It’s hard to believe that we’re already in Q4 – the last 9 months have truly flown by, and yet, at times it has felt as though each day was an eternity (thanks, COVID). While we have all be busy adapting to “the new normal”, there has been a lot going on behind the scenes here at AMBA.
AMBA continues to be an important and vocal participant in both the steering committee and project teams that have been charged with implementing the transition plan that has resulted from the Real Estate Amendment Act and the subsequent changes in RECA’s mandate, scope, and governance structure. Our members are being represented on each of the three project teams, as well as on the Steering Committee, and this work is ongoing. In the coming weeks, I urge you to look to our newsletter for regular updates, specifically regarding the upcoming election for the Mortgage Broker Industry Council.
As with most organizations, our events calendar has been disrupted by COVID; however, the AMBA team has continued to deliver consistent and regular professional development and opportunities for connection through our webinar series. We’ve also been able to hold a few small capacity events, including our very successful Golf Tournament this past August. Our team remains ready to pivot in response to the changing guidelines and infection levels, and as such, we encourage members to check the website frequently for upcoming virtual and in-person events. I’d like to send my deepest gratitude to our sponsors, who have been extremely supportive of AMBA and the changes we’ve had to make in response to COVID this year – we truly could not do what we do without your ongoing support!
Last week, your Board of Directors and the AMBA team had the pleasure of getting together in Canmore for 2 days of intense strategic planning. Together with our governance consultant, tng, we took a deep dive into the results of the most recent member survey, completely an extensive environmental scan, and identified the strategic priorities that AMBA will focus on for the next 3 years. Our priority is always on providing value to our members; and ensuring that we’re focused on the things that YOU care about. We’ll be unveiling the new strategic plan at a Special General Meeting scheduled for December 10th – so save the date and be sure to sign up once registration is open.
Our Committees have been hard at work this quarter, and we’re seeing tremendous results. The Governance Committee is nearing completion of the development of a new Governance Manual, and has completed an extensive review of our Bylaws; our Audit, Finance and Risk committee has been busy developing a framework for financial oversight and risk mitigation, and will be focused on approving our 2021 operating budget and preparing for our 2020 audit; the Education Committee has just completed a comprehensive review of the Practice of Mortgage Brokering course and will embark upon the not-insignificant task of cross-referencing the program with MBRCC competencies. This truly is but a snapshot of the incredible commitment and work that your fellow members are putting into ensuring that AMBA continues its legacy and shaping the future of your association. We’ll be adding more committees to our roster in the coming months, so if you’re ready to step up and be a volunteer leader, be sure to submit an application when openings are announced.
We’re also nearing the completion of our first full year offering a dual membership with MPC – and we’re proud to announce that this initiative has been a resounding success to date! Both associations are now working collaboratively to provide the best possible membership experience to our shared members. From streamlined dues invoicing and reduced costs to ensuring we have a strong, collective voice in advocacy, we’re excited to continue this partnership in 2021 and beyond.
Speaking of 2021: Alberta-based companies with a Jan 1 membership renewal date can expect to hear from our membership team in the coming weeks as we begin membership renewals. Renewal invoices will be going out in early November which will allow for sufficient time to members to renew without having their membership lapse (memberships expire on December 31). National companies will continue to use their MPC renewal date and as such, those renewals will take place on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Membership matters – our ability to advocate on behalf of the mortgage industry is stronger when we represent the majority of industry members. This year, AMBA was pleased to represent over 1345 mortgage brokers and 185 industry partners in our advocacy efforts. This represents 63% of ALL licensed brokers in Alberta – a figure which has had significant positive impact on our ability to be seen as thought-leaders and influencers with government and regulators. Our goal, of course, is to increase that percentage year over year – so I encourage you to continue to be terrific #AMBAsaddors and spread the word to any industry colleagues who may be considering becoming a member.
Finally, I’d like to take a quick moment to thank the AMBA staff for their relentless hard work and dedication to our members. As a small-but-mighty team, together we have accomplished a tremendous amount in 2020, with many great things still to come before we wrap up 2020! The phrase that I hear most often in the office is “how will that make members’ lives better” – a sign that our team is constantly working to raise the bar and listen to what you, the members, need from us. Be sure to send a virtual high-five to Sophie, Wendy, Leigh and Nicole, and if you’re ever near our office, don’t hesitate to drop in for a socially-distanced coffee!
I look forward to connecting with you (if only virtually) as we embark upon the final quarter of 2020.
Mary Swaffield, CSEP
We interviewed Jay Meakin of Archimedes Mortgage Ltd. to find out more about early payout penalties: When you would suggest this option to your client and how to effectively communicate the benefits of an early payout penalty.
What are early payout penalties?
Should a mortgage contract be broken prior to maturity by the borrower, the contract stipulates that penalties may apply. Usually the higher of interest rate differential (IRD) or 3 months interest cost will be the penalty.
When would you suggest this route?
Only if a borrower can recover the penalty cost within the term of the new mortgage would I suggest breaking a mortgage and paying the penalty.
How do you prepare a client for the possibility of early payout penalties?
Before a customer decides what type of rate and term, I will ask them how long they plan on staying in the home and what the likelihood of having to sell and move is.
How would you prepare your client to ask for a payout statement from their lender?
Sometimes I’ll ask the client to sign a consent to disclose form which I can present to the lender on the borrower’s behalf. Depending on the circumstances, it may be easier for the customer to ask lender directly. There is always a risk the lender will try to bring the borrower back in house by renegotiating. Establishing rapport with the customer and providing an appropriate and competitive product based on their needs is usually enough to earn their loyalty.
Staying in contact with your customers throughout the term of the mortgage is the best way to earn repeat business.
Example email to client
"Hi (Insert client name),
Thank you for your message.
Mortgage rates are at all-time lows as you’ve no doubt seen in the media. When your mortgage closed in 2017 you chose a variable rate with RMG which was Prime -0.70%. A very sweet discount which is better than any discount off prime right now. RMG prime is at 2.45% Which means your effective rate should be 1.75% !!
I’m not aware of any changes since then.
If you did lock-in, both you and your partner Please sign and return the attached broker consent form and I’ll check on what is left owing, rate etc… ** Check off the first option box **
Since we’re on the topic, do you happen to know anyone else who is looking to buy, refinance or switch to a lower mortgage rate? If so, I’d love to help save them some $$.