Changing realities for Montreal real estate agents created an opportunity for this brokerage to combine services
The company formerly known as North East Mortgages has announced the merger of both their real estate and mortgage agencies, forming one “powerhouse brokerage” that can take care of every client need—all under one roof.
Now called North East, the company anticipates that all of its 20,000 clients to benefit from a more seamless process when it comes to buying, selling, financing, investing in real estate, and wealth management. North East has always consisted of several different companies, and North East Realties was specifically created because of licensing concerns. The mortgage brokerage and the real estate brokerage were kept separate in order to prevent brokers from getting hit with additional fees.
A couple of years ago, however, that changed. The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board decided that unless someone is dually licensed, they didn’t have to pay fees associated with Quebec property portal Centris. When they made that decision, Kilakos said, they started thinking about merging the companies together. And this year, it happened; North East Mortgages “swallowed” the real estate division, and even though everyone was always under one roof, working as one entity has really made a difference, says North East President Terry Kilakos.
“It becomes a lot more seamless,” he said. “One set of financial statements that we need to create every year, the bank account gets streamlined, everything gets streamlined.”
Kilakos said that they originally started the real estate division to prevent poaching. In Quebec, real estate brokers get commissions from banks when they refer a file, so the danger is that a client comes in on the mortgage side for a preapproval, and then their real estate broker ends up taking that client and sending them to a big bank for their mortgage. Kilakos was dual-licensed, so he created his own agency and brought in realtors.
With the old business model, brokers would refer business to the real estate side, and the leads weren’t necessarily distributed in order to better suit their clients, but based on rotation or even favouritism. Now, however, the mortgage brokers and realtors work together, choosing the professionals best suited to their clients and working with the people they like to work with best.
“There’s no longer an extra layer of management that is directing traffic to places it should no longer go to,” Kilakos said.
This is an exciting time for North East. In addition to working on the merger, they’ve started a private lending arm as well to better address the needs of their borrowers.
“The company’s growing by leaps and bounds, so I’m looking forward to this year. It’s been absolutely insane already—it’s been crazy busy—and I don’t see why it would change,” Kilakos said.