It’s one cost to buying down rate that brokers may not have thought of, but the head of the country’s largest broker network argues the practice has the potential to erode credibility.

“When you cut commission to drop the rate to be competitive,” said DLC’s Gary Mauris, as part of Greg Williamson’s webinar this week, “the consumer looks at you and I think you lose credibility. Expertise has value.”

It’s something many brokers may simply not have thought about in the few weeks as they rushed to match – even better – BMO’s record-setting 2.99 per cent on a five-year fixed. And while industry veterans have criticized buy-downs for different reasons – weakening the hand of mortgage brokers against lenders and as just plain lazy – Mauris is among the first to suggest a reputational consequence.

More than 800 industry professionals heard that message, logging in for the last  in the "180 Degress Solutions -- Threats To The Broker Channel and What Can We Do About It” series.

Host Williamson argued that buying down is just so often unnecessary, even when dealing with rate shoppers.

“I decided I will prove the detractors wrong,” he told “I am going to make public a recording and video of me handling a real rate shopping renewal client to prove that you can in fact sell a higher rate than competitors based on sound selling principles and adding measurable value to consumers.”

It may be a gutsy move, but one unlikely to shift the growing number of brokers and agents resigned to using buy-downs in order to compete against banks and brokers alike.

While a realist, Williamson is undeterred.

"Yes, I see that the customer may force me to compete on price alone, especially if I am not showing any additional mesurable value over what my competitor has," he said. "Instead, when I sell a different product like ...10 year fixed mortgages then I am now not competing on price I am competing on the virtue of whether I go with a five year or a ten year.  This is an argument I can win by showing them a compelling strategic reason to go with a 10 year."


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