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Are you ready for a digital evolution? by Donald Horne | 08 Dec 2015

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We asked one recent inductee to the Mortgage Hall of Fame where the mortgage channel was headed – and the dangers of not keeping pace

Are you ready for a digital evolution?

“I truly believe that there is some 17-year-old working in his parents’ basement right now, working on some form of technology that might make us just a little less relevant.”

That is the cautionary observation of Boris Bozic, founder and president of Merix Financial, who was inducted into the Mortgage Hall of Fame at the recent CAAMP (Mortgage Professionals Canada) 2015 Mortgage Forum Awards Ceremony.

Looking back over his three decades in the industry, Bozic sees the recent changes as something the entire mortgage channel needs to embrace now.

“We’re constantly going through this evolution, a maturation process of our industry,” says Bozic. “Having 30 years in the business, I remember what it used to be like. But the sheer size and the magnitude and the dollar volumes that are being generated today, it is overwhelming when I think about it from a historical standpoint.”

However, as much as the mortgage industry evolved, Bozic told MBN that he believes we’ve only scratched the surface.

“My biggest concern for the industry going forward is: this next wave, next evolution – and I’m speaking of digital now – is dramatically changing,” says Bozic, “and I wonder if we are keeping up with those changes?”

He points out that there have been so many industries revolutionized by the changes in technology, the mortgage channel shouldn’t feel it is above it all.

“We’ve insulated ourselves in believing that everything we provide is so unique, that somehow what is happening out there in the rest of the world really doesn’t pertain to us,” says Bozic. “I would suggest otherwise. I don’t suffer from the hubris of believing we are all that and a bag of chips.”

Having an opinion on the industry isn’t new ground for Bozic, as he frequently shares his views on the mortgage channel through his blog To the Point with Bozic, writing on a variety of topics from a staunch defense of trailer fees to his rejuvenating meeting with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
  • @kiltedbroker on 2015-12-08 9:32:52 AM

    No question. Boris Bozic is on the money here.

  • Smart Broker on 2015-12-08 11:09:35 AM

    Can't argue with that. The power in this industry sits with those who have money to lend and those who need to borrow. The ones in the middle (us) sit on a slippery slope that may eventually erode if someone finds a better way to offer a mortgage - see Quicken Loans in the US.

  • Ron Butler on 2015-12-08 11:34:36 AM

    Some of us have been saying that the future of consumer financial transactions is online for the last 3 years.

    For most of those three years we were told we were idiots and bottom feeders; that all but a tiny percentage of consumers crave direct face to face human contact when contemplating large financial transactions.

    Now Boris (and give him credit, he is the first lending boss to put it in print) suggests the future of mortgage transactions is mostly likely digital in one form or another. Or at least there will be a major online component to the transaction.

    So far: crickets on the opposing side.


  • Greg Williamson on 2015-12-08 1:03:43 PM

    Boris, as usual is on point as a contrarIan.

    Ron, I for one have never thought you and the other trailblazers in your crew are nothing short of true entrepreneurs for stepping into the difficult case of making it online and the immense capital cost and risk that entails. Hats off to you.

    I think the rest of the industry takes exception to your consistent position that the only way to win or even be mildly relevant in the online world is to be ultra discounters. To date, that is absolutely true.

    I and I think maybe Boris, thinks there is a way to use tech. and evolving digital experience from our customers to win online with a non discounting model. An equally worthy and difficult venture as it was when you ventured into online in the beginning. Time will tell.

    Bottom line, all traditional brokers ought to take heed and spend some more time and money in getting relevant on line. Selfishly, I hope they don't, and from experience most will not. This is the future.

  • Smart Broker on 2015-12-08 1:36:05 PM

    Good call Ron -

    Anyone who thinks that face-to-face transactions, or "mortgage advice" or "winning the client through customer service" is proprietary and can't be handled online through a well laid out website will be looking for a new career in a few years.

  • Victor Simone on 2015-12-08 9:25:22 PM

    When we stop and consider the amount of paperwork required to fund a mortgage right now, it makes the mortgage agent even more valuable.

    Mortgages need to be SOLD and managed by sales people.

    As much as lenders would like to build the golden mortgage goose and get rid of that middle mortgage man, it just doesn't look like it will happen.

Broker news forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.


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