Inside REMIC's Canadian Mortgage Awards 2024 success

A highly competitive Industry Service Provider of the Year category at this year’s Canadian Mortgage Awards saw the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada (REMIC) come away with the top prize. We spoke with president and chief executive officer Joe White to hear some of the key reasons behind that win – and what the Institute is focused on looking ahead.

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Fergal McAlinden 00:00:07

All right, well hello again. Thanks for joining us on another edition of CMP. TV. I'm Fergal McAlinden, News Editor over here at CMP. And today, we're speaking with one of the big winners from our recent Canadian Mortgage awards in Toronto, that we had hundreds of mortgage professionals from across the country at attendance at the Congress Center in Toronto to celebrate winners across a variety of different categories than coming away with the prestigious Industry Service Provider of the Year Award was the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada. So joining us today is REMIC's President, CEO and Founder, Joseph White to give us his reaction to that victory. And some of the key reasons. Joe, thanks for joining us today. How's everything with you?

Joseph White 00:00:44

First of all, my pleasure, thanks for having me. Things are great.

Fergal McAlinden 00:00:48

Well, first of all, congrats. Well, before we get into on the award itself must have felt good. Do we?

Joseph White 00:00:52

Yeah, it did. It was, you know, there are some big players in that category. We, we felt fantastic. Being able to pull out a win, you know, definitely some heavy hitters in that category. And, and, you know, they raised the bar, they raised the bar for all of the industry providers. So you congratulations to them as well.

Fergal McAlinden 00:01:17

Yeah, it certainly was one of the most competitive categories that we had. And and Joe, we're gonna get into some of the the key reasons that you emerged on top in that category. Well, one of the main ones is a AI. And it's a really interesting topic across the industry at the moment. But yeah, first of all, so tell us about how you've embraced AI and teaching.

Joseph White 00:01:36

Yeah, absolutely. We've embraced AI and teaching by taking the power of, for example, ChatGPT 4.0 and applying it to our content, we've been able to develop some AI assistants that we have in our courses. So that allows students at any time 24/7 To be able to go in and converse with an AI bot that has access to our course material, be it the mortgage agent course private mortgage, course mortgage broker course life insurance courses, and so on. So they can ask specific questions about the content. And instead of, for example, going online and chatting with ChatGPT or Gemini, that they're looking at general information they find online. Our TAs, our AI assistants have access to our exact course materials. So it really improves the student experience.

Fergal McAlinden 00:02:35

It's always a winner scented arrow is being used in the industry and how it's going to impact the space as we move forward. I know that you've also launched on industry up as well, a Gora, tell us a little bit more about that.

Joseph White 00:02:47

Yeah, absolutely. Agora you know, there are all kinds of mortgage apps in the industry, fantastic apps for consumers. Agora is a community app. And that brings different practitioners from around the country together in one app, the benefit of that is that mortgage agents and brokers from around the country can talk to each other. They we vet them, so we know that they are licensed. They also have access to some fantastic AI enabled tools. Objection handlers, script development. There are so many AI tools that we have in this app that somebody can just go in and, and use to enhance their business and build their social presence. That is marketing. So yeah, we have right now we're we're approaching about 2300 members, we just launched it. And it's kind of in beta, we're getting phenomenal feedback and looking forward to bringing more practitioners on board as the year comes by comes along, or I shouldn't say bringing more practitioners on board as the year goes along.

Fergal McAlinden 00:03:55

So I'm interested as well here, Joe, about your new podcast, you've launched a new podcast highlighting individual brokers, their stories and their experiences. Tell us a little bit more about that.

Joseph White 00:04:05

Yeah, our podcast called the Billion Dollar Podcast how to make your mark in any industry is designed to showcase individuals starting with the mortgage brokerage industry and showcase their stories. So we're not we're not necessarily concerned about you know, their numbers or or things of that nature, but we want to get to their personal stories. How did they make the decision to get into the industry? What is their experience been like? And we've already got 12 episodes in the can. So they've been phenomenal. We've we've had, you know, conversations between a half an hour and an hour, very organic conversations. And the practitioners that we talk to are just fantastic. And one of the reasons we're doing this is to To show people who want to come into the industry what it's like, but also to be able to showcase these practitioners to consumers and show them you know what they're they're fantastic. Individuals very professional, easy to talk to human beings just like them. And, you know, that's what people want to know, right? They want to, they want to get together with individuals make that connection, to have a good business relationship. And I think that's what we're finding with this podcast.

Fergal McAlinden 00:05:31

Okay, great stuff. You know, it's really interesting that you mentioned newcomers to the industry and and people who are coming in, we know that the industry is always growing. There's new agents and brokers coming in all the time. I talked to them quite a lot. And I'm wondering, from your perspective, Joe, I mean, what for you is the most important thing for a new agent to look for? Whenever they're joining a brokerage for the first time? What sort of things should they be keeping in mind?

Joseph White 00:05:54

That's a great question. It really is their ability to kind of self assess, look in the mirror and and determine what they need. There are some that come into the industry that have a book of business, they've been in finance, they've, they've been entrepreneurs before they know what they're doing. They just need the vehicle to be able to achieve their goals, then there are those that come into the industry, that, you know, maybe they've been in a service industry, they've got the drive, they've got the ambition, but they don't have the established skill set to be successful. So from my perspective, the most important thing that an individual coming in can do is interview with several brokerages and find out what they have to offer. And understand, of course, that it's not about the commission split at the beginning, it's about being able to get up that learning curve as quickly as possible. These as we know, it can take 3, 6, 9 months before an individual has a sustainable income. So it really is important to find that brokerage that has what they need, and that is a fit, culturally, you know, you want to you want to belong to a brokerage and, and make that connection. So that it's not just a place where you can hang your license. It's a place where you can start your career and enjoy who you work with.

Fergal McAlinden 00:07:22

Yeah, for sure, it's so important to have that good can a cultural fit and connection. So it's hard to believe that we're actually halfway we're coming up on halfway through the year 2024. It's really flown by, obviously, the Canadian mortgage, or it's probably, you know, a good point for you to look back on some of your success, but also look ahead to what's in store. So tell me what initiatives show you have planned for the rest of 2024. And looking into 2025?

Joseph White 00:07:47

Yeah, absolutely. We're, we're continuing on with our webinars series. We have a lot of business building and entrepreneurial webinars that we have. On our site, we did about 8000 sessions last year. And by sessions, I mean, about 8000 practitioners attended our webinars, we have continuing development on those webinars, we launched an anti money laundering webinar, because in October that takes effect in our industry. We're launching a new book in regards to being successful in this industry. So that's coming out in September, we have some philanthropic endeavors on our plate. Like last year, we took the whole team down to Mexico to Cancun pro kids and, and made donations to kids down there who are underprivileged. And we look forward to continuing on with these types of endeavors this year, and really expanding a gorgeous footprint. You know, and just helping helping the industry be successful. You know, we've been honored by by being chosen by most of the industry to provide education to their new agents. And we hope to be able to maintain that trust of our partners in the industry for the rest of the year and obviously for years to come.

Fergal McAlinden 00:09:18

Great stuff and and you support the industry through a lot of free webinars and training for brokers as well. Tell us about some of those and how broker can get involved.

Joseph White 00:09:27

Yeah, absolutely. They can go to And we've got things like how to use ChatGPT in your business, how to drip, how to drive referrals, how to go and get your first business, how to talk to real estate brokers, you know, a lot of business building type of webinars as well as business management type of webinars, business planning. So those are all fantastic webinars for individuals who are who need that information and it's good pletely free. And it's hosted at as I've mentioned

Fergal McAlinden 00:10:05

Okay, perfect grip. Helpful look, and we'll leave it there for today. Joe, thanks for your insights in the interview. We really appreciate you coming on. Congrats again on the award. And I'm sure we'll talk to you very soon.

Joseph White 00:10:16

My pleasure. Thanks very much for having me. It's been a pleasure. And I look forward to working with you guys again in the future.

Fergal McAlinden 00:10:23

That's just about all we'd have time for on a day to this and obviously CMP TV. Thanks once again to Joe White and REMIC for joining us. Thanks to you for watching and we will see you next time.