A mortgage specialist and a mortgage advisor are similar but slightly different roles in the banking industry. Both positions provide advice and assistance to customers looking to obtain a mortgage loan, but there are some critical differences between the two roles.
The main difference between a mortgage specialist and a mortgage advisor is the independence and flexibility of the two roles. While a bank employs both positions, mortgage specialists have more of an entrepreneurial job. This is because specialists work on a commission salary. They are expected to build client relationships and connect them with the best mortgage from the bank. As a result, mortgage specialists don't have to work in a branch and are encouraged to get involved in their community.
On the other hand, mortgage advisors work in a branch and are salaried employees. These are more generalist employees who likely can't negotiate mortgage interest rates with you. When making an appointment in a branch, you are likely meeting with a mortgage advisor.
A bank employs the two positions. As a result, they can only offer mortgages provided by the same lender. For example, a TD mortgage specialist can only provide TD mortgages. This is different from a mortgage broker who can work with many other lenders. Continue reading to learn the differences between the three roles and how they vary at different banks.
|Mortgage Specialist||Mortgage Advisor||Mortgage Broker|
|Works with One Lender|
|Ability to Negotiate|
A mortgage specialist, otherwise known as a "mobile mortgage specialist," is a combination of a mortgage advisor and a mortgage broker. These specialists typically work on a commission basis and can travel directly to customers' homes or businesses. This approach is particularly beneficial for customers unable or unwilling to make the trip to a bank branch, such as seniors or those strapped for time.
You can typically negotiate with a mortgage specialist. However, they work for a bank and can only provide recommendations from that company. This differs from a mortgage broker who can compare offers from different lenders. They also have less qualification flexibility than a mortgage broker since they are bound to the guidelines of one lender.
If you are sure you want to work with a specific bank, a mortgage specialist is best for you. This is because they will have an in-depth knowledge of the bank's products and how to navigate the complex application process. For example, a mortgage specialist will understand the bank's qualification process and may be able to help you.
By Bank, per Glassdoor
Mortgage specialists tend to have a 100% commission salary. This means they receive no base salary but are paid based on how many mortgages they successfully close. In most cases, they will receive a fixed compensation for the first three months of employment while they build relationships.
Mortgage specialists are expected to earn 20 to 50 basis points for every mortgage they close. For example, a $500,000 mortgage would provide the specialist with around $1,000 to $2,500 in commission. There is no earning cap on their commission, and they occasionally hire assistants to manage administrative tasks. While the top specialists can earn over $500,000, most, on average, make $50,000 to $70,000.
A mortgage advisor is another bank employee. This role is typically in a bank branch and provides general mortgage advice to customers. An advisor is sometimes also called a representative.
While the name may vary, the position is similar. These employees are salaried and work in a bank branch. They can't meet you at home as a mobile specialist would. If you're making an appointment at a bank branch, you will likely be talking with a mortgage advisor.
These employees are less flexible with your mortgage application. While a broker or specialist can "buy down" your mortgage rate, an advisor can't. Additionally, an advisor may have more difficulty qualifying you for complex mortgages. As a result, it's best to use an advisor if you have a straightforward application and want to avoid negotiating a better rate.
According to data from Glassdoor, mortgage advisors earn $50,123 on average. As mentioned previously, advisors have more job security because they don't work on commission. However, there is a limit to their income, unlike specialists and brokers.
If you are looking for an RBC mortgage, a great resource is their mortgage specialists. Their goal is to build relationships with clients and provide customized mortgage advice and solutions. As a result, they should have in-depth knowledge of RBC mortgage products and how they can meet your needs.
Top RBC Mortgage Products
According to LinkedIn job data, RBC mortgage specialists are encouraged to build relationships within their community and centres of influence. This could mean partnering with real estate agents to bring referrals.
As with all big banks, RBC mortgage specialists work on a commission salary. Glassdoor data shows the average RBC specialist makes $78,492 annually.
As with other banks, RBC’s specialists likely have the ability to meet at a location and time that is convenient for you. It’s also assumed you can negotiate with these specialists.
A BMO mortgage specialist is a professional who advises and assists customers looking to obtain a mortgage loan from BMO. They have in-depth knowledge of BMO's range of mortgage products and will recommend the best products for your needs.
Top BMO Mortgage Products
Per the LinkedIn job posting, specialists are encouraged to coordinate events and develop relationships with real estate agents and other referral sources. While no exact information can be found, it's expected that BMO's mortgage specialists also work on 100% commission. Data from Glassdoor shows the average salary is $54,250 per year.
BMO's mortgage specialists will meet you at a time and location of your convenience. They also have more flexibility to negotiate your interest rate.
Otherwise known as mortgage representatives, BMO also employs in-branch employees who can assist you with getting a mortgage. These are more generalist employees who can open bank accounts, lines of credit, and investments. However, if your mortgage application is more complex, you will likely need to work with a specialist. Additionally, you can unlikely negotiate the mortgage interest rate with an advisor. If you wish to speak with a mortgage advisor, you can drop into a BMO branch or book an appointment.
Most of TDs mortgages are handled by mobile mortgage specialists. However, they are one of the only significant Canadian banks using mortgage brokers. As with all large banks, TD's mobile mortgage specialist must build relationships with clients and recommend the best TD products.
Top TD Mortgage Products
According to LinkedIn, TD loan advisors are recommended to develop relationships with real estate agents, home builders, and lenders to grow their sales.
Like all other banks, TD loan advisors are 100% commission based. While no commission data can be found online, Glassdoor shows that the average TD mortgage specialist makes $55,381 per year.
They work from home and can be reached by clients wherever is most convenient for them.
CIBC mortgage specialists are otherwise known as mobile mortgage specialists. Their job is to build relationships on behalf of the bank and recommend clients the most appropriate CIBC mortgage products. As the name suggests, these specialists are mobile and are expected to meet clients wherever is most convenient.
Top CIBC Mortgage Products
As the LinkedIn job description mentions, CIBC specialists are recommended to build referral networks with real estate agents and other CIBC departments.
As with most mobile mortgage specialist positions, they are expected to be entrepreneurial since the salary is 100% commission. This means they are only paid for the business they bring to the bank. Data from Glassdoor shows the average CIBC Mortgage Specialist makes $52,000 per year.
It is also expected that you can negotiate with mortgage specialists from CIBC.
In addition to mobile mortgage specialists, CIBC also employs mortgage advice specialists. The primary difference is that advice specialists have a fixed salary and cannot work remotely. Instead, mortgage advice specialists call warm leads and take incoming calls to answer questions about CIBCs mortgage products. It is expected that mortgage advisors are more of a customer service role and won't be able to negotiate mortgage rates with you. You can request a call from a CIBC advisor.
Scotiabank mortgage specialists are also known as home financing advisors (HFAs). Their goal is to connect clients with the right Scotiabank mortgage. This can mean working weekends and evenings to convenience clients.
Top Scotiabank Mortgage Products
According to LinkedIn job descriptions, Scotiabank mortgage specialists are encouraged to develop relationships with real estate agents, lawyers, financial planners, and more. They are also suggested to conduct mortgage seminars or build their marketing program.
As usual, the role is 100% commission. Glassdoor shows that the average Scotiabank mortgage specialist makes $54,730 yearly.
HFAs are educated on the bank's solutions for rental properties and purchase-plus improvements. Given the flexibility and commission structure of HFAs, it's expected that you can negotiate.