We are excited to announce that two VERICO members were honoured at last week’s IMBA Awards Dinner with their entry to the IMBA Hall of Fame.
Induction to the IMBA Hall of Fame is awarded to select professionals in the mortgage industry who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision and dedication throughout their successful careers.
Steve Kates of VERICO Northwood Mortgage, and Roslyn Goldmintz of VERICO RBG Mortgage are both consummate professionals, whose careers exemplify different skills and business types that have prospered in the Canadian mortgage industry over the past two decades.
We caught up with each inductee to get insights into their professional lives marked by excellence and dedication, and what is to come next for the Canadian mortgage Industry.
The recognition for Steve comes a year after his business partner, Art Appelberg, also received an induction to the IMBA Hall of Fame in 2015. With both Steve Kates and Art Appelberg receiving IMBA’s highest recognition in consecutive years, VERICO Northwood Mortgages demonstrates that it continues to be a strong presence in the mortgage industry, after 23 years in business.
VERICO: What was one career highlight you can share with us?
STEVE: Being honoured by my peers in this manner is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I was in the original committee when we started IMBA many years ago, and it is meaningful to me to see this recognition come around.
Overall, building Northwood into what it is today has been quite the ride too. Started my career knocking door-to-door, and 23 years after having started Northwood we have a solid history and 160 agents. That’s something I am proud of.
V: How has being a part of the VERICO Network contributed to your business?
S: Being part of the VERICO Network is essential for the work that our 160 agents perform. The Network supports them in ways that Northwood would not be able to on its own, specially with keeping in touch with all of their clients in a way that is just as effective as it is thoughtful.
The funny thing is, if it weren’t for Martin Marshall coming after us for a year, knocking on our door and truly developing that relationship – if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have joined. But Colin Dreyer is a true gentleman, and a scholar, a man with a reputation and a vision and we are happy to be associated with him.
V: What trends do you see for the industry in the next 3 years?
S: The trend for mortgages in Canada, without a doubt, is more regulation.
The playing field is not fair though – banks are not regulated, they can do whatever they want, while mortgage brokers are over regulated.
There is a widespread fear of low borrowing rates, specially since the 2008 U.S. economic downturn, but the scenario in Canada is so vastly different. I recon that the guys starting now have a much harder time.
The recognition was a chance for Roslyn Goldmintz to look back at how her clients’ lives, as well as her own, have been changed because of her line of work. Her career highlights emanate from helping clients with unique financial situations and stories, having arranged mortgage financing for residential and commercial properties – from country cottages and condos to hotels and shopping centers. Roslyn’s unrelenting dedication to her clients and unique experiences have propelled VERICO RBG Mortgage Professionals, which she founded 18 years ago into the successful business it is today.
VERICO: What is one career highlight you can share with us?
ROSLYN: One of the greatest highlights of my career has been the continued ability to empower my clients by being able to secure them mortgage financing.
Almost 15 years ago, I was approached by a young couple who wanted to buy their first home. For many people, this is a major life goal in and of itself – little did I know that, for this couple, their home was the first step to achieving many other milestones in their life.
The home was essential to secure funds and financing the couple needed to realize their dreams of adoption. Two years after the home purchase, they approached me for advice and we worked on a financing plan that allowed them to secure funds to cover some of the costs associated with adopting a baby. Two years later, I helped them with the financing for the adoption of another son, and most recently the couple has adopted a baby girl into their family. It was truly a gratifying experience being able to see how my advice and expertise could help this couple grow into a family of 5 and achieve their dreams.
V: It seems that you find a lot of meaning and significance in the work that you do. How did you find your career in mortgages?
R: In 1986 I took the Ontario Mortgage Brokers Association (OMBA) mortgage course to merely gain familiarity in anticipation of buying a home one day. Since I had recently graduated University, I figured I may as well do some investigating into the mortgage business. Timing was on my side – I was extremely fortunate to meet Ernest Balmer – one of the pioneers of the mortgage industry in Ontario – and started my career with him in 1987.
V: Any insights or teachings from those early years that still apply today?
R: Ernest encouraged me to get involved with OMBA, the only broker association at that time. Today, across the country, provincial and national associations have flourished. There is a need for strong broker associations to help promote and enforce integrity, ethics and professionalism in the industry.
Throughout this entire time, in a professional landscape faced with incredibly change, the importance of cultivating relationships has remained. The VERICO Network and the professional associations, really, are essential to the work of the broker in facilitating the initiation and flourishing of those relationships.
The early years were really fundamental for my career, as Balmer’s company successfully disrupted the status quo in the industry early on. They made funds available for deals that did not meet traditional lending guidelines. The Company would fund the mortgage and investors would then choose the mortgages in which they wished to participate.
At a time when lenders were anxious to put out money, I was taught to take a pragmatic, methodical approach. In more ways than I can realize myself, this has guided my career to this day.
V: How has the industry changed since you started your career?
R: Oh so many ways. The main factor is definitely the increased consumer recognition of the mortgage broker
Over the years the broker has gone from being the last resort to a must call thanks to lenders offering finders fees.The industry has thrived on the ability to provide NO FEE, BEST RATE service to borrowers.
Today we also see an abundance of private money available. It is more structured and in some cases more regulated than when I started.
I find it interesting that in some ways the industry has started to trend back to its original roots. As the institutional lenders have tightened up their policies – mostly due to government intervention/regulations – the need for alternative lending has grown.
V: What trends do you see for the industry in the next 3 years?
R: Technology, and the tech-generation now coming to age, will be huge factors in the coming years.
There is also a clear increase in government regulations over mortgage brokers.