Strong, united team made 2023 a big year for top brokerage

As CMAs countdown continues, CMP spoke with another of this year's winners

Strong, united team made 2023 a big year for top brokerage

It’s never easy to identify the single main factor behind a company’s success – but for CENTUM One Financial Group president and broker Paul Snider (pictured) the key ingredient to his organization’s growth is a simple one.

“It’s always been about my team. It probably always will be,” Snider told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by agents and brokers who, like myself, take pride in what they do. They do it for a lifestyle – not a pay cheque.

“And when it comes to their clients, it shows the passion that they deliver to their work. It’s all about the team – that's what a brokerage effort is.”

The company fought off strong competition to come away with the Brokerage of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) award at this year’s Canadian Mortgage Awards (CMAs), a particularly sweet moment for the team after it narrowly missed out on that prize the previous year.

That honour recognized CENTUM One’s sterling performance during the 12 months prior to the award – and while Canada’s mortgage market has witnessed plenty of change and turbulence in recent times, Snider said the company’s focus has never shifted from its customer-above-all mentality.

“We have always put the consumer first,” he said. “Every client comes to us with a unique situation, and it’s up to us to adapt and find the product that best suits their needs. This will always be the case.

“Sure, that might mean we do extra-long hours, but that just goes with the industry. That goes with the territory. We always put the customer first, first and foremost.”

It’s a mantra that will come to the fore once again in 2024, with a much-publicized wave of renewals set to begin – seeing borrowers come face-to-face with much higher rates than their original contract rate.

Renewals set to dominate mortgage landscape in year ahead

Renewals are especially top of mind at CENTUM One moving into the new year, Snider said. “I think we’re going to see some consumer belt-tightening this year. A lot of people are coming up to renewals, coming off these low interest rates that we’ve had in previous years. And with what they’re being offered, the difference is going to be significant for them.

“We’re going to have to find the right product for them. It’s going to be all about saving the clients money where we can, getting the best product, the best rate. So renewals are a big concern this year, and could be for a couple of years.”

Reflecting on this year’s CMAs win, Snider said it had proven a “surreal” moment that would live long in the memory – and that took some time to sink in.

“As they were announcing all the nominees, they were showing each one on the big screen,” he said. “And they got to ‘The winner is...’ and I had my phone up, and I’m sitting here taking pictures of the screens as they went.

“I was there with the CEO of the network, some head office people, one of my brokers, and some other industry colleagues. They’re all screaming and pushing me, and then finally it clicked.”

Awards allow industry to celebrate top performers across multiple categories

The awards – which will return for 2024 on May 2 at Toronto’s Congress Centre – offer a prime opportunity for members of the mortgage industry across Canada to come together and celebrate the achievements of the best and brightest in a range of different categories.

Connecting with peers and sharing success with other valued industry partners were some of the most invaluable memories from this year’s Awards, Snider said.

“There are a lot of industry colleagues that are partners that I have a great deal of respect for, and it was nice to be able to share that with them. It was fun,” he said. “It was a good night, and I think these events are important because they help to build camaraderie, team morale, and relationships – whether it be with your team industry partners or just meeting new people.”

Nominations are open for the 2024 Canadian Mortgage Awards, closing on January 19, 2024, with the industry invited to put forward outstanding performers across categories to honour the country’s leading brokers, lenders, business development managers (BDMs), service providers, and many more.

Be sure to get your nominations in for the 2024 Canadian Mortgage Awards here - and remember, the nominations process closes on January 19, with Excellence Awardees to be named online on Canadian Mortgage Professional in February and final winners set to be revealed at the eagerly anticipated awards gala in Toronto on May 2.