number of factors that bode well for continued growth throughout the remainder of 2021, including digital adoption, permanent work from home employment, prolonged low interest rates, $200 billion in additional household savings (estimated by Capital Economics), and “city-to-suburbia” migration.

As for DLC Group’s priorities for the remainder of the year, Mauris points to continued growth of its Velocity platform, its First Responders Program, which offers rate specials and up to $2,200 cash back for all police, fire and medical first responders, and working with new lenders to the channel.

“That’s the tip of our 2021 plans,” Mauris said. Speaking specifically to Velocity, he said the platform is “changing the way brokers do business,” by offering submission, mobile, CRM, payroll, SMS, new lenders, and database solutions. “Look for more upcoming announcements,” he hinted.