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.”

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