As everyone knows there was a glitch in this year’s Top 50 Survey and some submissions were missed. One of those missed was Dan Eisner
from True North Mortgage in Calgary. His total funded volume for 2009 was $136,533,952.
Also missed were submissions from Angela Calla
BC Mortgage Group, Vancouver, BC: $84,713,463; Beverley Brandl, DLC
Integrity Plus, Wasaga Beach, ON: $42,706,943; Collin Bruce, DLC
Mortgage Mentors, Edmonton, AB: $73,456,121 andMaria Kyle, DLC
Vintage Financial, Duncan, BC: $46,669,793.
True North Mortgage offers a retail concept
In 2006, Dan Eisner
went on the CBC reality show the Dragons’ Den to propose his idea: a retail store for mortgages called True North Mortgage based in Calgary. The dragons liked what they saw but the final deal didn’t work for Eisner. But James Laird from Toronto also saw the episode and was intrigued. He flew to meet Eisner to discuss the concept further and became an investment partner. “There’s always the initial fear that it won’t work,” says Eisner. “And it’s hard to get the initial investment capital, but the proof is in the pudding.”
Today there are three True North Mortgage stores in Calgary, and one in downtown Toronto. In 2009, the company’s total volume funded was more than $136 million, and for 2010 from January to August, True North Mortgage has already funded deals totalling more than $180 million.
Eisner sees himself as a retailer first, and a mortgage broker second. All the business comes from walk-ins. “We are like any other retail shop. Or a McDonald’s,” he says. “We are bold with our storefront, in high-traffic areas, and we attract clients that way.” He doesn’t get any referral business from real estate agents and it’s not essential for how his stores work.
True North Mortgage brokers work on salary rather than commission, which ensures a quality of customer service that isn’t fueled by who can make the most money the quickest. Eisner believes he will never introduce a commissioned brokering system. He also says he will never offer anything but mortgage products. “When you walk into a bookstore, you want books, not video games,” says Eisner. “So it’s the same thing. When they walk into a mortgage store and we start saying, we have legal services, financial planning and insurance too, they’ll walk out because you’re not getting what you expect.”