Thirty-four-year-old Tyler Yates exudes confidence.
From behind a massive desk on the top floor of First Sarnia Place, with a panoramic office view of the St. Clair River, he offers a broad smile and a firm handshake.
Business has been good since leaving a 12-year career in IT for a completely different path as a mortgage broker in 2012. He always had the numbers to prove it; now he has the industry accolades as well.
Yates ranks among the top 20 for highest mortgage volume in Canada.
Those numbers were confirmed in May when Canadian Mortgage Professionals magazine tallied up the amount of mortgage business funded by brokers across the country. The magazine gave him national recognition after Yates funded 121 loans worth $22,646,957 in 2015, making him number 17 in Canadian small markets, where the average selling price of a home is below $301,000. (The average home in Sarnia sells for $230,000).
“It’s kinda humbling,” says Yates.
He was also a finalist for the 2015 Canadian Mortgage Awards for best newcomer individual agent/broker. Only eight brokers in Canada were finalists and all the others were from larger centres like Toronto, Vancouver or Edmonton. Yates didn’t win but said it was gratifying to be nominated by numerous local lenders based on his company’s growth, volume and efficiency.
“This will always mean more to me,” he said.
Yates was born and raised in Sarnia and left to earn a diploma in IT at Georgian College in Barrie. He stayed there for a decade working in that field. Along the way, he became good friends with Nick L’Encuyer who started The Mortgage Wellness Group in Barrie.
“Nick kept telling me I’d be good for the mortgage business because I was always working so hard to save people money and do my best for my IT customers,” said Yates.
When he moved back to Sarnia with his wife to work in IT, his job required a lot of travel. It wasn’t until his daughter, Peyton, was born in 2012 that Yates reconsidered.
“I took a complete 180. The day after Peyton was born I emailed Nick to say, let’s do this. I didn’t want to travel anymore. It’s nice to be at home with my family,” he said.
Yates took courses to become a licenced mortgage agent and broker. Then he opened up his own Mortgage Wellness Group office.
“I spent a good chunk of dough on the IT side of it too,” he said. “I like to be able to show my clients a comparison of the rates and do the monitoring to see if there’s any savings to be had down the road.”
In his first year, Yates funded $7 million in mortgages. He doubled that the second year and more than tripled that in the next. So far he’s already funded $20 million in 2016.
He’s bringing a new administrator on staff in the next few weeks and his current administrator has earned a mortgage agent’s licence so she can help service clients.
To date, most of Yates’ clients have been first-time homebuyers, but he intends to draw more multi-home buyers who tend to be older.
“It’s about branding too. And that’s what’s behind the classy downtown location.”
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 226-932-0985.