There’s a new kind of one stop shop in town.
Mayor Brad Woodside has just cut the ribbon at Front Gate’s new offices. The company is unique in the Maritimes. It offers clients real estate, mortgage, insurance and financial planning services under one roof.
Front Gate is divided into Mortgage Alliance Front Gate, Front Gate Financial Group and Front Gate GMAC Real Estate. Each of these divisions is affiliated with a national company. This gives them the power of a national brand with the service of a local business.
The company is owned by Kent Brewer, a mortgage consultant, Gary Dunphy, an investment and insurance broker, and Stephen Morse, also an investment and insurance broker.
“(Clients) are dealing with a local company. They have our personal cell phone numbers. They’re not talking to somebody in Toronto who is a faceless name. They’re getting service right here,” said Brewer.
The company is so dedicated to service that its employees regularly travel around the Maritimes to meet clients. Dunphy said he often has to wake up before the sun to meet clients in places as far away as PEI or Halifax.
“Our hours of operation are not nine-to-five,” said Brewer.
“It’s whenever the client needs us. Try getting your banker to come see you at 10 o’clock at night,” said Dunphy.
Clients can pick and chose which of Front Gates’ services they want to use. They can even just come in to shop for rates. Here is a breakdown of the services Front Gate offers.
Mortgage Alliance Front Gate is built for everyone. Its consultants know how to get financing for commercial businesses, for people buying houses, or for people starting their own companies. It can even get loans for people that have been declined by other banks or brokers.
“We can make their application appealing to the bank,” said Brewer, “we can get (small business owners) the financing they need to run their business.”
Brewer said Front Gate partnered with Mortgage Alliance for several reasons.
“The reason why we teamed up with mortgage alliance, right from the get go, is they had a vision to create a national brand for Mortgage brokerage companies. …The company is the largest in terms of the number of agents and the dollar volume generated in Canada,” he said.
Brewer added Mortgage Alliance gave his company freedom from the influence of banks.
“It’s completely independent. We’re not owned by a major bank. All the other (mortgage firms) are.”
“What that does for the consumer … they know full well that my commission does not depend on me putting them back with the bank that basically owns me. No bank owns me. I give the client the absolute best rate and the best terms I can find on the marketplace, period.”
Mortgage Alliance Front Gate is also a member of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals. Mortgage firms are not required to join CAMP, but
Brewer said being a member is crucial to ensuring ethics in the mortgage business.
“We adhere to that code of ethics and promote it among our employees and consumers.”
Brewer also said his company is able to cut through the red tape of getting financing. He added that his brokers hardly ever charge clients for consultation, and they always put service first.
“It’s building a relationship,” said Brewer.
Partnership with a strong national company, a dedication to ethics, and a concentration on service set Mortgage Alliance Front Gate above the competition.
Front Gate’s owners knew some of their clients would be interested in buying real estate after they received their mortgages. So Front Gate General Motors Acceptance Corporation was created.
Like the other divisions of the company, Front Gate GMAC teamed up with a national corporation to give it pull and ensure the best customer service possible. The company strives to give its customers a better real estate experience. To this aim, it uses GMAC’s premiere service policy. This goes over and above the service policy of most other real estate companies.
Terry Hunter is a realtor and head of Front Gate GMAC.
“We have a guaranteed higher service standard. I would like to say we have the highest service standard available,” he said.
“Rather than just putting a sign on the lawn, we put what we are going to do on paper and guarantee it.”
These guarantees include advertising, informing clients about what advertising will be used and when, equal treatment for all customers and giving clients regular follow ups to inform them about their sale.
“We give them more education. We want them to know the full process from the beginning. So when we are done, they are happy,” said Hunter.
Front Gate GMAC also makes a policy of quickly returning phone calls, of getting clients out to see houses when they want to, and of putting their clients’ houses on the Multiple Listing Service as soon as possible.
The owners of Front Gate knew that after getting a mortgage or buying a house, many clients were in need of insurance and financial planning. This led to the creation of the Front Gate Financial Group.
“We’re not your traditional sales people here, we’re educators. We simply give you access to the market. We provide the consumer with the information that they need. And it’s up to them to make the decision. It’s up to them to buy the product that best suits them,” said Dunphy, the head of Front Gate Financial Group.
He said his company’s service will always come with a face. Its consultants get to know their clients, and they are easy to reach and aren’t afraid of making house calls.
“We know (clients) first names, we know their kids names.”
Dunphy said that on top of offering RRSP’s, Annuities, Pensions and other financial services, his company has all the insurance a client would need.
“Our goal is to make sure the client is best protected when it comes to risk. When I talk about risk I’m talking about life risk, loss of a job, illness, death, retirement, change of career, birth. Any major life changing event,”
Dunphy added that his agents not only get to know their clients, they know them for a long time.
“What we try to do is adapt their financial planning as they progress through their life.”
People can’t always afford all the insurance they may want. Dunphy said that his company recognizes this, and helps people prioritize so that what is most important is always covered.
Front Gate Financial is partnered with IDC financial, a national insurance firm. Just like with mortgages, this big partner gives the company a national reach. It also grants the Front Gate Financial Group access to many other insurance firms.
Dunphy added that that he doesn’t have to charge his clients a nickel.
Front Gate does what most other companies do not. It is a one stop shop. It has only one phone number to call for all its services. It has consultants and brokers that get to know their clients and are willing to travel and work long hours to ensure a high standard of service. It is the perfect place for anyone with financial, insurance, mortgage or real estate needs.