This start-up aims to help agents earn mortgage commissions

by Justin da Rosa08 Jul 2016
A start-up is aiming to help agents earn even more commissions by incentivizing agents to refer mortgages through its new platform, Refery.

“Refery is aiming to partner with the more than 100,000 real estate professionals across Canada, as well as bank employed mortgage specialists,” founder, CEO and mortgage professional Christopher MacNeil, said in a release. “As a national referral agency, real estate professionals will be paid in commission fees and through an industry-leading rewards program powered by SVS Marketing every time they make a successful referral through the program.”

Refery (pronounced re-furry), a web-based platform, allows agents to connect directly with mortgage specialists who can then arrange a mortgage through their own institutions or the mortgage channel.

“The secondary component is that mobile mortgage specialists … that find themselves not getting the deal done, they have an opportunity to shuffle that client into the broker channel and recoup some of their costs,” MacNeil told

Refery claims the program is an opportunity to increase market share for the broker industry through its referral program. It also hopes to help agents earn even more than they currently do for such referrals.

“This is an opportunity to up-end the market balance and increase the visibility and viability of the broker industry,” MacNeil said. “Banks have been using realtors as "mortgage brokers" for years, minus the mortgage broker compensation. We found one reputable program that offered the equivalent of about $200 in product, for a $500,000 referral. It's unimaginable, given that the bank stands to make $60,000+ in interest over a five year term".

MacNeil said the platform has drawn comparisons to rate sites.

“We’re going to lean very heavily on affiliating with mortgage professionals,” he said. “We’re trying to carve out a little more market share for the broker industry. It’s an opportunity to get out of the rate site game.”

Many agents already have referral relationships with brokers. And while many of those partnerships may be disrupted by Refery – as agents choose to send referrals through the platform in the hopes of earning compensation – MacNeil argues many may not be impacted.

“You’re going to have real estate professionals who will be loyal to the relationships they’ve built with brokers through the years. You also have new agents who don’t have those relationships in place,” he said. “The older generation of realtors, maybe not so much.”


  • by D parker 7/8/2016 6:31:02 PM

    Think we make enough in commissions have been in the business since 1993 any incentives be it fruit baskets, theatre tickets or money etc. I have always given to the client. I do not refer for money I refer because it is the best person for my client to deal with. And don't forget ladies and gentleman you must disclose and give two or more options.

  • by More problems than it's worth 7/9/2016 8:21:47 AM

    What about disclosure to the lender that RE agent is making both a RE & Mortgage commission? Disclosure of conflicts of interest?
    Potential for fraud?
    In Ontario at least, mortgage brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to whom ever they declare they are representing ( borrower, lender or both). Bank "mortgage specialists" work for only for the best interest of a) the bank b) & themselves( higher the rate the borrower pays, the higher commission the bankrep makes.)
    RE registrants be cautious. You could, if you accept money/benefits on the mortgage side & there is any legal action for any reason, you could be dragged into the litigation as a third party.

  • by Christopher MacNeil, CEO Refery 7/12/2016 3:10:28 PM

    As the founder & CEO of the subject company, I'd like to take an opportunity to address comments RE: DISCLOSURE, so that anyone that reads this is aware of the legislation and legalities surrounding referrals.

    Regarding REALTOR® or Mortgage Professional disclosure to Lender, here is what FSCO (Ontario) says:

    Disclosure to Lenders and Investors
    19. What types of lenders and investors DO NOT NEED to have disclosure provided to them?

    According to section 2(1) of Ontario Regulation 188/08 - Mortgage Brokerages: Standards of Practice, there are certain lenders and investors that the regulation calls “designated classes of lenders and investors” that do not need disclosure provided to them. This includes a Mortgage Brokerage acting on its own behalf, a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, and an individual who alone or with his/her spouse has net assets of at least $5 million, and provides written confirmation of this to the Brokerage. For a complete list of “designated classes of lenders and investors”, refer to Regulation 188/08.

    REALTORS® and Mortgage Professionals are required by law, in every province, to fully disclose renumeration in any form that results from a referral. These laws have been in place for years. They're not new. Assuming these procedures are followed to the letter, which they should be, there should be zero risk of any litigation, as it would pertain to receiving fees.

    Here are a few links to various provincial regulators, regarding renumeration for referrals:

    If you have any questions about Refery or anything regarding Disclosure, please visit
    or you may email me directly

    Have a great summer!

    Christopher Macneil
    Founder & CEO

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