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Financial volatility continues to disrupt the mortgage industry, but the best mortgage lenders in Canada are attuned to market trends and shifts, earning the trust and loyalty of brokers and borrowers.
According to the country’s brokers who participated in Canadian Mortgage Professional’s 5-Star Mortgage Products survey, the 2023 awardees have established themselves as industry leaders by offering a combination of the following:
Representatives from the following best mortgage lenders in Canada reflect on being recognized for their success in the past years and how they are positioning themselves to continue it:
The company prides itself on being able to serve a wide range of customers.
“If you look at the specific categories that recognize MCAN, we resonate across the board, specifically in niche areas that serve particular client profiles, such as first-time buyers and Canadians needing a strong alternative solution because big banks don’t serve their needs.”
MCAN Financial Group alters its offerings depending on societal shifts, ensuring the company continues to deliver.
“We watch social and economic trends to help guide product development and guidelines that reflect real-life shifts like multi-generational housing, entrepreneurs and the so-called sandwich generation, who are supporting their kids and parents.”
The company identified the alternative mortgage space as being ripe for disruption.
“To gain traction, we needed to think differently. We saw the inefficient pricing cliff among A, B, MIE, and private lenders, resulting in many creditworthy individuals paying more than necessary in borrowing costs.”
That strategy has given Neighbourhood Holdings a reputation among Canada’s brokers.
“They can trust us to offer some of our segment’s lowest, if not the lowest, pricing. We set out to reduce interest costs for these creditworthy individuals by securing an industry-leading six-bank credit facility, which enabled us to reduce our cost of funding and offer a lower cost of borrowing for brokers’ clients. Setting this up was neither quick nor easy, but we are proud to prioritize fair lending practices.”
All the company does is reverse mortgages, and it has developed a specialist infrastructure as it is the only national bank dedicated to working with Canadians 55 and older.
“We have the breadth and depth of experience with lending limits, timing and our process, which our partners tell us is unmatched.
We understand our customers’ needs and know how our partners’ customers should be treated, not just at the point of origination but when life circumstances change.”
Being aligned with a certain demographic is paying dividends.
“People like doing business with brands they know, like and trust. We believe we succeed in all three areas based on internal and external brand awareness metrics and partner and customer satisfaction surveys.”
Communication is the spark for the firm’s innovative strategy.
“We talk to our brokers and borrowers. Decades of experience, visionary leadership, the best team in the business – and, honestly, the most important thing we do is talk to the people we design those mortgage products for.”
Proving how innovative the company is, its customer base encompasses:
“We’re in development with some new partners on exciting, innovative products that will help more Canadians buy homes.”
A key element of the company’s success is not resting on its laurels.
“We have made numerous revisions to our mortgage products based on customer feedback and market trends. For example, we update our pricing regularly to ensure we remain competitive. We have also improved our features by providing more transparent pricing, efficient funding processes and more educational resources for our brokers.”
Change is happily embraced by the firm, which values broker feedback to guide them. HomeEquity Bank has redefined and repositioned several offerings, including the long-standing CHIP Reverse Mortgage, Income Advantage, CHIP Max and CHIP Open products.
“We responded to broker feedback by launching Income Advantage, which provides a tax-free monthly income stream versus a lump sum amount. As a result of the growing need for additional funds, CHIP Max was developed for homeowners aged 55–75, providing them with a loan up to 30% higher than the CHIP Reverse Mortgage.”
As things have moved quickly in the industry of late, the company has equipped itself to respond.
“It’s a unique combination to find that agility in a firm with more than 30 years of experience navigating and growing through many turns like the one we’re seeing now. So, partnership is essential; our little ecosystem is a community built on collaboration and transparency.”
The firm is committed to using technology to improve its products.
“For instance, we leverage AI to streamline processes, improve underwriting accuracy and enhance the customer experience. By staying ahead of market trends and investing in the right people, processes and technologies, we believe that we will thrive in the future of the mortgage industry.”
The bank reacted to less activity in the purchase and sale of real estate by tapping into its broker networks.
“The real estate market is softer this year, and many brokers are looking at their databases for opportunities to refinance existing customers. Many brokers have never helped clients with a reverse mortgage, so they must build their knowledge and confidence in how this solution can work for specific clients. We are doubling down on the broker channel and investing in expanding the BDM team nationwide.”
With uncertainty abounding, the firm has earned a stellar reputation for relying on concrete data.
“When our clients, broker partners and team members look to us for answers, we lean on facts – things we know to be true. That back-to-basics approach helped us navigate the past 12 months successfully.”
In order to do this, the firm has invested in technology to keep its core business strong.
“We’re developing new products that reflect this evolving landscape, products that have worked in places with similar characteristics. That’s the key: stay true to what you do well and look for ways to enhance and innovate.”
The firm has taken the initiative to give its broker partners stability in a time of flux.
“Uncertainty can create feelings of anxiety, so we made a concerted effort to provide clear and frequent communication. By providing clear and transparent communication, we built trust with our customers and demonstrated our commitment to their needs and concerns.”
The bank has taken note that many of its customers (Canadians 55 and older) are challenged financially.
“We are working diligently with our broker network, encouraging them to step outside their regular lending solutions and look at the CHIP Reverse Mortgage solution. We are stepping up our game to bring awareness of our unique solution and remind Canadians that this is not a product of last resort but one that can fit into various financial situations for those who want to retire in their home.”
To determine Canada’s best mortgage products, Canadian Mortgage Professional conducted an online survey asking brokers about their preferences and priorities when selecting mortgage products for their clients. The survey was open to brokers across Canada, who were asked to provide product recommendations across a range of different areas, including fixed and variable rate products, commercial and refinancing.
For each lender they nominated, brokers were asked to rate the offerings they provided on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). They also identified the most important factors they and their clients consider when choosing a mortgage product, as well as their most significant area of growth this year.
The 5-Star Mortgage Products report is proudly supported by CMBA.
CMBA is an inter-jurisdictional umbrella association consisting of provincial mortgage broker associations in Canada. The mandate of CMBA is to strengthen the efficiencies of provincial mortgage broker associations and enable them to focus on providing regional services to their members while sharing certain cross jurisdictional costs, programs and advocacy initiatives amongst provincial associations.
CMBA provides mortgage broker professionals with a forum to work cooperatively; better share resources, branding initiatives, programs and information; and coordinate the engagement of members to identify trends and develop solutions to common industry and regulatory issues. At CMBA, we also offer education for all levels of experience. From the mortgage agent course for newcomers to the industry to continuing education for those renewing their license or wanting to enhance their key skills through our national library, we have education options that suit your needs.
All provincial mortgage broker associations belonging to CMBA have adopted the mark of membership for their members – MB. CMBA and its provincial mortgage associations promote the MB logo to mortgage consumers to let them know that their best mortgage advice comes from a mortgage broker and to look for the mark of membership to find a mortgage broker.