CMBA-BC gears up for annual conference in Vancouver

Star-studded event to take place on April 15-16

CMBA-BC gears up for annual conference in Vancouver

The Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – British Columbia (CMBA-BC) annual conference is fast approaching, with the JW Marriott Parq set to stage a bumper two-day event (April 15-16) featuring an all-star lineup of the mortgage industry’s top names.

CMBA-BC’s president Marci Deane (pictured, top left) told Canadian Mortgage Professional that the blockbuster series of keynote speakers and panelists was geared toward helping attendees navigate the current mortgage market turbulence and optimize their business for future success.

“We’re coming off a few rollercoaster years in our industry, and I’ve heard industry icons say 2023 was the hardest year they’ve had in this mortgage world,” she said. “Hopefully what we’re going to do is give people real tools and things they can walk away with to help in their day-to-day, both lenders and brokers.”

Keynote speakers include Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, an expert on resiliency and workplace wellness, as well as iconic Canadian football coach Wally Buono, British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) chief economist Brendon Ogmundson, and mental health motivational speaker Mandy Gill.

Kyle Williams (pictured, top centre), CMBA-BC’s treasurer, told CMP that after a challenging year for mortgage professionals, the conference aimed to help kickstart busier times for brokers and lenders alike.

“It has been a very difficult year not just for the brokers, but on the lending side [too],” he said. “We’re treating this conference as a rejuvenation – a little bit of a kickoff for hopefully a busy spring and summer market and then a busy rest of 2024 and 2025.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. We have some very good speakers and knowledgeable panels. I really hope it’s a conference that people go to and leave educated, rejuvenated, and excited for a busy, impressive ’24 and ’25.”

In-person networking offers invaluable tool for mortgage pros

The value of forging connections through in-person networking came into sharp focus after the shift to virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic. For Deane, that means the conference’s trade show, which is set to feature industry-leading lenders and suppliers, will prove doubly important for mortgage professionals seeking to grow their network and discuss pressing issues via face-to-face interaction.

“I think there’s a power to personal connection now,” she said. “We have our trade show and for years as a new broker, that’s how I built my relationships in this business. Trade shows, in-person, talking to somebody face to face is so much more powerful and beneficial than all these Zoom calls.”

For Carla Giles (pictured, top right), CMBA-BC’s chief executive officer, the event reflects the camaraderie that exists within the BC mortgage industry with mortgage professionals from across the province coming together to find solutions to common problems.

“With brokers, even though you would think that they’re competing against each other, the types of collaboration and support that exist within our BC members is amazing and beautiful to see,” she said.

BCREA’s Ogmundson is set to provide a timely update on the ever-changing economic landscape and what could be in store for the housing and mortgage markets looking ahead – while the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) will also be in attendance on day one, giving a rundown of coming changes in legislation governing mortgage brokers.

An ‘All-Stars Night’ will bring down the curtain on the conference’s first day, with the Ten Souljers Band providing the entertainment, and the second day will see four individuals presented with MB awards during a special celebration recognizing leaders in the space.

An indispensable event for mortgage professionals of all stripes

Deane emphasized the broad appeal of the event for mortgage professionals, with both seasoned veterans and newcomers set to gain invaluable knowledge and networking opportunities.

“I think newer brokers should absolutely budget this into their business plan for the year,” she said. “Personally, when I started 17 years ago, one of the first things that I did was attend the CMBA-BC conference – and it was immeasurable what that did for my business in terms of meeting lenders face to face, actually understanding who’s who in the space.

“You get a sense of that if you come to a trade show that you can’t get from reading emails and lender booklets.”

Williams said the conference and trade show would provide an essential opportunity for lenders and brokers to reconnect and catch up over the two-day period.

“Building and forging relationships at these [events] have been my biggest takeaways over 14 years in the industry,” he said. “So I would say for other people, it can hopefully rekindle some relationships that maybe have dwindled a little bit coming through the pandemic – being face to face with everybody, and also making and building some new relationships with other future business partners.”

Giles said the conference also underscored the sense of community within the mortgage space, allowing mortgage professionals to keep in touch not just with each other but equally with regulators, government, and other partners.

“We know that working with our partners is so important – lawyers, appraisers, lenders,” she said. “It’s really important for brokers. So we have a few important partners that are going to be joining us as well.”

CMBA-BC’s annual conference takes place on April 15-16, with more information available here.  

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