SALLY KWAN,TMG The Mortgage Group
Mortgage broker

Sally Kwan was Canada’s highest-funding female broker in 2016, but she takes a different approach to her success than some of the other people on this year’s Hot List. She doesn’t set goals for herself or her business; instead, she says the most important thing is for a mortgage broker to be diligent and disciplined every day. Sure, competition is fierce, but Kwan doesn’t view other brokers as her biggest challenge – rather, she sees every day as an opportunity to compete against herself.

“Contrary to a lot of people who set their goals, my goal is to do my best. Right or wrong, I don’t set a target,” she says. “Be diligent every day. Just do your best and compete with yourself.”

Kwan didn’t see many easy deals in 2016; the one that she’s most proud of was a difficult commercial deal worth more than $100 million.

“There were some hiccups beyond our control, but we gave our best efforts over and beyond our duties and did our best to help the group of lawyers to solve their differences and help the client fund the deal,” she says. “I’m proud that we really pitched in to try to help cut down the red tape. Our clients were really appreciative.”

Kwan says her team has more than 100 years of collective experience, and she herself started in the business almost 20 years ago – and, she says, there are some things that haven’t changed much since then. “I really enjoy the business. I enjoy meeting people, talking to people and understanding their real needs instead of what they tell you.”

While Kwan believes the coming year will see some past mortgage trends resurfacing (such as the proliferation of more B deals than A deals), she also hopes that in 2017, brokers will show more strength when it comes to proving their value and worth.

“I think as an industry, we should consolidate our stand and have some representation with the government, and express to them that we would like a more level playing field,” she says. “And also stress our importance in playing a role to help the consumer – we’re experienced and licensed professionals who give value to consumers because we give them options. I hope we could, as an industry, emphasize that to the government regulatory organizations – hopefully they will understand our value to consumers. At the moment, I don’t see that, and my feeling is they’re coming down on our industry more than other industries.”
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