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Mortgage brokers and agents are largely dependent on so many outside influences: lenders and their policies, the Canadian real estate market, insurers, regulators and more. You have, by far, one of the most difficult jobs because, outside of having to drum up business, you also have to adapt to constant changes, any one of which could impact your business.

Last year was a prime example. We saw increased stress test requirements introduced by the OSFI, new mortgage rules and a new tax on foreign buyers in some cities. Yes, the Canadian real estate market thrived, but there certainly were some impacts felt, especially by those brokers who have a focus on first-time homebuyers.

We are well into the first quarter of 2017 and already this month CMHC has increased premiums for high ratio insurance. It also remains to be seen if interest rates will go up this year.

So, how can you adapt to help homeowners curb rising borrowing costs like potentially higher borrowing rates, premiums and fees to own real estate? Well, where existing homeowners are concerned, looking at ways to leverage existing home equity to reduce other costs can make a huge difference.

It is no secret (throughout 2016 it was widely reported) that Canadians are carrying near record levels of debt. Debt like credit cards and loans carry far higher interest rates than mortgages, not to mention repayment terms which are more aggressive.

Educating clients about how they can use home equity to consolidate debt and get rid of high interest credit cards is a great way to significantly reduce an individual’s overall monthly budget, which can then create room to be able to absorb higher interest rates and other increases to the cost of home ownership.

People generally know in advance if in the future they’d like to sell and upsize, downsize or change homes. Approaching homeowners early and discussing dealing with high interest debt in order to later experience an easier process as it relates to purchasing their next home is a win for them and a win for you.

How can you do it? By having your finger on the pulse of what your clients’ home is worth. Tools like automated valuation models are an excellent way to quickly generate an estimated value on a prospect’s home to give you a foundation upon which to build and start the conversation. In some rapidly accelerating markets, some prospects may be shocked to learn how much their property value has actually increased.

Being agile and able to quickly adapt to changes makes you more competitive and makes changes to the market less impactful.

For more information about how you can use your tools to find new business and upsell deals please visit Purview at