Ratehub.ca founder Alyssa Richard embarks on a visit to see where the magic happens at Safebridge Financial
Ratehub.ca’s relationship with Safebridge started out as a hunt to secure the lowest mortgage rates, but as I learned more about the company, I was intrigued by their unique business model. These Toronto mortgage brokers are a full service operation for mortgage, insurance and complete investment planning.
Walking into the Safebridge office, the atmosphere is friendly but professional and Drew Donaldson, senior mortgage agent, reminds me that many of his clients are coming in to discuss the biggest investments of their lives.
At the core of the company stand Elisseos and Chris, mortgage and insurance broker respectively. The two previously worked independently in their respective craft, but were constantly referring each other deals. This mutual respect and shared passion for personal finance grew into what is today known as Safebridge. Their commitment to the craft and amiable personalities have allowed them to build strong partnerships with real estate offices, and maintain a digital presence. In fact, most of the office is on Twitter and I’ve included their Handles below.
Ratehub.ca is focused on finding the lowest mortgage rates in Canada, so how does Safebridge stack up? Currently, they have the lowest 5-year fixed mortgage rate at 3.65%, but Elisseos likes to think of rates as just the beginning. According to Elisseos ‘it’s about providing unique financial advice for the client’s needs and long-term horizon.’ Lately, he’s been able to save clients thousands by identifying favourable refinance opportunities, and selecting lenders with the more favourable IRD penalties. Chris stresses the importance of diversifying the client’s full portfolio as ‘the mortgage is often the biggest investment and selecting a variable or fixed should be a portfolio decision.’ If a client’s RRSP is heavily weighted to fixed income, for example, the client may want to consider a variable mortgage rate.
So do their clients take advantage of all the services provided? We asked Safebridge to break down the numbers:
- 20% of clients use all mortgage, insurance and investment planning services
- 30% of clients use two of the above
- 50% use Safebridge for one service
Chris and Elisseos want to build to 100 agents in the next three years, and we’re confident they will hit that mark. Over the last two years, three mortgage brokers have joined the firm after being so impressed as clients. How’s that for a recruiting strategy? As I’m leaving the office, Elisseos pulls out papers he’s scribbled years of industry knowledge on for an investment presentation he’s giving. Advice we surely don’t want to miss out on.
Check out Safebridge mortgage rates or connect with Safebridge on Twitter:
@ddmortgages – Drew Donaldson
@chrisKARRAM – Chris Karram
@yourmoneyguy – Elisseos Iriotakis