NuBorrow is part of Canadian Mortgage Professional's Top Independent Brokerages 2019
Leadership: Adam Ross, president and broker of record
CMP: What are the biggest issues facing the broker industry today?
NuBorrow: Perception is the biggest issue for brokers today. Media reports of a declining market, tighter bank rules, and the threat of web-based solutions can feed the public’s perception of our industry. Education and fitting it into your sales process is key to growth and brand reputation.
CMP: What made you decide to be an independent broker?
NB: Choosing to be independent can appear challenging, and to be honest, many of the larger group models make a strong agreement for remaining under a franchise licence. We had worked so hard on building a brand outside of our expiring franchise agreement, and after sitting down with a few of the larger groups it hit us – we needed support and access to lenders far more than we needed a brand on top of our own. Signing on to some of the generously weighted programs for what was offered in return just wasn’t registering with us, and it was at that moment we started to ask ourselves tougher questions that led to remaining independent.
CMP: Have you experienced any challenges related to being independent, and what did you do to overcome those hurdles?
NB: We have been very fortunate to not lose a single step since going independent; in fact, I feel we are stronger without dragging around a brand that we didn’t put as much love and care into as we have in NuBorrow (recently rebranded from Freedom Lending). Reaching out to our bank and non-bank lenders took only a small ramp up time, and I was surprised to learn that many of the current lenders did not necessarily provide any better programs with or without a franchise tag.
CMP: What are common misconceptions you hear about being an independent, and how do you respond to those misconceptions?
NB: I think fear is likely the largest misconception when considering to be independent: who will recognize our brokerage and our people, and how will we get clients without the help of a franchise? The truth is you will need support, but being independent doesn’t mean you have to be alone. If you have a strong marketing platform, good internal processes and have the ability to hash out your own path, being independent is a very rewarding decision. The big franchises have a way of spelling out certain doom if you choose to do it alone, but if you are an entrepreneur at heart, being independent removes the celling and pushes you to go after it.