After nearly thirty years at the helm of The Personal Mortgage Group, Suzanne is “retiring”. I put the term retiring in quotes because, as any of you who have worked with Suzanne would know, she’s not the type to slow down. Suzanne is kicking off her “retirement” by building a new home for herself and running a bustling B&B on the island of Roatan in Honduras. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the hard work and sacrifices Suzanne has made over the years to build The Personal Mortgage Group from one room in a rented apartment to the thriving and respected business it is today.
It’s hard to believe that this story starts with a broke single mom dragging her 8-year old across Canada to return to her home province of Ontario and take a stab at rebuilding a life. After dabbling in real estate for a couple of years Suzanne was introduced to the burgeoning mortgage industry by a colleague. She quickly realized that brokering was about more than a paycheque; she learned that a good mortgage broker can be a force for good in the lives of their clients. Whether by simply finding a good quality mortgage product or, in the most extreme cases, by pulling people back from the brink of financial ruin and giving them a road map for success and stability. It has always been more than just sales to Suzanne. Her genuine compassion for her clients is the reason that nearly 30 years later the Personal Mortgage Group is still going strong.
Suzanne and Boyce, in the early days
In the year 2000, Suzanne was able to purchase a rundown old variety store in west Hamilton, which conveniently had two apartments on the second floor. She moved herself and her now teenage son above the office and from there the business began to take off. Direct referrals and Suzanne’s tireless self-promotion had propelled the Personal Mortgage Group to this point but the new location at Queen and Charlton put us on the map (literally).
Renovations underway at our 233 Queen Street South Location.
Over the next few years, Suzanne experimented with bringing in new agents to work under her license and grow the business, but found it difficult to maintain the high standard of customer service that had defined the business to that point. So – she stripped the business back down to herself and a hard-working assistant and just worked harder – that is until she met, by sheer coincidence, a very young Chris Horrocks.
A glance at Suzanne’s first office in the mortgage business
First dollar (well, two dollars) that Suzanne made in the mortgage business.
Suzanne immediately saw in Chris the same integrity and entrepreneurial spirit that had been so important in her success and offered him a job. A few years after that she brought Steve McKay on board, seeing much the same in him. A few years after that she finally convinced that same kid, she dragged across Canada in the 80s to return to the fold and that brings us to today.
Although we are all happy to see Suzanne embark on this new chapter in her life, we are sad to see her go. The hard work, respect, and integrity Suzanne brought to this little business lives on in the three of us and we are committed not just to maintaining it, but also to growing it and making her proud.