Years as an independent broker: 18
2016 volume: $1.28 billion
Number of employees: 86
Why did you decide to be independent?
As one of the original founders of Invis, I had the opportunity to have exposure to the national network concept for three years, and I decided that the grassroots independence model, if structured properly, was the better way to go. As an independent, I found I was better able to control my own destiny as a business owner by taking lender relationships to another level. If executed strategically by applying simple principles of running a business, this would allow for better comp programs and specials for our agents, giving us an edge to not only grow our agents’ business, but also to grow the volume of the Mortgage Edge team and our lender partners to the size it is today.
I found that the independent model is far more profitable. Being one who actually takes the time to do the math behind the deal, and relating it to the cost a broker pays to the network for the perceived value received, the math simply doesn’t add up.
One of the reasons the Coalition of Independent Mortgage Brokers of Canada was formed was because I saw how much money brokerages were leaving on the table and how much they were actually disadvantaging their agents, so I decided to export Mortgage Edge’s model to other brokers who took the time to do the numbers behind their business.
Would you ever join a broker network?
The reality is that the numbers simply don’t work. The networks are making corporate bonuses on the back end that Mortgage Edge would have to forfeit as a franchise, which would place us and our agents at a disadvantage. Imagine me having to tell my agents that regardless of their production, I have to pay them a 90/10 or 95/5 rather than the real 100% we receive from lenders, just because we’re with a network. Even if Mortgage Edge was on a flat fee, the back-end corporate bonuses give us a leg up.
What advice would you give to other brokers who are looking to branch out on their own?
Call me – I’d be happy to help.
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