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The Big Story: Don't hate the storefront

James Laird takes on a guided tour of one of True North's Storefronts -- and addresses common criticisms.

Video transcript below:

Reporter: Many brokers are critical of True North’s glitzy storefronts and hey do they really bring in the walk ins? But hold your fire. James Laird takes that criticism on a guided tour this week on the Big Story.

Critics of True North storefronts talk about high overheads and saturation in one pricey neighbourhood. Some of that might be true, some of its not.

James Laird, COO, True North Mortgage

James Laird: There is some truths in the common criticisms people in the industry have, the leases are hard to acquire, the build out is expensive and the rents are high. All of our offices in Toronto and other major cities are located fairly close to each other. That’s because we insist on being in the financial core of each major city where all the best customers are. So that’s really more of a strategy for us.

So we picture ourselves as somewhere between a bank and a brokerage. So we need the convenient downtown of locations that our customers want, but also services and the rates that only a broker can provide. For us to provide the rock bottom rates that the hyper competitive down town customer requires, we do need these stores to attract the volume. So overall walk ins account for 30 to 40% of our overall business. We can count on 5 to 7 good walk ins each day.