When the MCAN Home Mortgage team was planning its ICON Partner Program launch, they didn’t realize how critical the focus on experience, community and relationships was about to become. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced mortgage professionals to find new ways to connect with their clients. For MCAN Home, this meant dealing with the abrupt shift to remote work and finding ways to use the program, which prioritizes people, partnerships and performance, to its full advantage. “It was an opportunity, “says Kim Mercer, director of corporate brand and marketing. “When we rebranded earlier this year, we aligned everything with our organizational purpose – investing in Canadian communities. That means our team, partners, clients and the communities across Canada in which we live and work – all of it connects to helping people grow and succeed. The ICON program is an extension of that and will continue to evolve in a way that creates cumulative value for our partners.” The ICON program balances the transactional nature of the mortgage process, with empathy through relationship and brand-building incentives. The approach, designed to unite and delight, offers multiple levels of rewards, but at its core are the free mortgage payments that make it uniquely client-focused among similar programs. This year, MCAN added an annual payout of $25k and quarterly draws for $5k in addition to raising the base mortgage payment amount to $2k for qualifying partners. There are MQ Points accumulated on every alternative deal funded and charitable component that donates a percentage of total volume to the charity of choice for brokers at the highest Icon level – potentially critical differentiators in a year expected to be more volatile and complex than recent ones. Successful brokers will prioritize strategic partnerships with established lenders and business initiatives that make an impact for those most affected by the current environment – clients.
MCAN Home’s business development managers, committed to building mortgage broker relationships, are the pulse of the program. They understand that a broker’s priority is to fulfill the needs and dreams, as best they can, of their clients—today’s homebuyers.
We sat down with two MCAN BDMs, Ryan White and Harriet Cammayo, to talk about what they prioritize in their broker relationships and how the ICON Partner Program has helped them keep commitments, close deals and foster community.
Ok, let’s jump in! What’s it like to be a BDM in 2022? What are your top priorities day-to-day?
Ryan White: BDMs are the face of a lender. We’re the first touch point in building the relationship with brokers. The most important part of the role to me is being available. That means a quick response and flexible solutions I’m invested in their success. And that’s reciprocal – I ensure that we offer the proper solutions for the clients, and brokers are fully transparent on deal runs because even the smallest detail could be important. I never want a last-minute surprise impact a client or a partner.
Harriet Cammayo: Absolutely. We cultivate foundational business relationships with broker partners, so we not only strive to provide sales support, but we also ensure a really positive experience for everyone involved. That fosters strong relationships with brokers and clients.
Harriet is the lead BDM for Western Canada at MCAN Home. With more than eight years of experience across various roles in the financial sector, she prioritizes partnership and professionalism. Harriet focuses on creating value through reliable and transparent collaboration. MCAN allows her to be a part of foundational growth in a market she knows well, with an emphasis on client focused, broker driven service. Cultivating strong business relationship and fostering that trust with our broker partners is key to mutual long-term success.
So, what are some ways that MCAN BDMs go above and beyond to help close deals? How does the ICON Partner Program fit into MCAN’s philosophy of investing in people and the community?
RW:We’re an experienced team. We’re very hands-on with files to ensure that everyone involved – our operations team and our brokers – are aligned and working toward the same goal. We have a broker services deal run hub and a broker success role both dedicated to getting deals done in a way that serves the client. I know what’s going on with every file start to finish, and I know the rest of the team is, as well.
I believe in the broker-client relationship. To strengthen that relationship, we launched this really unique rewards program, designed to benefit everyone. MCAN gets a great client, brokers get to offer an amazing reward and the client receives a free mortgage payment! . It’s a win, win, win. And it feels amazing to give away those big cheques!
HC: It’s awesome and it’s all about bringing people together. We designed the ICON Programtoadd value for our partners and the impact they have on their clients. It’s a powerful business-building tool aligned with the values of our partners committed to community in the same way we are. They appreciate the charitable component in support of foundations close to their heart. Again, this approach is to involve brokers, lenders, clients and community. Making an impact and starting it locally in our own backyard. It’s about investing in people – in community.
That translates into the day-to-day stewardship of their business, as well. They trust me with their clients and I proactively manage their deals in partnership with our internal teams. We’re all in. I’m hands on throughout the entire process, from that first deal run to close. This can mean personally calling lawyers at closing or calling a client directly. These are simple acts to provide peace of mind but can go a long way.
Ryan is the lead BDM for MCAN Home in the Southwestern Ontario market. With over 15 years of business development experience, he has developed many strong partnerships and friendships. Ryan is relentlessly focused on helping brokers make the deal work for their clients through communication and collaboration. He goes above and beyond every time and inspired the #Hometeam to do the same. Ryan lives in London, ON and when not digging deep on a file or visiting broker partners, you can find him riding his snowmobile, ATV or fishing.
Any favourite moments or stories from the client presentations? What is the honest feedback from brokers given the unique nature of the program?
HC:The presentations are fun but it’s about more than the money. It’s a shared experience. We all know that the mortgage process can be stressful and then we get to this moment of pure joy, and it just feels so good for everyone.
On a personal note, during one of the cheque presentations I attended, one of the brokers didn’t tell their client they chose her as the recipient for this reward. It was really emotional and joyful. She explained the challenges she was experiencing and how a free mortgage payment is exactly what she needed. I would say it’s truly the most rewarding part of my job.
RW: Yes, absolutely! I’ve met clients in person and in virtual meetings more recently and they all have that same energy. It’s the most heartwarming part of my job and brokers love it, too! I’ve been involved in almost 30 of these and I think in total we’ve given away more than $140,000! We’ve still got the big $25,000 giveaway in January, too – that will be fun. The impact on real lives is significant, especially now. We’ve helped people with serious financial and medical obstacles achieve some peace of mind. You can’t put a price tag on that.
How do you balance the partnerships you manage with brokers with the internal relationships? That must be difficult at times, especially when you’re so good at what you do!
HC: That’s the benefit of experience in the role, as well a strong culture that supports collaboration and dialogue. We maintain our professionalism while being mindful of the integrity of the institution and maintaining full transparency.
As a homeowner myself, I understand the pressures that come with the process of such a significant transaction. Naturally, I can’t help but empathize. Therefore, every deal is important to me, and I try to advocate for everyone who walks through the door.
Ultimately, we are a solutions-based lender, so we are driven to help find the best or, if necessary, an alternative solution.
RW: Every BDM has their own style and approach to pipeline management, and we truly do fight for our brokers to make a deal work. It’s easier when you have a deep internal bench that also has the experience and commitment to partnerships. Every department, every role, has a part to play in the success of our business, our partners and our clients. We’re empowered to have the conversations that create better solutions. And when a deal doesn’t work, that transparency and professionalism go a long way with brokers. The brokers I work with are total pros who just want the best possible outcome for their clients. At the end of the day, that’s what we all want, right?