CMLS Financial enters residential mortgage business

Vancouver-based CMLS Financial, which has carved out a niche for itself as one of the country’s largest independently owned mortgage lenders, has entered into the hotly competitive residential mortgage arena.
The company launched its mortgage division under its CMLS Financial brand in February and will offer mortgages through a network of mortgage broker affiliates across the country.
“We would like to be a meaningful participant in the sector,” said Chris Brossard, CMLS’s chief executive officer. “The sector in total is about $70 billion per year, so we would like a few points of share.”
With the residential mortgage market dominated by the country’s big banks and a handful of other non-bank lenders, succeeding in the space will require CMLS to differentiate itself, be innovative and break out of a very cluttered market.
Points of difference
“There are several elements to our strategy, very much like our commercial strategy,” said the CMLS Financial CEO. “We think we are one of the top three commercial mortgage lenders in Canada. It is very simple: good products, the right products, by which I mean rates, and we think we have industry-leading technology and providing our stakeholders, the brokerage community, with fantastic service.”
CMLS has built proprietary technology platform on the mortgage origination side of its business serving the end customer – be it a broker or customer. “It gives us the ability to innovate at a moment’s notice,” he said. CMLS’s computer platform allows it to quickly add new mortgage products or features.
The Vancouver firm also boasts NHA MBS seller status, which gives it direct access to CMHC’s funding programs, putting it on an equal footing to major financial institutions.
“You can’t under-price (the big banks) but you can certainly be as competitive as they are as relates to those programs.”
CMLS Financial’s residential mortgage options include fixed and adjustable rate mortgages “with prompt approvals and flexible prepayment privileges.”
Getting the word out
CMLS has hired Toronto-based advertising and digital agency The Brand Factory to launch their new residential mortgage division. The creative launch campaign, which was unveiled earlier this month, includes a new website, print and digital advertising, and collateral support materials for mortgage brokers and CMLS Financial staff.
The ad agency also worked on the design of the company's six new offices across Canada to better integrate them with the lender’s new brand identity.
“We positioned CMLS Financial as 'Canada's Mortgage Company™' to reflect their strong position in the Canadian market and create a new image for their exciting offering for Canadian homeowners,” said Joseph Sulpizi, president of The Brand Factory.
Commercial side continues to grow
CMLS Financial reported this week that commercial mortgage originations and outstanding mortgages both enjoyed strong growth in 2012.
According to the Canadian Commercial Mortgage Market Survey produced by CMLS Financial, commercial mortgage originations were up 16% in 2012 to $32.5 billion. CMLS Financial also estimated that the Canadian commercial mortgage market in 2012 totaled $170 billion, which is an increase of 2.5% from the year before.
The CMLS Financial survey found that lenders believe that there is more capital available, but many have targets which are down year over year. The company also identified trends such as the tightening of commercial spreads, the improving feasibility of CMBS securitization, and continued REIT unsecured issuance.
The full May 2013 Mortgage Commentary and past issues of the publication are available on the CMLS website.
CMLS's states that it is the only dedicated provider of commercial mortgage market intelligence. CMLS Financial publishes quarterly commentary on the Canadian commercial mortgage market with specific analysis of the conventional market, the CMHC insured market, and the Canadian CMBS market.



Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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