Years as an independent broker: 43
2016 volume: $200 million
Number of employees: 15

Why did you decide to be independent?
When I started out on my own, there were no networks! It was 43 years ago – there were no networks, there were no women even doing it, and besides that, there were around 500 mortgage brokers in the whole province of Ontario. A lot of people didn’t even know what a mortgage broker was.

Would you ever join a broker network?
The only reason I don’t join a network is because mainly they’re focusing on the A business. When I started in 1974, the banks were not allowed to lend on mortgages. The Bank Act changed that, allowing them to lend on mortgages, so I decided I didn’t want to compete with the banks. I decided to do alternative lending, commercial, construction and private, so I’m not really like the average broker. I don’t really fit the mold – their systems wouldn’t even work for me.

What advice would you give to other brokers who are looking to branch out on their own?
I don’t know why they’d want to go independent, unless they’re having some dispute with their network or they don’t want to pay the fees to their network. I’m sure the network provides a lot – group advertising and probably a lot of other economies of scale – so I don’t think anything is better than the other.

I’ve always worked for myself, from 21 years old. I just like to be my own boss and not have to answer to anybody, so it just depends on your personality.
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