It’s a partnership that could be bad for business for many mortgage brokers, but for a handful of agents it’s the difference between chasing clients and having them line-up outside your door.
One brokerage has firmly implanted itself in eight Walmarts throughout the GTA. The company, originally formed by Arnold Molder in 1977 and now co-owned with his son Christopher, still maintains its head office on the Danforth and has plans to open another two Walmart locations in the fall.
If that seems like an unlikely partnership, consider this: Walmart employs more than 2.2 million people, including almost 91,500 in its 395 Canadian stores.
“Why not Walmart?!” says a mortgage agent working at the brokerage and speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s the highest grossing one-stop shop in North America. If you get something in Walmart, it’s definitely going to do well.”
The storefronts are located inside the Walmart building, but operate outside of the retail giant – much like McDonald’s and Wine Rack, which also benefit from being inside the actual buildings.
That partnership has certainly been doing well for the agents, providing them with boon in business.
“You get a lot more walk-ins than the average agent experience, where you have to go out there and find the business,”the agent says. “We have a storefront so we can attract the business with advertisements and whatnot.”
The brokerage has also attracted a wide array of clients, which he attributes to the Molders’ culture of ethics.
“If it’s in a client’s best interest to go somewhere else, we’ll tell you,” he says. “It’s almost in our best interest to give them the best advice. If you help someone out here, they’ll send you (a referral) later. We’re really trying to build trust with the client.”