Mortgage Broker

Fall 2019

Mortgage Broker is the magazine of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association and showcases the multi-billion dollar mortgage-broking industry to all levels of government, associated organizations and other interested individuals.

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20 | fall 2019 CMB MAGAZINE ceoprofile brokers to come up with flexible solutions that allow borrowers to secure a mortgage when other lenders might simply say no. We have various tools at our disposal to customize our mortgages to borrowers' needs, whether that's adjusting amortization periods, interest rates or payment terms. For example, with construction mortgage lending, we recognize that building a new home oen involves unexpected hiccups or delays. is is problematic if the lender has a rigid draw schedule. Our solution to this challenge involves allowing an unlimited number of draws so that the borrower can keep the project moving forward even if the construction plans change along the way. CMB: Do you see any dangers or concerns from fintech in the sphere of private lending? MR: As a multi-trillion-dollar industry, real estate is the largest investment sector in the world. Yet despite its size and prevalence, real estate has seen far less technological and fintech disruption compared with other investment sectors. I don't believe this can continue forever. Banks are already making some use of big data and fintech innovations to make decisions and drive their business. ey recognize that data is a currency. And we're starting to see alternative lenders make some progress in this area as well. Nonetheless, the human part of the business remains crucial. Overall, I think it's an exciting time for the real estate industry. Going forward, the big question is who will run from technology and who will embrace it, and how will the latter balance the potential of technology with the need for on-the-ground human involvement. CMB: What kind of changes do you see for the mortgage broker channel ahead? MR: Technology has been and will continue to be disruptive. For example, Realtors were previously able to derive power and generate value from their control of real estate sales data. Today, this information is readily available for anyone to access. Online mortgage rate calculators and comparison sites have similarly shaken things up. For the mortgage industry, this disruption is forcing market players to take a look in the mirror and determine where they are best positioned to add value. With borrowers having easier access to information, the role of the mortgage broker is shiing more toward relationship-building and problem-solving. Technology can now facilitate many of the functional aspects of the mortgage industry, but there continues to be an important role for brokers to help borrowers navigate complexity and make sound decisions based on their needs. Technology is not something that mortgage brokers should fear; instead, they should view it as an opportunity to increase their focus on the areas where they can provide greater benefits. CMB: How does the current low- interest-rate environment affect mortgage investing and borrowing? MR: We've been talking about bubbles in the real estate sector for more than a decade, yet I don't see any reason currently for interest rates to rise. I think it's going to remain a low-rate environment for some time, so we need to adjust to this reality. I also believe in doing business based on clear principles and sound practices, and the importance of this doesn't change based on the state of the market or the movement of interest rates. While many lenders are hesitant to venture outside of Ontario's cities, we feel entirely at home supporting borrowers across the province's small towns and rural communities. We truly understand and embrace this market, which sets us apart." Main street of the small town of Campbellford, Ontario

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